Newswise — WASHINGTON, D.C. – Public Religion Research Institute will host a teleconference on Tuesday, March 22, 2011, to release a major new research report of Catholic attitudes on gay and lesbian issues. The new report offers the most comprehensive national portrait to date of Catholic attitudes on gay and lesbian issues, and includes previously unreleased data from PRRI’s monthly Religion and Politics Tracking polls.

Catholic scholar Michele Dillon, professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire, is among the select group of national experts who will discuss the new research during the teleconference.

Among the report’s key findings:

* Catholics are more supportive of legal recognitions of same-sex relationships than members of any other Christian tradition and Americans overall. * Defining same-sex marriage as a civil marriage dramatically increases support among Catholics. * Beyond same-sex marriage, Catholic support for rights for gays and lesbian people is strong and slightly higher than the general public. * Compared to the general church-going public, Catholics are significantly less likely to hear about the issue of homosexuality from their clergy, but those who do are much more likely to hear negative messages. * Compared to other religious groups, Catholics are significantly more likely to give their church poor marks on how it is handling the issue of homosexuality. * Catholic Attitudes on Gay and Lesbian Issues

WHO: Dr. Robert P. Jones, CEO, Public Religion Research Institute

Daniel Cox, Research Director, Public Religion Research Institute

Dr. Michele Dillon, professor and chair of Department of Sociology at the University of New Hampshire; author, Catholic Identity: Balancing Reason, Faith, and Power (Cambridge University Press, 1999)

Dr. Stephen Schneck, professor and chair of the Department of Politics at Catholic University; director of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at Catholic University

WHEN: Tuesday, March 22, 10:30 a.m. EDT

CALL-IN INFORMATION: 877-760-6922, Call Title: “Catholic Attitudes on LGBT Issues.” Please RSVP to Shannon Craig Straw at [email protected] to reserve your spot and to receive the conference code.

The report was funded by the Arcus Foundation, with additional support for underlying research from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund and the Ford Foundation.

Public Religion Research Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and education organization specializing in work at the intersection of religion, values and public life.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.

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