Religion And Endorsement Of Same-Sex Marriage: The Role Of Syncretism Between Denominational Teachings About Homosexuality And Personal Religious Beliefs

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Denise Levy Ph.D., Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Dept. of Social Work (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:

Abstract: Endorsement of same-sex marriage has increased in recent years; however, opposition continues and is often based on religious ideology. Previous research investigating the influence of religion on support for same-sex marriage has ignored the possible impact of individuals' endorsement of denominational teachings about same-sex sexuality. This study examines the role of religious tradition, religiosity, and individual endorsement of denominational teachings concerning homosexuality on support for same-sex marriage among self-identified heterosexual college students. It is one of the first studies to use syncretism, or the congruence between individually held religious beliefs and denominational teachings, as a variable. We found that syncretism plays a small but unique role in explaining attitudes toward same-sex marriage. We discuss implications for future research and for advocacy efforts to legalize same-sex marriage.

Additional Information

Woodford MR, Walls NE, Levy DL. Religion and Endorsement of Same-Sex Marriage: The Role of Syncretism Between Denominational Teachings About Homosexuality and Personal Religious Beliefs. Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion. 2012; 8:1-29. Publisher version of record available at:
Language: English
Date: 2012
same-sex marriage, religious ideology, religiosity, homosexuality, denominational teachings, Christianity, attitudes, sexuality

Email this document to