Religion plays a big role in individual and institutional decisions about same-sex marriage. Senior Roman Catholic clerics spoke out Sunday on TV news shows – expressing love and compassion but holding to the church's opposition to gay marriage.
As the US Supreme Court ponders same-sex marriage – and politicians look anxiously for public opinion clues on today’s hottest social issue – church leaders play an important role that may in fact be diminishing.
Increasingly, it seems, church doctrine holds less sway on what many see as a moral issue.
A recent Quinnipiac University poll, for example, finds that Roman Catholics support gay marriage 54-38 percent – slightly higher than the general population, according to several recent polls.
Among those who describe themselves as “born-again, evangelical, or fundamentalist" Christians, opposition to gay marriage remains high. Still, half of those say “the legalization of same-sex marriage is inevitable,” according to a survey by LifeWay Research, which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.
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