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Listen, We Need to TalkHow to Change Attitudes about LGBT Rights$
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Brian F. Harrison and Melissa R. Michelson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190654740

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190654740.001.0001

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God and Marriage

God and Marriage

Activating Religious Identity to Influence Attitudes on Same-Sex Marriage

(p.68) 4 God and Marriage
Listen, We Need to Talk

Brian F. Harrison

Melissa R. Michelson

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 examines the power of religious primes. On a variety of measures, including church attendance, importance of religion, and belief in God, America is by far the most religious advanced country in the world and religiosity is one of the most robust in-group identities. Although tolerance has increased in recent years, religious people are also less tolerant of dissent and of extending civil rights to LGBT individuals. Biblical verses are often invoked and references to God and Jesus Christ feature prominently in debates on LGBT rights. One experiment finds that priming religious identity with an elite cue of support for marriage equality had a powerful effect on support for marriage equality among religious respondents. However, in another context more hostile to LGBT rights and where religious identity is more salient, a single religious prime was insufficient to generate attitudinal shifts.

Keywords:   religion, people of faith, pastor, God, same-sex marriage, marriage equality, LGBT rights

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