While public support for same-sex marriage has reached all-time highs, the nation remains extremely divided as to whether gays should actually have sex with each other.
According to a new Pew poll on religion in public life, exactly half of the respondents said they consider “homosexual behavior” sinful, a five-percentage-point increase since May 2013. White evangelicals and black protestants are particularly down on gay sex, with more than 75 percent of each group viewing a sexual encounter among homosexuals as a sin.
At the same time, gay marriage is favored by a 49 percent to 41 percent margin.
Also, on the question of whether businesses such as caterers and florists should be forced to provide their services at same-sex weddings, again Americans were split, with 49 percent saying vendors should be required to serve at gay ceremonies, while 47 percent said they should be allowed to refuse.
“We are not super surprised by this [poll],” Rachael DeCruz, spokeswoman for the Pride Foundation, tells Seattle Weekly. “It points to the fear people have of behavior they don’t understand.”
Still, progress has been made. A decade ago, for example, just a third of the people supported legalization of gay marriage, while 55 percent saw homosexuality as sinful.
The recent Pew poll was based on telephone inquires conducted Sept. 2 to Sept. 9 with 2,002 adults over the age of 18.