*Direct correspondence or requests for data and coding information to Laura R. Olson, Department of Political Science, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-1354 〈email@example.com〉. We thank Robert Wuthnow for providing us with the data for this project. Additional thanks are due to two anonymous reviewers, Jason Barabas, Paul Djupe, John Green, Robert Lineberry, Nina Paynter, Joe Stewart, and Adam Warber for their helpful advice and input. An earlier version of this article was presented at the Eastern Sociological Society meetings in March 2005.
Religion and Public Opinion about Same-Sex Marriage*
Article first published online: 9 MAY 2006
Social Science Quarterly
Volume 87, Issue 2, pages 340–360, June 2006
How to Cite
Olson, L. R., Cadge, W. and Harrison, J. T. (2006), Religion and Public Opinion about Same-Sex Marriage. Social Science Quarterly, 87: 340–360. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6237.2006.00384.x
- Issue published online: 9 MAY 2006
- Article first published online: 9 MAY 2006
Objective. The goal of this article is to analyze the relationship between religion, measured in terms of religious affiliation and religiosity, and public opinion about same-sex marriage, civil unions, and a federal constitutional amendment that would prohibit gay marriage.
Methods. We use logistic regression with calculated standardized coefficients to analyze data from a nationally representative survey of 1,610 respondents conducted in March–April 2004.
Results. Religious variables perform better than demographic measures in models of attitudes about same-sex unions. Non-Protestants are much more likely to support same-sex unions than are Protestants, and individuals with conservative attitudes toward morality and secularism and (to a lesser extent) those who participate actively in religious life are more likely to oppose such unions. On the whole, religious variables play a weaker role in predicting support for a constitutional amendment to prevent gay marriage than they do in predicting attitudes toward same-sex unions.
Conclusions. Religious variables play powerful roles in structuring attitudes about same-sex unions. Moreover, homosexuality appears to be a major component of the “moral values” discourse that is currently so popular in American politics.