Majority of US Muslims now support same-sex marriage, polling suggests

A majority of US Muslims are in support of same-sex marriage, polling has suggested.

The news comes from the Public Religion Research Institute’s  2017 American Values Atlas, which surveyed more than 40,000 Americans from across the United States about their views on social issues throughout 2017.

The polling finds that despite continued opposition from organised religious leaders, believers themselves have rapidly shifted on same-sex marriage since the Supreme Court brought marriage equality to all 50 states in 2015.

The PRRI notes: “Most religious groups in the U.S. now support same-sex marriage, including overwhelming majorities of Unitarians (97 percent), Buddhists (80 percent), the religiously unaffiliated (80 percent), Jewish Americans (77 percent), and Hindus (75 percent). Roughly two-thirds of white mainline Protestants (67 percent), white Catholics (66 percent), Orthodox Christians (66 percent), and Hispanic Catholics (65 percent) also favor same-sex marriage.

“A slim majority of Muslims (51 percent) favour same-sex marriage, but only 34 percent are opposed; 15 percent offer no opinion on this issue.”

Opposition to marriage equality among ethnic minority religious groups has also collapsed.

PRRI notes: “Black Protestants have moved from solid opposition to a plurality of support for same-sex marriage. In 2013, nearly six in ten (57 percent) black Protestants opposed same-sex marriage.

“Today just 43 percent oppose it, compared to nearly half (48 percent) who support it. Hispanic Protestants have moved from solid opposition to same-sex marriage to being divided over the policy.

“In 2013, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of Hispanic Protestants opposed same-sex marriage. Today, 43 percent favour the policy, compared to 45 percent who oppose it and 13 percent who offer no opinion.”

Majority opposition is now confined to white evangelicals, 58 percent of whom oppose same-sex marriage, alongside 53 percent of Mormons and 63 percent of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Overall, 61 percent of Americans support equal marriage according to the poll, with majority support in 44 of the 50 states.

Just one state, Alabama, has a clear majority opposed to equality, but support was under 50 percent in Mississippi, Tennessee, West Virginia, Louisiana, and North Carolina.

The polling also makes clear that Americans are overwhelmingly supportive of non-discrimination laws that would protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing.

Seven in ten (70 percent) Americans favour such laws, and fewer than one-quarter (23 percent) of Americans oppose them – despite Republicans in Congress blocking progress on the issue for more than a decade.

Six in ten (60 percent) of Americans are also overwhelmingly opposed to ‘freedom to discriminate’ laws to give small business owners the right to refuse service to gay and lesbian people.