Which Group Supports Gay Marriage More Than the Non-Religious?

Gallup released a poll yesterday regarding nationwide support for same-sex marriage and the headlines are all about how 52% of Americans would support it on election day, given the chance. It’s more than half?! Wow!

But there was something else notable when you looked at the demographic breakdown:

I was surprised to see that the non-religious weren’t 1) at the top of the list and 2) at the top of the list by several percentage points over the second-place category. (To be sure, non-religious Americans were least likely to vote against gay marriage.)

Granted there’s a lot of overlap between liberals and the non-religious, and that the difference isn’t statistically significant at all, but I expected to see a *much* higher number for the Nones. Who are these 18% of us who don’t support marriage equality?! And what rationale do they give if it’s not based in any faith?

This is pure speculation, but the results may lend support to the idea that religious liberals are more likely to support marriage equality than non-religious conservatives…

In any case, I’m glad that I’m a member of all five categories at the top of the list, and I’m especially thrilled that the demographics look to be shifting in that direction.

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.

  • vexorian

    There is the factor of what people identify as. Some of those who responded may believe they are “spiritual but not religious”.

    But yeah, atheists are not as progressive as a group as people may expect.

  • indorri

    The atheists against gay marriage, I expect, are the supremely confused “natural law” style atheists who are apparently ignorant enough to hold teleological views of evolution even when rejecting deities.

    • Rain

      You give them far too much credit for knowing what “teleological” is. It’s more a social status peer pressure thingy. It’s just bigotry. Nothing more complicated than that really. You don’t exactly have to be a rocket scientist to be an atheist.

      • indorri

        It’s more of a personal anecdote thing, that they justify it using the “it’s not natural, gay people are really sick for not being in the ‘natural’ human state” sort of thing. It’s scary, actually, because I suspect they might be social Darwinists.

        • Rain

          Okay, social Darwinists in the sense of feeling superior to the “other”, and of being manipulated by peer pressure. Okay.

      • Alice

        As others have said before, it can be even more simplistic than peer pressure: “Ewwwww, butt sex is icky, and lesbians are only okay if they are hot and want to have a threesome with me.”

        • EvolutionKills

          I want a poll or some statistics to see what overlap there is between guys who watch porn that has more than 1 woman involved, and those who oppose marriage equality or support anti-homosexual stances.

          I just have a hunch that a lot of guys who condemn gay marriage also fap to ladies making out. Just sayin’…

          • Alice

            I agree. Another thing that is interesting to me is that the reverse doesn’t seem to be true for women. Women were far higher up than men on the Gallop poll. Male/male erotic fan fiction (often referred to as “slash”) has always been wildly popular in the fan fiction world, and it is almost all written by women for women.

            • EvolutionKills

              Good question. But just speaking for myself (as a heterosexual male), I enjoy watching porn. A dude and a lady, some mix of multiple dudes and ladies, or even just the ladies. But I draw the line at male penetration. I can enjoy a good threesome with two men and a lady if they focus all their attention on her, but if the guys are bi and make a move on each other? I stop watching, I don’t find that at all arousing; in fact I find it a little disgusting (but I’m not fond of watching anal sex in general).

              However I know enough to separate my knee-jerk ‘eww, butt-sex’ reaction from how I treat other people, that’s why I don’t use my own arousal for determining my ethics. I think sexy lesbians making out is really hot, and two dudes kissing makes me squirm and look away uncomfortable. But I’ll be damned if I don’t advocate for marriage equality for both groups just the same. A couple’s happiness shouldn’t be limited by whether or not I (or anyone else) finds what they do in the privacy of their own bedroom to be arousing or ‘acceptable’. I don’t find BDMS to be at all attractive either (and I imagine many others would agree), but I don’t see anybody fighting to deny marriage rights to those who enjoy leather, handcuffs, or riding crops…

              Bottom line: If you’re fapping to gay or lesbian porn (and yes, a threesome with 2 ladies counts if they at all touch each other), it’s hypocritical to oppose gay marriage. That is all.

              • Alice

                Absolutely.

  • cary_w

    I’m surprised to see such a big gap between men and women. How the heck does heterosexual marriage ever work in this country when the views of men and women are so different?

    • http://www.facebook.com/Scott.McElhiney Redorblack Nigelbottom

      With a divorce rate knocking around 60%, what makes you think marriage works? (says the guy whose 30th anniversary is just around the corner)
      :)

  • Erp

    Atheists aren’t necessary progressive (and we know a fair percentage aren’t exactly feminist) but the category is ‘no religion’ which is not the same. I don’t know for instance whether those who say “Christianity isn’t a religion but a relationship with God” put down some denomination or ‘no religion’ when answering such polls. It is rather amazing that given how anti-same sex marriage the Catholic hierarchy is that 60% of self identified Catholics are pro-same sex marriage.

  • http://be.net/mattcoddington matt

    I feel like there’s a number of “non-religious” that aren’t actual skeptics. They’re just lazy people who waffle. Just my 2c though.

