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Study: Most Latinos support marriage equality

Latino Americans are not more or less likely to support queer rights such as marriage equality as other Americans, according to a recent study.

The Social Science Research Solutions and the Latino advocacy organization National Council of La Raza, found that 54 percent of Latinos support gay marriage, which is one percentage point higher than the general population, according to a recent Gallup poll. And by even wider margins, poll responders said they support policies and laws protecting gays and lesbians against hate crimes and discrimination related to jobs and housing.

With more than 50 million Latin voters, they represent the fastest-growing group in the nation and are traditionally viewed as family-oriented and strongly religious. Politicians are watching closely where Latin public opinion stands on social issues, such as same-sex marriage.

“There is a clear misperception among the general population about where Latinos stand” on queer issues, David Dutwin, vice president of SSRS and author of the report, said in a statement.”In reality, as society is evolving on LGBT issues and becoming more accepting of this community, so too are Hispanics.”

La Raza is also pressuring President Barack Obama to issue an executive order banning discrimination in federal employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

“The EO is important to millions of Hispanic LGBT community members,” La Raza vice president Eric Rodriguez, said in a statement. “It protects a group of people who have a long history of being marginalized and gives them hope. That is why we urge you to sign an EO on this matter as soon as possible.”

The study found that foreign-born Latinos who later came to the United States tend to be less supportive of queer rights than those who were born in the country. Latino men, Republicans and those who don’t know or associate with anyone who is gay are also more likely to oppose gay rights.

According to the study, more than 60 percent of Hispanics in the U.S. identify as Catholic. Church teachings and church leaders strongly oppose same-sex marriage. However, 57 percent of Catholic Latinos said they support marriage equality and 43 percent of Christian faith support gay marriage.

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