While only one-in-three Americans (35%) favor gay marriage, a majority expresses support for civil unions. A recent Pew poll finds that 54% of Americans favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to enter into legal agreements giving them many of the same rights as married couples — a figure that is nine percentage points higher than it was in October 2003. As with gay marriage, white evangelicals (66%), black Protestants (62%) and frequent church attendees (60%) stand out for their opposition to civil unions. But sizable majorities of white mainline Protestants (66%), Catholics (63%) and seculars (78%) support civil unions. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.