    • http://www.facebook.com/tuibguy Mike Haubrich

      Like Kirk Cameron was before he converted while driving, never thought much about religion but now considers himself a former atheist.

    • Pseudonym

      To be fair, a fair proportion of those who identify as religious are lazy people who waffle, too.

      Still, the point is a good one. “Atheist” implies nothing more than lack of belief in deities. “Non-religious” implies nothing more than not identifying with a religion. It doesn’t imply skepticism, or rationality, or anything at all beyond that.

    • Sam Kay

      I actually am just here because I want a waffle.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tuibguy Mike Haubrich

    I wonder if the good cardinals and bishops have taken a look at this list; and if so do they take the message that they are not representing the flock or the message that they need to have the priests read an ecumenical at the next Sundays’ Mass?

    • Japooh

      Since when do they give a **** about representing the flock? As long as the money keeps coming in why would they even care?

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    I wish we had that same breakdown for ‘interracial’ marriage polls between 1967 and 1991.

    • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

      I’m not aware of a detailed source for 1967-1971 data. However, the variable RACMAR is available in the GSS most years from 1972 to 2002. Though there may be years when the combinations weren’t asked, you generally can look at the year-by-year cross tabulations for POLVIEWS, PARTYID, RELITEN, AGE, COHORT, ATTEND, REGION, RELIG if you want using the Berkeley SDA tool, either year-by-year or aggregating across years. You can also compare the breakdowns on the variable MARHOMO (asked in 1988 and biennially 2004-2012).

      Note for very small sub-samples (EG: the unaffiliated), the sampling uncertainty is higher.

      Most (though not all) of the results are about what the chart above would lead you to expect.

  • Neruda

    Catholics support it at a rate of 60%… and “people who attend church weekly” are only at 23%.

    I guess catholics attend church …WEAKLY.

    I’m here all week. Try the veal.

    • Sam Kay

      Have my like.

    • Jansen Waddell

      And my like as well!

      • MGP

        And my axe!

        • Tainda

          Yes, I read that in Gimli’s voice :)

          • EvolutionKills

            Sometimes I just enjoy reading posts in the voice of Morgan Freeman. It makes them all seem so much more stately.

    • Big Bubba McGee

      Here have a cookie!

    • Sven2547

      Hey-oh!

  • Henry

    You shouldn’t be allowed to have that type of love unless you can have children naturally.

    I say that as a Christian but I know atheists evolutionary biologists who feel the exact same way and the reason they think that is because it doesn’t help evolution.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Scott.McElhiney Redorblack Nigelbottom

      Hmm… why would an atheist care about helping evolution? It isn’t like the human race is in any danger of dying out if gay people either get married or don’t get married. And how are you going to prevent “that type of love” if you can’t have children naturally? Are you also going to disallow heterosexual couples from marrying that can’t have children naturally? Break their marriages apart because they love each other but can’t produce? “Sorry Ma’am, your husband is infertile… you have to leave him and find a male you can reproduce with…. now, now, you need to stop this type of love you have for him and move on to a reproductive mate. Oh yeah, and then we will stone you because you will try to marry but aren’t a virgin anymore…. yep, right here in the Bible… right here in Deut. 22:13-21. I guess we could find a reason to kill her husband and see if his brother can marry her and get the deed done right…Leviticus 18:16

    • indorri

      a) Fuck off, you don’t get to say love between two consenting men or two consenting women is not “allowed”. b) You don’t “help” evolution. Evolution occurs. That some frightfully silly people basically think evolution is going around trying to make the strongest animals while stupid ol’ humans try to thwart it doesn’t change that.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      I know atheists evolutionary biologists who feel the exact same way and the reason they think that is because it doesn’t help evolution.

      I call BS, because evolutionary biologists understand that there is no such thing as ‘helping’ (or not helping) evolution. It just is, and whatever selective pressures exist, exist.

    • smrnda

      So…. infertile people should not get married? People past child-bearing years should not get married?

      There’s nothing you can do to ‘help’ or ‘not help’ evolution any more than you can help or not help gravity. It’s a description of a process that goes on independent of human intention.

    • TCC

      There are a lot of things that humans do that don’t “help” evolution. Anyone who says that we must act to “help” evolution is 1) confusing an ought with an is and 2) advocating eugenics, which is not exactly considered to be a moral stance.

      • blah

        Completely random thought here: could/should the same be said about the subjects of climate change and the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Can we really “help” it? Or is what we do neutral at best and harmful at worst?

        Sorry to change to topic a bit.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          I’m not sure what the 2nd law of thermodynamics has to do with it. As for climate change vs. evolution, they’re apples and oranges. When we talk about ‘climate change’ in the news context, we’re talking about a specific aspect of climate change. That is increasing levels of greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere which is causing long term warming which is detrimental to the long term survival of the human (and many other) species.

          When we talk about ‘evolution’ we’re talking about all species changing over many generations, adapting to any changes in their respective environments.

