Young evangelicals split over same-sex marriage

September 7, 2011

It's not news that young people are more liberal on issues like
same-sex marriage, but a new poll charts just how deeply that split has
been carved into the white evangelical community, one of the most
socially conservative groups on the American religious landscape.

poll, released in late August by the Washington-based Public Religion
Research Institute, found that nearly half (44 percent) of young
evangelicals between the ages of 18 to 29 favor allowing gays and
lesbians to marry.

By contrast, the white evangelical community as
a whole (even counting those relatively liberal young adults) is
solidly opposed to same-sex marriage, by slightly more than 80 percent.

broadly, the poll found "at least a 20-point generation gap between
millennials (age 18–29) and seniors (65 and over) on every public policy
measure in the survey concerning rights for gay and lesbian people."

poll also found that a slight majority of all Catholics (52 percent)
favor same-sex marriage, despite the energetic teaching of their church
to the contrary.

The PRRI poll confirmed findings from other polls
over the past five years indicating that Americans have come to a
tipping point on the issue of same-sex marriage: either equally divided
or slightly in favor.  —RNS