NEWS: Same-Sex Marriage: A Question of Religious or Civil Rights?

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Same-sex marriages (SSM) are seen as a highly divisive issue

Proposition 8 has been a constant in news headlines over the past few months. For many, from both secular and religious backgrounds, same-sex marriages are seen as a highly divisive issue, with committed supporters on both sides. However, Matthew Harwood (The Guardian) has recently suggested such divisions may be softening, particularly amongst young, religious Americans.

A recent survey carried out by ‘Faith in Public Life’ has concluded, that particularly among younger people (aged 18-35); tolerance for gay marriage is growing. The results of this survey indicate that 60% of those questioned, agreed with same-sex marriages, albeit with the proviso that churches would not be impelled to take part. It would seem that for many young people, ‘these values transcend the realm of gay issues and have become part of their larger view of the way America should look.’ Arguably, the issue of same-sex marriage is becoming related less to religion, instead focusing on the matter of civil rights.

[the black community] has not always been true to [Martin Luther] King’s vision of a beloved community. We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them.

Electoral results by county

Electoral results by county

It has been alleged that many Black Americans do not equate gay rights with their own historic struggle. However, Barack Obama’s recent assertion that the black community ‘has not always been true to [Martin Luther] King’s vision of a beloved community. We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them,’ may go some considerable way in redefining the issues.

Related articles:

Same Sex Marriage/Civil Unions
By Brian Heaphy
From The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology

Moral Theology
From A New Dictionary of Religions

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