By J. Parnell McCarter



Polls in Canada reveal that a majority of self-professing Protestants there oppose “Gay Marriage”, while a majority of self-professing Roman Catholics support “Gay Marriage”.  Here are the statistics from http://erg.environics.net/news/default.asp?aID=528 :

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Most Canadians Support Gay Marriage
Support higher among catholics than among protestants

A new national poll by Environics Research indicates that a slim majority of Canadians support allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.

A total of 2,018 Canadians were surveyed between June 12 and July 6, 2003. A survey of this magnitude yields results that can be considered accurate to within plus or minus 2.2 percent, nineteen times out of twenty.

Currently just over half of Canadians (53%) strongly (28%) or somewhat (25%) support allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. Over four in ten (43%) are strongly (31%) or somewhat (12%) opposed. Three percent are undecided.

Support or opposition to allowing same-sex marriage fluctuates considerably by gender, age, level of education, religious affiliation, province and federal political preference.

Support for same-sex marriage tends to be strongest among women, those under the age of 45, those with no religious affiliation, union members, those with university educations and those with higher incomes. Support is also significantly higher among residents of Quebec, British Columbia and the Atlantic Provinces and among supporters of the NDP, the Bloc Quebecois and the federal Liberals.

Opposition tends to be strongest among men, those over the age of 60, Protestants, those with low incomes and those with a high school education or less. Opposition is also strong among Albertans, supporters of the Canadian Alliance and to a lesser extent the federal Progressive Conservatives.

It is notable that, support for allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry is actually slightly higher than the Canadian average among those who consider themselves Catholic (57%). Although the strong support for same-sex marriage in Quebec tends to influence the overall numbers among Catholics, even comparing Catholics and Protestants in English Canada only, we find that there is significantly higher support for same sex marriage among Catholics.

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Similarly, in the US support for “gay marriage” is higher among Catholics than among Protestants, due to the significant presence of self-professing evangelical Protestants within the Protestant category.

Polling done by the Pew Research Center in America suggests one significant factor in the difference (http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?ReportID=197) :

“The poll finds that people who hear clergy talk about homosexuality are more likely to have highly unfavorable views of gays and lesbians. This is especially the case in evangelical churches. Fully 55% of evangelicals who attend services where the issue of homosexuality is addressed have very unfavorable views of homosexuals. This compares with 28% of those who regularly attend services in non-evangelical Protestant and Catholic churches where clergy discuss homosexuality.”

Generally speaking, clergy in Catholic and liberal Protestant churches do not address homosexuality in as condemnatory a fashion.  With respect to the Catholic churches, the article at http://www.puritans.net/news/rcc030304.htm  entitled “SODOMY IN THE ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTHOOD”, may offer clues as to the reason for the slant of teaching in the Catholic churches.