Latino Catholics Trending Toward Marriage Equality
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by Michael A. Jones July 23, 2010 02:30 PM (PT)
Sticking with the faith in America posts for today, check out the latest poll coming out on marriage equality. Its focus? Latino Catholics, and whether or not they support the right of gays and lesbians to get married.
We've known for quite some time now that, when it comes to people in the pews, there's a huge divide between Catholics and the Church hierarchy — bishops, priests, Vatican leaders, etc. While the latter category issues statements denouncing marriage equality as a threat to the fabric of humanity, the former category — those people that make up the heart of the Catholic Church — recognize that the LGBT people in their lives deserve full equality now.
Among Latino Catholics, it's no different. According to the poll, 57% of Latino Catholics would vote for the legalization of same-sex marriage. Majority? You bet. Symbolic of the larger trend of regular Catholics taking a stand for equality despite what the church leaders might say? Absolutely.
According to Joseph Palacios, a professor at Georgetown, the fact that Latino Catholics support marriage equality in such large numbers indicates that LGBT rights are increasingly being seen as an issue important to family.
"Latino Catholics orient their social lives around the family and extended family," Palacios writes at Newsweek. "It is not surprising that Catholics in general and Latino Catholics in particular, as the Public Religion Research study shows, see that parents learn about gay issues from their children. Their moral and ethical judgments are primarily made through this social reality rather than abstract pronouncements from their church leaders."
Perhaps the U.S. Catholic of Conference Bishops should take that line to heart. They're not the moral and ethical voice of the church. Instead, it's the kids and children and aunts and uncles and moms and dads that form the backbone of families that influence people most.
Meanwhile, check out the hater-ation coming out of the American "Family" Association's Bryan Fischer. Upon hearing this news, he went on a tirade that not only should offend LGBT people, but Catholics and Latinos as well. He suggested that Latinos weren't really pro-family because too many Latina women have children out of wedlock, and then he suggested that evangelicals were superior to Catholics because they don't get all wishy-washy on the subject of gay marriage.
Ah, the American "Family" Association acting at its most obnoxious self again.
Meanwhile, it's worth mentioning that two of the most recent countries to legalize same-sex marriage, Portugal and Argentina, have Catholic populations through the roof. Again, witness the disconnect between the people running the Church, who harsh on marriage equality at every opportunity, and the people in the pews who increasingly get that marriage is an institution that should be open to all, and that if God were walking around the Earth today, he/she would probably be officiating at same-sex weddings.
*Michael Jones is a Change.org Editor. He has worked in the field of human rights communications for a decade, most recently for Harvard Law School.