          A closer comparison would be ‘climate change’ and ‘evolution of antibiotic resistant bacteria’. Human activity is affecting both, in ways that are almost certainly detrimental to long term human survival.

    • Anna

      There are so many things wrong with this comment I don’t even know where to begin.

      Having children “naturally” is no better or worse than having them any other way. I find it offensive when biology is held up as some kind of gold standard. When people make comments like that, they negate not only same-sex families, but other family types as well. There are many people who either cannot or choose not to produce biological children, and their families are no less deserving of legal recognition.

    • Golfie98

      It’s a sad reflection on christianity that you think you have the right to tell other people what they are “allowed” to feel. Such arrogance can only come from some form of misplaced superiority complex.

    • EvolutionKills

      Wow, someone who thinks love is bad. How sad to be you.

    • double-m

      The consequence of your observation is not that this “type of love” should be prohibited. Rather it is, that more research should be conducted to develop the genetic methods and incubator technology necessary for same-sex couples to actually have biological children.

    • kelemi

      Denying someone else the right to do something, and not hurting anyone else, because of your religion is still bigotry. Keep religion out of the bill of rights.

    • BeatlesFan

      What about straight people who are sterile/infertile, or are too old to have children, or don’t want any? Should it be illegal for them to be married as well?

    • William Dhalgren

      Your mama sews socks that smell.

    • Carmelita Spats

      “You shouldn’t be allowed to have that type of love unless you can have children naturally.” So does this statement apply to your God, Yahweh-the-Yahoo? I seem to recall that he/she/it/they performed a HIGHLY UNNATURAL act upon the body of a horny teenager named Mary way way way back in the Bronze Age. The Bible doesn’t give much detail regarding the sticky and moist mechanisms involved in Yahweh’s unnatural paranormal perversions so the reader is left to sort through her own hermeneutical giggles…I’m wondering if Yahweh inseminated Mary with black cosmic goo or a bottle of Creme de Menthe, Reynold’s Wrap and chipmunks while Paul Anka played in the background on an eternal loop..*Shudder*…In any case, Jesus wasn’t conceived naturally…

      Mary’s Fling:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X41FANcPohk

      • GCT

        They weren’t married either.

      • EvolutionKills

        Also let’s not forget that he impregnated a married woman. Not only that, but one that belonged to a culture that stoned women to death for not being virgins before marriage and stoned people for adultery. A culture that happened to be dedicated to worshiping the very ‘god’ that got a married woman pregnant outside of her marriage.

        So why when god does it, does it suddenly count as natural, and not as super-natural adultery?

        Also, this is a great argument against those looking to use the Bible to argue for ‘traditional’ families. Lets look at Jesus’ family. Jesus had two dads, spent all his time walking around with 12 other dudes (one of which was know as ‘the one Jesus loved’), and (supposedly) stayed a virgin until his death at about the age of 30. Now I’m not saying Jesus was gay or anything (not that there would be anything wrong with that), but you CANNOT hold Jesus up in defense of the 50′s era ideal of 1 man, 1 woman, and 2.5 kids of the nuclear family unit.

    • RobMcCune

      You can’t “help” evolution. When humans control the evolution of other species it’s called selective breeding, when they do the same thing to humans it’s called eugenics.

      In light of that, you might want to rethink your assertion, and find new friends who are actual biologists who study evolution.

    • Japooh

      “Allowed”? What definition of love are YOU using? Who do YOU “allow” to dictate your emotions? And what does having or not having children have to do with love, and what “type” should be “allowed”?

      Evolution needs no help. I think you just made that last part up to try and bolster some fake authority for your silly position. As a self-professed Christian (I’m pretty sure you are familiar with a commandment that speaks about this aren’t you?), you might want to walk that statement back a bit.

      Alternatively if you are being truthful, how many of these atheist evolutionary biologists have you had this discussion with? And would they be willing to come here and speak for themselves? Please invite them, I’d LOVE to hear them tell us, in their own words, how evolution needs help and that’s why they themselves oppose gay marriage. Go ahead, we’ll wait…..

    • Michael W Busch

      I know atheists evolutionary biologists who feel the exact same way and
      the reason they think that is because it doesn’t help evolution.

      You do not understand evolutionary biology. There are many different factors that determine sexual orientation, and some of them were favored by natural selection. You should go learn some of this material. You can start with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology_and_sexual_orientation and its sources.

      And even if people getting married didn’t “help evolution” – which is a nonsensical phrase – so what? We are not bound to follow the previous combination of selective pressures and culture.

  • sara

    Some of the 18% would vote against marriage rather than against equality. There are plenty of people who want to see the state out of the marriage business at all, and some feel so strongly about it that it overrides their other concerns.

    • TCC

      I was just going to make a similar reply about how the question is about making same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states – some non-religious people might simply balk at making such a drastic move and forcing same-sex marriage on states that don’t seem ready for it. I also suspect that some of these non-religious people might be buying the “redefinition of marriage” argument as well, which can be expressed in a superficially non-religious way.

