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Having been raised Catholic I am well aware of the reality that many Catholics - perhaps most, in fact - simply ignore the attempted dictates from the Vatican and its enforcers in bishoprics around the country. These Catholics put their conscience and modern knowledge ahead of the pronouncements of bitter old men in dresses who rarely have a clue about living in the real world, much less the modern world. A new survey shows that American Catholics are particularly independent when it comes to supporting gay marriage. It also shows that for the most part around the world areas with higher levels of education likewise are supportive of marriage equality. While Europe may appear an exception to this rule, one must remember that likely a majority of those raised in the Church no longer even go to Church and that the numbers are skewed towards the small flock of Catholics who still remain in the Church. Here are highlights from a piece in the Washington Post:
A new poll of Catholics worldwide by Spanish-language network Univision confirms something we have known for a while now. Despite the thunder from the Vatican against same-sex marriage, a majority of American Catholics support marriage equality.
Given the horrible treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Africa, it’s no surprise that 99 percent of Catholics on that continent are against same-sex marriage. Catholics in the Philippines (84 percent), Latin America (57 percent) and Europe (56 percent) also oppose marriage equality. But in the United States, 54 percent of Catholics surveyed “support marriage between two persons of the same sex.”
If you’re surprised by this then you’ll be surprised to know that Catholics in this country have been at the forefront of acceptance of same-sex relationships for years now. In June 2010, I wrote about how they (and men) were the best friends of the gays. According to a Gallup poll then, 62 percent called same-sex relationships “morally acceptable.”
In March 2011, The Post-ABC News poll asked about support of same-sex marriage. An astounding 63 percent of white Catholics thought it should be legal. That same month a poll from Public Religion Research Institute revealed that Catholics were more supportive of LGBT issues than the general population.
In short, the Univision poll shows once again that Catholics lead the way on same-sex marriage. Well, at least here in the United States.
It is also possible that the size of the sex abuse scandal in the American Church and the reality that there are literally daily disclosures of more crimes against children in which American bishops have been complicit has fueled the realization by American Catholics that the Church hierarchy has no legitimacy when it comes to morality. The Church's idiotic opposition to contraception has likewise fueled the practice of ignoring most of what the Vatican has to say.