It's no secret that the institutional Catholic Church thinks that marriage equality is a sign of the end of days. Witness the activism of the Catholic Church in Maine to take away the civil rights of gays and lesbians, or the outspokenness of Catholic politicos like Rick Santorum (who just this week sent out an appeal message for the National Organization for Marriage).
But here's the funny thing: despite what the institutional Church - the bishops, the Pope, the talking heads that get themselves on TV - says about same-sex marriage and LGBT rights, Catholics themselves as a whole seem to favor equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender folks. The proof?
A religious scholar, Mark Silk, who took a Columbia University study examining support for same-sex marriage, and meshed it with a study analyzing religious identification. When the two data sets are merged, one thing becomes clear. Here's the juice, according to Silk:
Six of the eight states where 50 percent or more of the public supports gay marriage are the states with the highest proportion of Catholics, ranging from Rhode Island at 46 percent to New York and California at 37 percent.
Cathy Lynn Grossman at USA Today has this to say about the weird dichotomy at play here, between an institutional Church adamantly opposed to same-sex marriage, and a flock of followers who think that marriage equality is just another item in a line of civil rights due LGBT folks.
The bishops have campaigned long, loudly and clearly against same-sex marriage but the Catholic Church also offers a pervasive message of social justice, an umbrella many liberal Catholics stand under when they argue for marriage equality or life issues such as abortion, contraception and end-of-life decisions. Photo
Human Rights Program
Harvard Law School