August 5th, 2010
03:45 PM ET

Opinion: The surprising religious divides on Proposition 8

Robert P. Jones and Daniel Cox
Special to CNN

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Robert P. Jones and Daniel Cox. Dr. Robert P. Jones is the CEO and Daniel Cox is the Director of Research for Public Religion Research Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and education organization specializing in work at the intersection of religion, values, and public life.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/05/art.vert.prop8.graph2.jpg caption="The survey was conducted among a random sample of Californians by telephone between June 14 and June 30, 2010, by the Public Religion Research Institute." width=292 height=320]
The ruling yesterday by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker that Proposition 8 violates the constitution highlights the shifting attitudes in California and in the nation over the legality of same-sex marriage. A major public opinion survey released last month by our firm, Public Religion Research Institute, casts important light on the changing religious landscape on this issue, with some surprising findings.

The PRRI survey of more than 3,000 Californians found that if Proposition 8 were on the ballot today, it would not pass.

A majority (51 percent) of Californians now say they would vote to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry, compared to 45 percent who say they would vote to keep same-sex marriage illegal.

Despite the fact that the debate over same-sex marriage is often framed as one between secular liberals and conservative people of faith, we found that there are major religious groups on both sides of the battle over Proposition 8 in California. Solid majorities of Latino Catholics and white mainline Protestants, along with a majority of white Catholics, say they would vote to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. On the other hand, solid majorities of African American Protestants, white evangelical Protestants, and Latino Protestants say they would vote to keep same-sex marriage illegal.

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Proposition 8 • Same-Sex Marriage
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Smith in Oregon

    Perhaps you meant the 'Lack' of the religious divide on Prop. 8. Although a plural and highly vocal group of Republican politicans fully backed the antiquated marriage is between a man and a woman definition thru-out 2008's elections and collected Millions of dollars worth of campaign donations from ultra right conservative Bush Family values PAC's and groups around the country, they are now largely Silent.

    This is yet another large blow against the GOP, the federal judge in California outlined that Prop. 8 violated civil rights in America and if the GOP donors spend additional millions of dollars in trying to overturn that federal decision, Good! Let them throw those dollars down the black hole of trying to convince the Supreme Court that Prop 8 doesn't violate civil rights in America. That would leave fewer GOP campaign dollars for the upcoming mid-term election cycle of 2010.

    It's great watching the GOP get repeatedly kicked to the curb as their ship filled with the toxic racist morass of their own undoing sinks beneath the waves of crude Oil with them.

    August 6, 2010 at 2:12 am |
  2. Tim

    Remember Sodom and Gomora......history is repeating itself in California. Since so many people like to "make history". We'll get to see history by witnessing the fall of the United States.
    Way to go America!

    August 5, 2010 at 11:28 pm |
  3. Jim

    I'm a white Californian & trust me, that may be the results in the big cities like San Fransisco, But out here in the small towns You would find many that will stand with God & say that the lifestyle is "Abomination"
    Bottom line-
    If God said it is wrong then it is & forever shall be wrong no matter if every idiot judge thinks it is ok.

    August 5, 2010 at 7:50 pm |