      • jantoresandvik

        I can see why it is a slippery slope of the sovereignty of the individual states if the federal government has a say in this.

        On the other hand, if the federal government gives certain privileges, rights or duties to married couples, the definition of marriage may be a federal matter.

        Disclaimer: I have never lived in USA.

        • TCC

          I should clarify that I do not endorse the above argument – indeed, I do think that SSM should be federally recognized and legal in all 50 states – but that I can see how some non-religious people might accept it.

    • Randay

      It is the opposite. The churches and other private concerns should be out of the marriage business, because it is a business. There are numerous legal implications about getting married and those are the responsibility of the state. As I have argued before, Constitutional Amendments 9, 10, 14 should make same sex marriage the default law.

    • Japooh

      Marriage is a contract and as such subject to the same process as any other contract. A wedding ceremony can be a religious rite, but marriage is not.

      It’s churches that need to stay out of the legalities of marriage, not the other way around. They are free to abstain from performing ceremonies for people who are not members of their faith, or of their congregation, or any number of other reasons, but they can’t decide the LAW for the country.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    In any case, I’m glad that I’m a member of all five categories at the top of the list

    As someone who is not a member of the top five categories on that list, I have to say I’m proud of my position, regardless of what demographic categories I happen to be in.

    • Epinephrine

      Agreed; my age group isn’t in the top of that list, but that just means that I am more supportive of marriage equality than might be expected by my age alone. That’s not a bad thing. In fact, if you are a member of all five of the top groups it might be rather shocking if you weren’t supportive of marriage equality.

  • Nerd Alert

    What’s the margin of error on this poll?

    • Aureliano_Buendia

      ± 3%

      From the linked site:

      “Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews
      conducted July 10-14, 2013, with a random sample of 2,027 adults, aged
      18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

      For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say
      with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage
      points.”

      • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

        Though for sub-samples, the margin of error is likely higher. Most polling outfits seem to report down to about when sub-sample N hits 160, and the error margin thus hits ±8% or so.

        Rule of thumb for the 95% confidence interval for a sample size of N out of a large population is 100%/sqrt(N) — leaving out effects from weighing, biased samples, and so on.

      • UWIR

        “For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.”

        That’s a bit of a mangling of statistical concepts.

  • industrious

    Could be people who don’t believe in the concept of marriage to begin with?

    • Tainda

      I am one of those people but still VERY supportive of same sex marriage because I realize other people don’t share my views and I can just NOT get married. Everyone should be free to do as they please.

  • Ian on the Hill

    Sadly being an atheist is no guarantee that one is not a bigot.

    • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

      Contrariwise, there are some mutual correlations giving a tendency, albeit not a guarantee. In the West, religiosity and prejudice both correlate to the RWA scale. Nohow, high-SDO scale scores also correlate to prejudice, and SDO does not correlate to religiosity.

  • Slartibast

    “No religion” is not “us”. Some new age and alternatives etc are in there also.

  • Access Unknown

    Homosexuality is a disorder

    Wait open minded people if your brain had fallen outside being so open minded just don’t try to behave like zombies reacting to this.

    Let me explain what is an order.

    Order means the arrangement of things in relation to each other according to a particular sequence.

    Nature has bestowed us with pleasure in our every action to accomplish its goal.

    Sexual pleasure is such of a kind which have primary goal of propagation of species and existence of that specie.

    Being gay deny nature’s primary goal and its order to achieve goal and seek pleasure with alternative arrangement

    So homosexuality is a natural disorder.

    Every homosexual is able to see this beautiful world because of only heterosexual act.

    Being gay deny the moral responsibility of being a part of such honored process.

    So homosexuality is moral disorder.

    Physiologically anus has the same relaxation pleasure which has major role to play in process of excrement.

    Being gay manipulate this pleasure for nothing that’s neither for reproductive goal nor for digestive goal.

    So its Physiological disorder.

    Homosexuality in female is merely helping in masturbation of each other.

    As there is no real body penetration is involved its not legal sex.This also deny natural and moral responsibility.

    • cipher

      I realize English isn’t your first language, so I want to be very clear about this: you’re an idiot.

      • Access Unknown

        Defeated person always end up with personal assault or mockery. Thank you for acknowledging.

        • indorri

          It’s not an insult, it’s an evaluation of your moral failings. Your first post, and you have already made yourself out to be foolish. That’s not our problem, that’s yours.

          • Access Unknown

            How rational ! What you do is all justified ha ha crooked state of your mind.

        • cipher

          Yes, you’ve defeated me. Jesus will give you an extra cookie in heaven. Run along now.

          • Access Unknown

            Waste of time your superficial perception need realization.

            • cipher

              This guy talks like one of those AI programs that aren’t quite ready for market – or a Magic 8-Ball!

              • 3lemenope

                ELIZA, evangelical edition.

