Aging Churches and the Enduring Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage

Daniel A. Cox December 1, 2022

Grey haired woman singling hymn in pew sitting down in front of wood paneled wall and other congregants.

As religious congregations age, are they being left behind?

After the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2015 I think a lot of people (myself included) thought the issue was settled. Public support has never been higher. More than seven in ten (71 percent) Americans favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry according to Gallup’s most recent polling. And most Americans see this as a sign of progress. Six in ten (61 percent) Americans say the legalization of same-sex marriage has been good for society. Young adults are even more supportive. Three-quarters of young adults say this has been a positive development for American society, including more than half who say it has been “very good.”

Yet, despite its popularity, there remains a strong undercurrent of organized opposition to same-sex marriage in American churches. Only 40 percent of Americans who attend religious services at least once a week favor it. Most of those regular worshippers do not.


Continue Reading on American Storylines


Survey Reports

Red leather-bound Qur'an on a wooden table with prayer beads and a light blue surgical mask draped over top.

Lindsey Witt-Swanson, Jennifer Benz, Daniel A. Cox
January 5, 2023

Faith After the Pandemic: How COVID-19 Changed American Religion

The Survey Center on American Life at AEI teamed up with researchers at NORC at the University of Chicago to measure religious affiliation and attendance both before the pandemic (2018 to March 2020) and again in spring 2022, revealing who remained at the pews, who returned to the pews, and who left.

Brent Orrell, Daniel A. Cox, Jessie Wall
October 25, 2022

The Social Workplace: Social Capital, Human Dignity, and Work in America

Why is work, more often than not, the center of life for Americans? Explore the social dimension of work and the role it plays in building human connections and strengthening social capital.

Karlyn Bowman, Daniel A. Cox
October 4, 2022

Gender, Generation and Abortion: Shifting Politics and Perspectives After Roe

Three months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the issue of abortion continues to garner widespread public attention.

Daniel A. Cox
July 28, 2022

The Democratic Party’s Transformation: More Diverse, Educated, and Liberal but Less Religious

The Democratic party has experienced a lot if change in recent years, where is this change most prominent in the days leading up to 2022 midterms?