Survey: Most Religious Groups Support Traditional Marriage

A survey with 4000 respondents reveal that the majority of Americans and religious groups support legal status only for heterosexual marriage.
( [email protected] ) Sep 10, 2004 08:47 PM EDT

Among all religious groups in America, black Protestants and white evangelical Protestants are the two which show the greatest support for laws defining marriage as between one man and one woman, reported a study released Thursday, with most religious groups also supporting traditional marriage.

Seventy-five percent of white evangelical Protestants and 72 percent black Protestants said they supported legal status only for heterosexual marriage, one of the survey’s three options. The other two options asked the respondents if they supported legalized civil unions, or legalized same-sex marriage.

The survey was conducted by Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, which surveyed 4000 respondents.

According to the survey, Americans in most religious groups also wanted laws to uphold traditional marriage, including the majority of Latino Catholics (52 percent) and Latino Protestants (71 percent). The numbers in support for the union that is protected by laws in 38 states fell among white "mainline" Protestants (47 percent) and white Roman Catholics (48 percent).

Overall, over half, 55 percent, of respondents favored legal status only for heterosexual marriage, while only 18 percent supported civil unions. Twenty-seven percent said they support laws to legalize same-sex “marriage.”

Only religious groups representing Jews, Catholics who describe themselves as “modernist,” and people of non-Christian faiths reported a majority in support of same-sex “marriages.”

The survey also showed that only a slim majority of religious groups favor abortion.

The margin of error for the entire sample was plus or minus 2 percentage points, but higher to varying degrees with the breakdowns of smaller groups.