Catholic World News

Poll shows rising support for same-sex marriage among US Catholics

March 08, 2013

Support for same-sex marriage is rising among Americans who identify themselves as Catholics, a new Quinnipiac survey shows.

According to the Quinnipiac poll, 54% of the Catholic respondents indicated support for same-sex marriage, while only 38% opposed it. That result represents a 5-point swing from the most recent survey by the same pollster; in a December 2012 poll, Catholics favored same-sex marriage by 49-43%.

Catholics were more likely than other Americans to support same-sex marriage, the Quinnipiac poll suggested. Among all respondents, support for same-sex marriage stood at 47%, while opposition was at 43%.

In the Quinnipiac survey, 52% of Catholics said that Church leaders are “out of touch” with Americans; only 40% disagreed.

Among the self-identified Catholics included in the Quinnipiac survey, 31% reported that they attended “religious services” every week, and another 12% “almost” every week. But 39% said that they went to Mass a few times a year or never. Thus the survey sample included nearly as many inactive Catholics as active.

The Quinnipiac survey questioned only 497 adult Catholics: well short of the 1,000 respondents ordinarily required for a reliable polling sample.


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  • Posted by: joancollins507161 - Mar. 11, 2013 5:53 PM ET USA

    It's said there are 1.5 billion Catholics. I wonder if that counts those who never or seldom attend church. The membership numbers could be about one-third of that (or less) in actuality.

  • Posted by: bnewman - Mar. 11, 2013 2:33 PM ET USA

    Yes, thank you Jonesd3170. As usual Bill Donahue has it right. The breakdown of opinion by church attendance was not individually provided for the gay marriage poll. That itself makes one wonder if the poll results were actually heavily against gay marriage for church attending Catholics, the 'serious' Catholics. Our popular media would not want this to be widely known.

  • Posted by: jonesd3170 - Mar. 11, 2013 12:12 PM ET USA

    The flaw in the pollster's methodology is fatal to their integrity. Mr Donahue at gives the technical term for the flaw.

  • Posted by: bnewman - Mar. 10, 2013 11:56 AM ET USA

    How should “Catholics’ who have not attended mass for years, be termed? Many situations which crop up in life, which deserve sympathy and understanding, and terms like‘lapsed’, or ‘non-serious’ might be OK or even too hard. But there are Catholics who, for various reasons, perhaps ideological, perhaps religious, perhaps personal,hate Catholicism. Should they be included in a poll of Catholics? Is the term ‘dead-Catholics’ here too offensive?

  • Posted by: - Mar. 09, 2013 3:12 PM ET USA

    I maintain that eventually only those who are serious followers of Christ (Catholic and Protestant alike) will continue to oppose normalizing and exalting same-sex relationships. Sin makes you stupid, and deprives the mind of the grace needed to see things rightly. "God gave them up to a reprobate mind . . . " Romans 1:28

  • Posted by: bnewman - Mar. 09, 2013 2:05 PM ET USA

    When a poll uses the term “self-identified Catholics,” it has limited value: it includes a large % of people who have little interest, if any, in Catholicism. It might be useful for some Church-affiliated group to carry out polls of people who are have shown their interest by attending Mass a few times a year at least. The opinions of ‘nominal’ Catholics who have never set foot in a church for years have zero significance: they only provide a heavy skew to prejudice the apparent outcome.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 09, 2013 10:48 AM ET USA

    Other, more acccurate, headlines could be, "Poll shows rising support for same sex marriage among FORMER U.S. catholics." Or perhaps " . . .among self-excommunicated U.S. catholics." Or the less charitable ". . . among brain dead U.S. catholics."

  • Posted by: Lucius49 - Mar. 08, 2013 6:03 PM ET USA

    This is advocacy in the guise of a poll. The methodological question is who is a Catholic? A lapsed Catholic is likely to have a different response than one who practices hence you have a sociological definition of Catholic rather than a doctrinal one which is the crisis of our times. For over 40 years doctrine and governance have been neglected and dissenters tolerated and/or encouraged. This has lead to the sociological Catholic of the polls.