    • EvolutionKills

      If homosexuality is a ‘disorder’, it is one shared by hundreds of other animal species. Almost all other primates, dolphins, penguins, and marmots (to just name a sliver of the animals that we know) engage in homosexual behavior. And not just homosexual sex, some even form same sex pair bonds, effectively engaging in the equivalent of gay marriage for life. We know this happens, it has been observed and recorded, it is a simple fact.

      That being said, homophobic behavior is only observed in one animal species; homo sapiens, or humans. So in light of this revelation, I’ll ask you which seems more unnatural? The peaceful homosexuality practiced throughout the animal kingdom, or the hateful homophobia practice by just humans?

      • cipher

        Oh, that won’t convince him. He’ll just say animals don’t have a God-given moral sense so they can’t sin, or some such nonsense.

      • Access Unknown

        Stop blabbering ! I said disorder. Have you proved this is in order or having any natural or evolutionary goal for mankind?

        • EvolutionKills

          Let me stop you right there. You make the unwarranted assumption that evolution or natural selection has a goal. They do not.

          Also, I don’t have to ‘prove’ anything to you. You have attempted to make the claim that homosexuality is a disorder, and you have failed miserably, so I don’t have to prove you wrong. You have yet to prove your own position as true, so it need not be refuted; it collapses under the weight of it’s own baseless presuppositions. You make a bunch of claims, one stacked upon another, with no evidence for any of them. YOU have failed to make your case. Thus, I don’t have to prove shit to you; you don’t even have a position to be refuted.

          • Access Unknown

            You are miserable ! Your idea of life on earth is not more than an animal. You don’t even recognize universe abide certain laws and goal. You hopeless you have no meaning of your life. STUPID.

            • GCT

              What was it you said before? Oh yeah, I remember, it was, “Defeated person always end up with personal assault or mockery. Thank you for acknowledging.” Pot, kettle, etc.

            • baal

              I hope you’re trolling because the alternative is unthinkable.

              • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                не тролль, козел

                • baal

                  Gach, good thing the internet speaks russian. Goat! I agree, I find ‘goat’ in russian unthinkable.

        • RobMcCune

          Nature and evolution “in order?” Now who’s blabbering?

    • indorri

      Wow, a cached thought as the first sentence trying to insult the open-minded. I’m shocked.

      Hint: when nature tells me her goal, you will have a point. Until then, learn about the human foibles of anthropomorphism and realise how silly you sound saying “nature has a goal”.

      • Access Unknown

        Nature is busy in mockery like you guys huh? lol

        • indorri

          Unsurprising you didn’t understand me. I’ll be more explicit.

          Saying “nature has a goal” is like saying “water wills itself to go downhill”. Hydroelectricity, by your own criteria, mocks nature.

          And so would anything that didn’t have to do with fucking like bunnies from the time we hit puberty.

          If you take moral cues just by its own evolutionary advantage, we will have to kill off all of those with genetic diseases.

          Thankfully, however, we do not make the silly mistake of thinking “those who reproduce reproduce” (which is ultimately what evolution is) means “nature is a thing that wants to do things (which somehow coincide with my own morality, doncha know)”. Until you can actually get past this mental barrier, your arguments are tiresome and wrong. I’d recommend spending less time on patheos being wrong and actually trying to figure out why you’re wrong.

          • Access Unknown

            Miserable! Every wrong think he is right and other is wrong so stop suggesting hopelessly and deal with truth. Well this is my first day here!

            • indorri

              Look, I actually suggest you continue learning English. You don’t seem to have enough of a grasp on it to actually consider posting anything other than memorized talking points. It’s hard enough engaging in critical thinking in your native language, let alone one you barely have a grasp on.

              • Access Unknown

                Ok I will focus on learning English. But how miserable you guys are ? nature don’t have goal , evolution have no reason behind it. Even autopilot concept follow some rules and goals. Your existence on earth is miserable with no reason no meaning behind it and you admit this ! STUPID

                • GCT

                  Nature does not have goals. Nature does not infer purpose.

                  Evolution does not have goals. Evolution does not infer purpose.

                  The universe does not give us purpose. This is not the same as saying that there is no purpose to anything. Purpose is that which we give ourselves. Claiming that we must be miserable and purposeless because no god is out there is simply a non sequitur.

                • Willy Occam

                  We are each responsible for finding meaning in our brief existence here on this little speck of a planet in a nondescript galaxy that is just one of billions of others. If you want to waste what little time you have in this infinite expanse of time and space judging other people’s behavior by some ridiculous code based on your perception of “nature” and “reason,” then I’m afraid you are the one with the meaningless and miserable life.

    • GCT

      This is nothing more than a natural law argument, and fallacious to the core. You’re begging the question.

    • Rosie

      “Homosexuality in female is merely helping in masturbation of each other.

      As there is no real body penetration is involved its not legal sex.”

      So that’s why religious texts are mostly silent on the subject of lesbianism. It’s not actually sex. And here I thought it was because women have no souls. In that case I guess it’s not cheating on my husband if I make out with and get naked with a girlfriend, right?

      (Though in point of fact, since we are polyamorous, it’s not cheating so long as there’s full knowledge and consent of everyone involved…which includes my husband even if he’s not physically present at the time.)

