Why Are So Many Americans Opposed to Gay Marriage? Take a Wild Guess…

A recent USA Today/Gallup poll asked people who were against marriage equality “What are some of the reasons why you oppose legal same-sex marriages?

You’ll never guess what ranked #1 on the list… (and by “never,” I mean you know exactly where I’m going with this):

Religion is far and away the winner loser. There isn’t a single justifiable answer on the entire list. Denying an entire class of people equal rights because of your warped interpretation of random Bible passages is ignorance and intolerance in full effect.

#2 on the list (“Marriage should be between a man and a woman”) is really part of the same “religion” subheading — since the only people who really espouse that view seem to be pastors and other religious leaders.

Morally wrong? “Traditional” beliefs? Another way of saying religion.

So basically, many people who oppose marriage equality do so for religious reasons, not rational ones.

You already knew this, of course.

On the flip side, why do people who support marriage equality do so? Primarily for rational reasons, not religious ones:

Look at that list: Equality, love, happiness, friendship, individual choice.

Not religion. Not Jesus. Not faith. Because those things don’t make you a more accepting, more caring, more loving person.

Yes, a small percentage of people support marriage equality for religious reasons (5%) but it’s pretty clear from this list that, on the whole, religion steers you away from kindness and toward bigotry.

***Edit***: A few revisions for clarification have been made to this piece since its original posting.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.