Religious Jewish Americans are the biggest supporters of same-sex couples having the civil right to marry, new research shows, in a blow to those who cite religion in opposing the reform.
83% of practicing Jewish Americans surveyed by the non-partisan Public Religion Research Institute told researchers they supported same-sex couples being allowed to get married – more even than religiously unaffiliated Americans.
Of Americans who said they identified with no particular faith only 73% said they were supporters – but still an overwhelming majority.
62% of white mainline Protestants also supported marriage equality along with 58% of white Catholics and 56% of Hispanic Catholics.
46% of Hispanic Protestants supported same-sex couples being allowed to get married but only 35% of black Protestants and only 27% of white Evangelical Protestants supported marriage equality.
Age appeared to be an important factor in support.
69% of Americans aged 18 to 33 supported marriage equality – with 59% of African Americans in that demographic supportive compared to 39% overall in that community.
53% of Americans supported same-sex marriage overall.
The survey also found Americans were starkly divided on the issue along political lines with 64% of Democratic voters supporting the reform compared to 62% of Republicans opposing it – while 57% of those who considered themselves independents were supportive on the issue.
Most interestingly – although a clear majority of Americans now believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, many still believed that view was a minority one.
49% of Americans believed that most Americans opposed same-sex marriage while only 34% believed a majority supported it while another 9 percent said they thought the country was evenly divided on the issue.