    • Tainda

      Why do you people consistently go straight to the sexual part when it comes to relationships??

      The majority of homosexual relationships are about LOVE, same as any heterosexual.

      YOU are the disorder.

      • Gus Snarp

        The obsession of homophobes with sex is always telling.

    • Gus Snarp

      Sexual pleasure is largely irrelevant to propagation of some species, at least for the female. Just look at ducks and ask me if they’re enjoying that. I’m not so sure about cats either. Yet the female of many species, including humans, do derive pleasure from sex. You’ll find all sorts of arguments over why this is, and they’re mostly not worth going into since including humans involves sexism in the discussion and no one is really sure anyway. But suffice it to say that we do know for certain that sex in humans results in a release of oxytocin, a hormone that increases bonding and socialization. Due to this we also know that sex has a powerful natural role to play in creating strong relationships and social groups of the kind that have been essential to human survival and evolution. Among our close relatives, the bonobos, sex is the primary means of resolving conflict within social groups and insuring the cohesive function of the group. Gay and lesbian sexual activity is a huge component of this. It could even be argued that this bonding effect is a more important function of sexual pleasure than reproduction is, at least among bonobos, and quite possibly among humans as well.

    • RobMcCune

      Nature is not teleological, hence there is no natural “order” which you can measure homosexuality against. Furthermore nature does not constitute any kind of moral imperative, even if it were ordered, via the is-ought distinction.

      Being gay deny nature’s primary goal and its order to achieve goal and seek pleasure with alternative arrangement

      This is a base stereotype that tries to cast all homosexuals as hedonists.

      Being gay deny the moral responsibility of being a part of such honored process.

      Your post is pure bigoted propaganda trying to incite others and foster resentment against gay people by claiming they are denying responsibility for their own selfish pleasure. Your views are also authoritarian and conformist in their attempts make people duty bound to a certain way of life, regardless of the needs of individuals or how benign their actions are.

  • cipher

    Liberal Easterners support same sex marriage more than do white conservative Republicans in the South. I’m shocked.

  • kelemi

    To those who oppose the right to same sex marriage:
    Sorry your religion interferes with their freedoms. I like separation of religion and government.

  • Eli

    “Who are these 18% of us who don’t support marriage equality?! And what rationale do they give if it’s not based in any faith?”

    They’re not necessarily opposed to marriage equality. One problem that’s been bothering me about this survey is that I don’t like the idea of voting on other people’s rights, even if I support them. I’ve done it when marriage equality came up for vote in my state, but I still think it’s wrong that I did it (just preferable to banning it), and some of that 18% may be opposed to that just on principle.

    • Gus Snarp

      I’m confused. How do you think people got their rights enforced in the first place? The Bill of Rights was voted on. The Constitution was voted on. The UN Declaration of Human Rights was voted on. The 14th Amendment was voted on. Laws are created by vote in a democratic system and laws are the only way to protect people’s rights.

      I can’t imagine thinking that people have certain rights, but on some principle I’m not going to vote to ensconce those rights in law. That makes no sense to me. I guess maybe the thought is that they should already have these rights under existing law, so the court should just rule on it? I don’t really buy that. I’m fine with a court ruling in favor, but better to ensure the rights are delineated expressly, particularly when you look at things like how the religious right has responded to court decisions they disagreed with in the past. We need both, sensible court decisions and good laws to protect rights. And in my state, for example, there’s a constitutional amendment banning same sex couples from anything like marriage. I’d love for the Supreme Court to strike down that amendment, but I think it would be a much better thing and a stronger statement for the people of my state to vote to repeal that amendment and replace it with one expressly supporting the rights of same sex couples.

      • Eli

        I admit, I’m not sure what the alternative would be without just handing decisions down from some authority, but it just seems wrong to let a minority’s rights be dependent on the whims of a majority not affected by it. After all, was desegregation voted on? Women’s right to an abortion? No prayer in school? Yeah, it would be much preferably if people expressly supported other people’s rights, but to me it seems like I’d prefer the people have them as soon as possible over making a statement.

        • Japooh

          I think I understand what you’re saying, and I agree. No idea what alternative would be workable, but it kind of makes my skin crawl a little to be casting a vote about someone else’s rights.

      • 3lemenope

        The UN Declaration of Human Rights was voted on. The 14th Amendment was voted on.

        I get your point but it is extremely problematic as a blanket statement, and these last two examples highlight why.

        The Declaration wasn’t really people voting for their rights but sovereign states doing so; many of the countries represented (which collectively make up a solid majority of the total population of Earth) are not democratic in any real sense and none of them whatsoever had a mechanism by which their people chose their representation or their representative’s voting agenda at the UN. So it’s difficult to say that it was in any sense an exercise of a democratic system. Also it bears mentioning that the declaration is a document which lacks an enforcement mechanism, meaning that the vote taken, even if democratic, fails to provide the described rights in fact. It is best understood as an aspirational document.

