Six in 10 U.S. adults say that legal, same-sex marriage is good for society, according to a Pew Research Center report published November 15.
The 61% of adults who say legal, same-sex marriage is “very good” (36%) or “somewhat good” (25%) for society is a one-point overall increase from 2019 and a five-point overall increase since 2018.
By comparison, 37% of respondents in 2022 say legal, same-sex marriage is “very bad” (19%) or “somewhat bad” (18%) for society. The overall percentage of people saying very / somewhat bad is unchanged from 2019, but is down five points from 2018.
Protestants (54%) were the only religious group in 2022 with a majority saying that legal, same-sex marriage is bad for society. White evangelical Protestants (71%) were the only subgroup within Protestants with a majority saying it is bad for society.
For all Protestants, 31% say it is “very bad” and 23% “somewhat bad,” while among white evangelical Protestants, 44% say it is “very bad” and 27% “somewhat bad.”
Black Protestants were evenly divided, with 46% saying legalization is bad (27% very; 19% somewhat) and 49% saying it is good for society (22% very; 27% somewhat).
The other faith groups included in the survey all had a majority say legal same-sex marriage is good for society: religiously unaffiliated (82% very / somewhat good), Catholics (66%) and white non-evangelical Protestants (62%).
Unaffiliated adults had the highest percentage of respondents saying “very good” at 59%, followed by Catholics (33%) and white non-evangelical Protestants (31%).
Though not included as a religious subgroup in the Pew survey, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published a statement on November 15 in support of the Respect for Marriage Act.
“The doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints related to marriage between a man and a woman is well known and will remain unchanged,” the statement said. “We are grateful for the continuing efforts of those who work to ensure the Respect for Marriage Act includes appropriate religious freedom protections while respecting the law and preserving the rights of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. We believe this approach is the way forward.”
The Respect for Marriage Act was passed by the House of Representatives on July 19. The legislation is currently under consideration in the Senate, which voted November 16 to open debate on the bill — an indication, according to NBC News, “that the legislation has sufficient Republican support to pass.”
According to a summary of the act, “This bill provides statutory authority for same-sex and interracial marriages. Specifically, the bill repeals and replaces provisions that define, for purposes of federal law, marriage as between a man and a woman and spouse as a person of the opposite sex with provisions that recognize any marriage that is valid under state law. … The bill also repeals and replaces provisions that do not require states to recognize same-sex marriages from other states with provisions that prohibit the denial of full faith and credit or any right or claim relating to out-of-state marriages on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin.”
The full Pew report is available here. The topline results are available here. The methodology, noting an overall margin of error of plus or minus 1.7 percentage points, is available here.
Managing editor for news and opinion at Good Faith Media.