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Democratic Values, Religiosity, and Support for Same-Sex Marriage in Latin America

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Michelle L. Dion
McMaster University.
Jordi Díez
University of Guelph.
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Latin America has been at the forefront of the expansion of rights for same-sex couples. Proponents of same-sex marriage frame the issue as related to human rights and democratic deepening; opponents emphasize morality tied to religious values. Elite framing shapes public opinion when frames resonate with individuals’ values and the frame source is deemed credible. Using surveys in 18 Latin American countries in 2010 and 2012, this article demonstrates that democratic values are associated with support for same-sex marriage while religiosity reduces support, particularly among strong democrats. The tension between democratic and religious values is particularly salient for women, people who live outside the capital city, and people who came of age during or before democratization.

Copyright © University of Miami 2017


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