Tuesday, December 09, 2008

People of Faith Support LGT rights

More encouraging signs that the arc of the universe is bending right now:

GLAAD has just released the "Pulse of Equality Survey", a nationally representative phone survey about American attitudes towards gays and lesbians. They not only looked at America as a whole, but also attitudes of mainline Christians, Catholics, and evangelicals. Here's some of what they found:

81% of Mainline Christians support marriage or domestic partnerships/civil unions for gay and lesbian couples
78% of Catholics
59% of Evangelicals

52% of Mainline Christians favor marriage for gay and lesbian couples
46% of Catholics
28% of Evangelicals

70% of Mainline Christians favor adoption of children for gay and lesbian parents
70% of Catholics
66% of Evangelicals

66% of Mainline Christians favor allowing openly gay and lesbian people in the military
67% of Catholics
50% of Evangelicals

68% of Mainline Christians favor expanding hate crimes laws to include gay, lesbian and transgender people
61% of Catholics
54% of Evangelicals

57% of Mainline Christians favor employment, housing and public accommodations non-discrimination laws for gay, lesbian and transgender people
51% of Catholics
41% of Evangelicals

The next time you read that religion opposes rights for gay people remember this poll...and think about writing a letter to the editor of that site, station, or newspaper. These data will help us challenge the "common wisdom" that people of faith don't support civil rights for LGT people, and remind us that signficant number of evangelicals are already with us.


Anonymous said...

These results are indeed promising. As a gay person, they help to lift my spirits... a little bit... in these times.

But, can someone help me wrap my mind around this problem: If these statistics are anywhere close to reality... why the heck are we not only not getting rights, but LOSING them, in vote after vote after vote.

I grew up Catholic, consider myself Christian... but you know, I'm beginning to develop a real resentment towards "Christians" of any stripe.

Is it any wonder so many lgbt folks hate Christians... and just about anyone else of any faith?

I can literally no longer defend my faith among many of my peers.

Anonymous said...

Why are you leaving out the "B" in LGBT? Just curious. I'm a Jewish lesbian; I support the rights of bisexual people.

Anonymous said...

Another footnote on religion and sexuality.


Debra W. Haffner said...

Hi Daisy,

I didn't use the "B" because if you look at the research, they didn't ask any questions about bisexuals.

In our writings, we use LGBT when all four groups are specifically addressed, otherwise, we use the exact letters.

It points out though a much bigger issue -- congregations and denominations are either accepting of gays and lesbians or fighting about them, but only a very few address transgender people and even fewer address bisexuals as all.

And anonymous, we are losing partly because we are being out organized by the right...and because too many religious leaders are silent about their support on these issues. Not however the more than 4400 who are part of the network of the Religious Institute! I hope you'll tell your peers that they don't have to choose their sexuality over their faith -- that there are faith leaders and congregations who will fully include and love them. See our list of endorsers at our website for a beginning.

Rev. Debra

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clarification, Debra! That makes a lot of sense -- it is unfair to use "LGBT" when one isn't actually addressing or supporting every category. At best it's cashing in on the benefits of a broad base without actually doing the legwork; at worst it's further silencing and marginalization of already silenced, marginalized groups.

eric said...

Hi, Debra,

I'm "anonymous" from yesterday. I thought I'd typed in my name... guess not.

Sometimes, it's easy to get so caught up with the negative that we forget to look at the positive... and the positive does, I believe, outweigh the negative.
How does that song go... "ya gotta accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative..." advice I'd do well to remember more often.

With that in mind, I want to thank you for your work.... and the Institute... for all your efforts, and the message you bring.

I was also reminded (regarding my resentment towards "Christians of any stripe"... along with the subsequent dismissal of other faiths) of this from 2 John 1: "God's command is that you walk in love ". I suspect that admonishment applies, even when you don't want to love the other.

Anyhow, thanks for your response... it helped to get hit up the side of the head with the 2x4 of reality!