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New Study Shows Growing Divide Between Mormons And Evangelicals On LGBT Issues

Lee Hale
The Conference Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah.

New research shows that Mormons are unique in their views toward the LGBT community when compared to other faiths. While the majority oppose same-sex marriage, they also oppose discrimination against LGBT people.

In a study released this week by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), there’s a section labelled “Mormon Exceptionalism.”


While Mormons are about right in line with conservative Evangelical Protestants when it comes to same-sex marriage — only 40 percent are supportive — that’s where the similarities end. Nearly 80 percent of Mormons support laws that protect LGBT people.

The head of PRRI, Robert Jones, said a 2015 anti-discrimination bill that passed in Utah is evidence of this. He believes that, in part, set them on a path different than their white Evangelical "cousins."

Another area where Mormons differ from Evangelical Protestants involves wedding cake. Evangelicals, no matter their age, support small businesses’ right to refuse service to gay customers. But with Mormons, there is a generational break.

"Younger Mormons [are] much more likely than older Mormons to oppose these religiously based refusals to serve LGBT people," said Jones.

More than 50 percent of Mormons under the age of 30 are opposed to religious based refusals, compared to Mormons over the age of 65 who are generally in favor.


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