Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on ReligionInstitute for Studies of Relgion
IJRR :: 2012 Volume 8 :: Article 4
2012 Volume 8, Article 4
Religion and Endorsement of Same-Sex Marriage: The Role of Syncretism Between Denominational Teachings About Homosexuality and Personal Religious Beliefs

Author: Michael R. Woodford (University of Michigan), N. Eugene Walls (University of Denver), and Denise L. Levy (Appalachian State University)

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Endorsement of same-sex marriage has increased in recent years; however, opposition continues and is often based on religious ideology. Previous research investigating the influence of religion on support for same-sex marriage has ignored the possible impact of individuals’ endorsement of denominational teachings about same-sex sexuality. This study examines the role of religious tradition, religiosity, and individual endorsement of denominational teachings concerning homosexuality on support for same-sex marriage among self-identified heterosexual college students. It is one of the first studies to use syncretism, or the congruence between individually held religious beliefs and denominational teachings, as a variable. We found that syncretism plays a small but unique role in explaining attitudes toward same-sex marriage. We discuss implications for future research and for advocacy efforts to legalize same-sex marriage.

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