        The 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, important as it is, likewise cannot be accurately described as the outcome of a democratic process. Solidly a third of the ratifying states were under military occupation at the time of consideration and ratification of the 14th was an explicit precondition of readmission to the Union, so it can’t be said that the states under those conditions freely chose to ratify, free choice being an important precondition of democratic systems. It is more accurate to say that the rights guaranteed by the 14th amendment were guaranteed the same way most rights ultimately are, with force and blood.

  • A3Kr0n

    I hate being lumped in with liberals.

    • William Dhalgren

      We aren’t all that thrilled about you stinking up the place either, sweetheart.

      • A3Kr0n

        Thanks for being awesome!

  • h2ocean

    A lot of non-religious people are just indifferent/don’t like religion, or may be atheist/agnostic, but are conservative or libertarian, but the kind of libertarian that is for individual liberty except for women’s reproductive rights and gay marriage.

    But regardless, 1 point different is definitely not meaningful.

    What I think is striking is the difference between never attending church and attending nearly weekly/monthly. This suggests that it isn’t just the crazies that are against it.

  • raerants

    I would love to see the for-against breakdown among those who are child-free.

    • Anna

      I did read a book recently that said childfree couples are less likely to be religious, and of course non-religious people are more likely to support marriage equality.

  • sbstarlite

    Sad to see religion and intolerance go so hand in hand but then “religion” was always the tool and expression of the insecure.

  • BrandonUB

    Who are these 18% of us who don’t support marriage equality?! And what rationale do they give if it’s not based in any faith?

    Naked bigotry seems the obvious answer. Atheists aren’t immune to it.

  • SJH

    Part of their reasoning of some of the nones is that they might believe that it is not the place of the federal government to define marriage. They might think that is the responsibility of the state. Obviously those that believe this are the conservative nones.

    • 3lemenope

      True. Although, speaking as a “conservative none” I find that explanation lacking, in that a person (like, say, myself) can support marriage equality just fine and only eschew certain proximate means, like federal legislative intervention, that conflict with other held political values. I can desire that something be made legal in all fifty states but simply not see a legitimate means within the system to make it so except the slow slog through state courts and ballot referenda that we currently endure.

      It requires that the conservative none read into the question some specific means for them to answer “no” even while personally supporting equality.

      • SJH

        Certainly we should justify our beliefs. If it is an issue of “equality” then you would certainly have to justify why a certain group of people would not be treated equally. There have been those that have.

        On the flip side, regarding this issue, your religion should really have little to do with what you think should happen legislatively. If marriage is seen as purely a religious institution then the government has no right to define it. If it is a civil institution as well then the government has every right and a person would have to give a non-religious reason to not enforce a person’s right to define marriage for themselves.

  • Michael W Busch

    I recall the Pew Forum numbers that 20% of portion of the US population that self-identifies as “atheist” also asserts a belief in a god – there was some confusion as to the meanings of the words.

    Could something similar be operating here? i.e. are we seeing the effect of a lot of people who aren’t religiously observant, but have not re-examined beliefs that were initially informed by religion?

  • Henry

    Ok, I said in an earlier post that not everyone should be allowed to have “that type of love” unless they can reproduce. Let me clarify something though. There is a type of love which I DO believe every human on the planet should have, and which every human on the planet CAN have, and that is the love of a father. The only type of love a human needs is not the love of a sex partner, but the love of a father, that is it.

    You guys have to understand something, when I am with my dad, there’s nothing else on the planet that I want.

    All other types of love have to be earned, the love of a father is the only one that all humans are entitled to and should be free.

    • RobMcCune

      Sorry, you two can’t reproduce. You two aren’t helping evolution so no love for you, it shouldn’t be allowed.

      </comeuppance>

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Ok now you’re just creeping us out.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      So confused. One should have to “earn” love of a mother, a friend, a sibling, a grandparent?

      Everyone should have friends who love them. Everyone should have family that loves them. These two groups can and should overlap; family is not just blood relatives, after all. We are social animals, and we need relationships in order to be mentally healthy. How does one “earn” love, and why is fatherly love better/more unconditional/absolutely required but other forms of love are not?

    • Anna

      Well, I’m baffled. Are you talking about a human father, or are you talking about your deity? If the former, why is a father’s love worth more than any other kind?

      • Michael W Busch

        And if the latter, how is this love and the existence of the deity doing the loving demonstrated?

    • Japooh

      Um, Henry? This gem is still pending below and lots of us have responded to it:

      QUOTE: You shouldn’t be allowed to have that type of love unless you can have children naturally.

      I say that as a Christian but I know atheists evolutionary biologists
      who feel the exact same way and the reason they think that is because
      it doesn’t help evolution.END QUOTE

      Before you start down a new path, why don’t you wrap up the first one, which you referenced here again? There are MANY responses to your original statement and you probably ought to address them before trying to move on. Changing the subject like this is just rude.

      I’m still waiting to hear from these atheist evolutionary biologists you talked to about this. Have you invited them to join us here yet? Should I make some popcorn while we wait?

