Religion and the Rainbow Struggle: Does Religion Factor into Attitudes toward Homosexuality and Same-Sex Civil Unions in Brazil?
Ana Paula Verona, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)
Curtis Ogland, University of Texas at San Antonio
The provision of civil liberties to LGBT persons has become part of a global movement in societies across the world. In Brazil, a 2010 judicial ruling for the first time established the right for homosexual couples to enter into civil unions, despite the presence of widespread disapproval of homosexuality among the population and opposition from prominent religious groups. The following study examines whether religion may factor into the attitudes Brazilians hold toward homosexuality and same-sex civil unions. Using data from the Brazilian Social Research Survey, we find that the most restrictive views toward homosexuality and the strongest opposition to same-sex civil unions are most prevalent among devoted followers of historical Protestant, Pentecostal, and Catholic faith traditions, while at the same time adherents of Afro-Brazilian and spiritist religions, as well as those with no religious commitment, are inclined to assume a more tolerant moral posture toward such issues.