Religious Responses to Marriage Equality: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Religious Responses to Marriage Equality

1st Edition

By Luke E Perry


142 pages | 33 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138633612
pub: 2018-05-10
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The Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) ended a 20-year political battle over same-sex marriage in the USA. The ruling in favor of a constitutional right for gays and lesbians to marry reflected growing social acceptance and political rights for gays and lesbians. At the same time, America remains a deeply religious country and many religious organizations have long opposed same-sex marriage. How do religious organizations interpret, process, and respond to shifting attitudes and public policy toward the LGBT community?

Examining how religious groups in America have responded theologically and politically to the legalization of same-sex marriage, the book provides case studies from across the American religious spectrum to explore how each group understands same-sex marriage and has reacted theologically, socially, and politically to its new standing as a constitutional right. Each case study focuses on formal statements made by church leaders, incorporates original data gathered from interviews with regional and local religious authorities, and analyzes existing polling data of adherents at large.

Offering a comprehensive examination of religious responses to marriage equality in the USA, this book will interest scholars and students in the fields of religion and politics, civil rights, social change, and public policy.


"Social change can be a confounding topic to study in meaningful and comprehensive ways. Perry’s work makes excellent use of detailed case studies to show how sections of society interact with changing social norms. The religious responses show as much about the evolving nature of American politics as they do the individual traditions." - Christopher Cronin, Associate Professor of Political Science, Methodist University

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - The Advancement of Marriage Equality

Chapter 2 - Evangelical Protestants and Marriage Equality

Chapter 3 - Mainline Methodists and Marriage Equality

Chapter 4 - Mainline Presbyterians, Episcopalians and Marriage Equality

Chapter 5 - Roman Catholics and Marriage Equality

Chapter 6 - Religious Minorities and Marriage Equality

Conclusion - Understanding Religious Responses to Marriage Equality

About the Author

Luke Perry is professor and chair of the Department of Government and Politics at Utica College, and director of The Utica College Center of Public Affairs and Election Research. Perry was a graduate fellow at the University of Massachusetts where he earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science with expertise in American politics and comparative politics. A Fulbright Scholar, Perry has lectured at universities throughout Europe and worked with various organizations, including the Washington Center, Junior Statesmen of America, the Kellogg Foundation, and the U.S. Peace Corps. Perry’s current research focuses on U.S. elections, the presidency, and religion and politics.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Religion and Politics

This series aims to publish high quality works on the topic of the resurgence of political forms of religion in both national and international contexts. This trend has been especially noticeable in the post-cold war era (that is, since the late 1980s). It has affected all the ‘world religions’ (including, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism) in various parts of the world (such as, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa).

The series welcomes books that use a variety of approaches to the subject, drawing on scholarship from political science, international relations, security studies, and contemporary history.

Books in the series explore these religions, regions and topics both within and beyond the conventional domain of ‘church-state’ relations to include the impact of religion on politics, conflict and development, including the late Samuel Huntington’s controversial – yet influential – thesis about ‘clashing civilisations’.

In sum, the overall purpose of the book series is to provide a comprehensive survey of what is currently happening in relation to the interaction of religion and politics, both domestically and internationally, in relation to a variety of issues.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Marriage & Family