Arguments opposing same-sex marriage are often made on religious grounds. In this line of work, we examine the correlates of religious opposition to same-sex marriage.

In six studies conducted in the U.S. and Canada (combined N=2,110), we found that religious opposition to same-sex marriage was explained, at least in part, by conservative ideology and sexual prejudice. In Studies 1 and 2, we found that the relationship between religiosity and opposition to same-sex marriage was mediated by explicit sexual prejudice. In Studies 3a and 3b, we observed that the mediating effect of sexual prejudice was linked to conservative preferences to maintain the status quo. Finally, in Studies 4a and 4b we examined the ideological underpinnings of religious opposition to same-sex marriage in more detail by taking into account two distinct aspects of conservative ideology. Results revealed that resistance to change was a more important factor than opposition to equality in explaining religious opposition to same-sex marriage.

Under review: Van der Toorn, J., Jost, J. T., Packer, D. J., Noorbaloochi, S., & Van Bavel, J. J.  (2016). In Defense of Tradition: Religiosity, Conservatism, and Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage in North America. Manuscript under review.