      • UWIR

        You might want to hit the “edit” button on your post, and replace “QUOTE:” with blockquote in brackets and “END QUOTE” with /blockquote in brackets.

  • Frank

    If one rejects God why is it a surprise that one would reject Gods created order?

    I thought atheists claimed they were rational and intelligent. Still waiting for proof of that.

    • Michael W Busch

      Atheists don’t “reject God”. We simply say that there is no evidence for the existence of any god, and therefore reject the idea that any gods exist. I can’t reject God any more than I can reject Harry Potter – because neither exists.

      • Frank

        Ok I will rephrase just for you:

        If one doesn’t believe that God exists why is it a surprise that they don’t believe in Gods created order?

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          Let’s try this way:

          Those of us who don’t believe that God exists, and hence don’t believe that there is a God created order, wonder why other people, who, like us, don’t believe there is a God created order, would want to prevent two consenting adults from sharing their life together.

          You’ve got the “wonder why” going in the wrong direction, regardless of God.

        • Michael W Busch

          You still haven’t gotten it right. There are people who reject the idea that any god exists who also reject what you claim is “God’s created order”.

          And many other people reject what you claim is “God’s created order”, while still asserting the existence of a god. In particular, as you can see above 60% of US Catholics and 38% of US Protestants currently would vote to legislate marriage equality. That’s 45% of US Christians who agree that you are wrong.

          • Frank

            There is ignorance in every group of people.

            I won’t even bother to school you in the reliability of polls.

    • Japooh

      This from a guy who believes that an invisible entity with unlimited power created the ENTIRE universe and everything it contains. That’s not too silly, and I’d let it slide EXCEPT – you ALSO seem to think that out of all the stuff in the entirety of the universe, this creator entity is most interested in with one single species is doing with it’s genitalia.

      Now I ask you – in light of this, why would anyone on this board be at all concerned that you think WE are not demonstrating our intelligence and rationality?

      Pfft.

      • Frank

        Too funny. Thanks for supporting my point. Well done!

  • Me

    I’ve met one or two non religious people who simply think homosexuality is icky. I guess they don’t seem to understand that doesn’t justify refusing them rights. … :p

  • Sven2547

    Who are these 18% of us who don’t support marriage equality?!

    It’s under the Crazification Factor threshold. Allow me to quote an interview by John Rogers:

    Obama vs. Alan Keyes. Keyes was from out of state, so you can eliminate any established political base; both candidates were black, so you can factor out racism; and Keyes was plainly, obviously, completely crazy. Batshit crazy. Head-trauma crazy. But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him. They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgement. Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him. That’s crazy behaviour. I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population.

    Source Link

  • Terry Firma

    Funny how Gallup left out libertarians. They might have made the top of the list.

  • Aaron

    I’ve looked into the way they categorize people in these polls before (Not Gallup specifically but it sure looks like the same classification method) and “non-religious” simply means people who do not affiliate with a specific religious group. The majority in this category are Theists. I recommend checking out Pew’s polls about the religious views of different religious groups and they specifically have a subcategory for atheists/agnostics and the number is exactly what you’d expect: Only single digit opposition to gay marriage.

  • Sk3ptec

    Gay Couple Sues Church That Won’t Host Same-Sex Weddings

    And we wonder why religions have a problem with legal homosexual marriage?

    http://www.charismanews.com/world/40480-gay-couple-sues-church-that-won-t-host-same-sex-weddings

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Sigh. That’s in Great Britain. They have a completely different situation there because they had to give a sop to the Church of England in order to legalize equal marriage rights. As a result, it’s still not equal. Their situation doesn’t resemble that in the states.

      Yeah, two people filing a lawsuit is a good excuse for hundreds of millions to oppose civil rights. Sure.

      • Sk3ptec

        The point is, this is an example of the core underlying fear the Church has with the homosexual-marriage issue. I mean, who really cares what somebody does in their bedroom – seriously? Nobody. Do what you want. But the problem starts becoming evident when their “homo-choice” starts to seriously infringe on my freedom of religion.

        Honestly, there is a very real threat that once marriage becomes universally “legal” in America, churches will be forced, using hate-speech/hate-crimes legislation, (and under threat of fines, jail, losing licenses, tax-exempt status, etc) to perform marriages that go against the foundational beliefs of the faith. Truly this is the core issue, nothing more. Keep the GOV out of religion. It has nothing to do with ‘keeping someone from having homo-sex’, it’s all about keeping religion free.

        I know, I know, I know, it’s always said “we don’t want to make you or your church do anything, we just want the same rights as everybody else…”. Yeah, um, forgive me if I don’t believe that for a second. This article (my linked article) shows that’s not true. In England today – In America tomorrow. You know I’m right.

  • Yo

    A Catholic who claims in favor of same sex marriage is as rust is to iron. Doesnt mix! Catholics don’t support same sex marriage, period!

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Please Google “No True Scotsman” and then ask yourself why your argument doesn’t work.


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