NEW YORK (JTA) – U.S. Jews are overwhelmingly supportive of same-sex marriage, according to a new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute.
Of the 724 Jews surveyed, 47 per cent said they strongly favour allowing same-sex couples to marry legally and 30 per cent said they favour it. Nine per cent of respondents said they oppose gay marriage, and the same percentage said they strongly oppose it.
The survey, which had its results released on Wednesday, drew on 40,000 interviews among a random sample of Americans from April 2014 to early January 2015.
After Buddhists, Jews were more likely than any other religious group to support gay marriage. Among the survey respondents, 84 per cent of Buddhists favoured gay marriage, followed by Jews and the religiously unaffiliated, 77 per cent; mainline Protestants (Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Unitarians), 62 per cent; and Catholics, 61 per cent.
Those opposed to gay marriage outnumbered supporters among Jehovah’s Witnesses, with 75 per cent opposed; Mormons, 68 per cent; and white evangelicals, 66 per cent.
Overall, support for same-sex marriage rose sharply from 2003, when Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legalize gay marriage. Then, less than one-third of Americans supported gay marriage and 59 per cent opposed. By early 2014, 53 per cent supported gay marriage and 41 per cent were opposed.
Early 2014 survey data showed support for gay marriage highest in the Northeast, at 60 per cent, and lowest in the South, 48 per cent. Politically, gay marriage had support levels in 2014 of 64 per cent among Democrats, 57 per cent among independents and 34 per cent among Republicans. The 2014 survey also showed a significant age gap, with 69 per cent of millennials supporting gay marriage compared to 37 per cent of those aged 68 and older.