I like things shaken, not stirred, and the latest developments in religion v. gay rights certainly make for a stunning martini, darlings.
Jeffrey Lax and Justin Phillips, in a not-yet-published study for Columbia University, have found that states with higher Catholic populations offer more gay rights. That’s right, you read it correctly – more, more, more.
The study found that Catholic majorities favor health benefits, as well as hate crime and discrimination protections for their GLBT neighbors, but -- sad face -- oppose marriage equality and adoptions.
However, as Mark Silk from Spiritual Politics points out, recent numbers out of the American Religious Identification Survey might challenge the aforementioned aspect of the Columbia report, showing that six of eight states with more than 50% public support for marriage equality are also the six highest Catholic-populated states.
As a Catholic school alumnus, I’ve been embedded with what has arguably and often amounted to a gay rights “enemy.” From my time in bed with Catholics (pun intended) it's clear that these recent confusing statistics highlight an internal discrepancy in the faith’s approach to GLBT rights: on one side, at the heart of Catholicism lies a foundation of loving all human beings unconditionally sans judgment; while the rank and file of the Church insists on intolerance and vilification.
While it’s not clear if the latest statistics will get an Amen! from the GLBT community, I’m starting a countdown for the conservative spin on the findings to ensue in 3, 2, 1…