Since the Supreme Court ruling which made it legal for same-sex couples to marry, there has been an overall decrease in people opposing it across religious lines. For the first time in history, a majority of American Muslims are fine with same-sex marriages, but the same cannot be said of evangelical Christians, according to Newsweek.
The findings from the Public Religion Research Institute’s 2017 American Values Atlas, published Tuesday, showed that 51 percent of American Muslims now support gay marriage, while 34 percent oppose it. It is a sharp increase from four years ago when findings showed that 51 percent of American Muslims were opposed to gay marriages. The number has similarly decreased for black Protestants, who, up until four years ago, opposed same-sex marriages with a majority. While 54 percent of black Protestants were opposed to same-sex marriages in 2014, now the number stands at 43 percent.
However, it is predominantly the white conservative population of America which still doesn’t seem totally comfortable with extending marriage rights to gay couples. According to PRRI findings, 48 percent of evangelical Christians don’t support gay marriages and 53 percent of Mormons—a large majority of whom are white—are also opposed to same-sex marriages. Trump’s base is widely believed to comprise of evangelical Christians.
The group which is most opposed to gay marriages, however, is not even the evangelical Christians or Mormons. It is Jehovah’s Witnesses, a group which is 36 percent white, 32 percent Hispanic and 27 percent black in the United States. The group’s dismal support for equal rights for gay people stands at a measly 13 percent.
Overall in the United States, there has been an increase in support for gay marriages. In 2014, nearly 52 percent of Americans were supportive of same-sex marriages, which has now increased to 63 percent. All major racial groups are now in support of same-sex marriages, which is a massive achievement for the country. Having said that, however, conservatives are still largely opposed to same-sex marriages, with 51 percent of Republicans opposing it in the latest findings, while 42 percent of Republicans support it.
In the 2016 presidential elections, too, Republicans refused to express support for same-sex couples, and characterized the act of marrying a person from the same sex as an attack on the “foundations of our society.”
Donald Trump, who has claimed that he supports LGBT rights, has often resorted to the vagaries of his base, a large part of which is comprised of white Christian evangelicals. Even in his support of LGBT rights, Trump identified Islam as being an oppressor, which seems like it is not the case on the evidence of the current findings. If anything, Trump must make sure that his own base is more receptive to the idea of equal rights for gay people.