Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

Research Shows Tolerant Trend Among Religious

June 23, 2010

A study just released from the Public Religion Research Institute dispels many sterotypes about religious people’s views on social issues.  The study, called “Beyond the God Gap,” focused on four Christian groups that the researchers say make up 75 percent of the U.S. population: white evangelical Protestants, white mainline Protestants, African-American Protestants, and Roman Catholics. In all four groups, the researchers found that views on homosexuality and other topics were more progressive than commonly believed. An article by the authors in Huffington Post sums up some key findings.

Key findings in relation to homosexuality:

  • White Evangelical Christians: Although most White evangelicals hold negative views of homosexuality, they nonetheless 63% said they support protection from employment discrimination for gay and lesbian people and 67% believe that they should be able to serve in the military. They oppose legal recognition for same-sex couples, but the picture among young evanglical Christians is different A majority of 52% support either civil unions or legal marriage for same-sex couples.
  • White Mainline Protestants: Among this group, 86% support the right of gay and lesbian people to serve in the military and 78% support employment non-discrimination protections. On the issue of marriage, mainline Protestants are more supportive than other religious groups and the general population, but fall well short of majority support. More than one-third (34%) of mainline Protestants support allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, and nearly the same number (36%) support civil unions for same-sex couples. Nearly half (48%) of young (age 18-34) mainline Protestants support marriage for same-sex couples.
  • African-American Protestants: More than 6-in-10 (63%) black Protestants support laws that would protect gay and lesbian people from job discrimination (Pew RLS 2007). However, a  majority (57%) oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt children. And nearly half say they support either marriage (27%) or civil unions (20%), compared to a similar number (48%) who do not favor any legal recognition for same-sex couples.
  • Roman Catholics: Catholics are strong supporters of most policy issues concerning gay and lesbian people. Approximately three-quarters (77%) of Catholics support allowing gay and lesbian people to serve in the military, and laws that would protect gay and lesbian people from job discrimination (75%). A solid majority (55%) of Catholics believe that gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to adopt children. On the issue of relationship recognition for same-sex couples, Catholic views largely mirror the general public. Approximately 6-in-10 Catholics support either marriage (30%) or civil unions (31%), compared to approximately one-third (32%) who say there should be no legal recognition of a gay couple’s relationship.

HRC Supports Theologians Studying LGBT Issues

June 14, 2010

The Human Rights Campaign announced today that it has awarded 14 scholarships to doctoral level theological students whose work focuses on the intersections of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender concerns with theology. The recipients included three Chicago-area scholars.

Rev. Julianne Buenting is a doctoral student at Chicago Theological Seminary. Her work focuses on the intersection between queer studies and Christian practical theology, specifically worship and ritual practice.

Brandy Daniels will be beginning her PhD work in Theology, Ethics and Human Sciences at Chicago Theological Seminary this fall. She intends to study Christian theology, gender and sexuality.  

Barbara Schwartz will begin her doctoral studies this fall at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary pursuing a PhD in theology, ethics and history.

Recipients of the $15,000 awards will also be attending a five-day summer institute at the Vanderbilt University School of Divinity.

Research: Inequality Harms Mental Health

April 19, 2010

Here is one more reason to support same-sex marriage rights: A new study shows that LGBT individuals have a higher rate of psychiatric illnesses in states with same-sex marriage bans. Read more in the Windy City Times.