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Religion and Attitudes Toward Same-Sex Marriage Among U.S. Latinos


  • *Direct correspondence to Christopher Ellison, University of Texas–San Antonio, Department of Sociology, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 〈〉. The data for this study can be accessed from the Pew Hispanic Center and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life at 〈〉. Upon request, Christopher Ellison will provide specific coding information for the purpose of replication. Thanks are due to the anonymous SSQ reviewers for helpful comments on an earlier draft. However, the authors are solely responsible for any errors of fact or interpretation that remain.


Objectives. This study examines links between multiple aspects of religious involvement and attitudes toward same-sex marriage among U.S. Latinos. The primary focus is on variations by affiliation and participation, but the possible mediating roles of biblical beliefs, clergy cues, and the role of religion in shaping political views are also considered.

Methods. We use binary logistic regression models to analyze data from a large nationwide sample of U.S. Latinos conducted by the Pew Hispanic Forum in late 2006.

Results. Findings highlight the strong opposition to same-sex marriage among Latino evangelical (or conservative) Protestants and members of sectarian groups (e.g., LDS), even compared with devout Catholics. Although each of the hypothesized mediators is significantly linked with attitudes toward same-sex marriage, for the most part controlling for them does not alter the massive affiliation/attendance differences in attitudes toward same-sex marriage.

Conclusions. This study illustrates the importance of religious cleavages in public opinion on social issues within the diverse U.S. Latino population. The significance of religious variations in Hispanic civic life is likely to increase with the growth of the Latino population and the rising numbers of Protestants and sectarians among Latinos.