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.
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
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.
"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