God and Marriage: The Impact of Religious Identity Priming on Attitudes Toward Same-Sex Marriage
Abstracttype="main"> We hypothesize that priming a shared in-group identity can lead to openness to attitudinal change, even on highly polarized issues. Specifically, we test whether priming a shared identity as a religious person can generate willingness to voice support for same-sex marriage. We conduct a randomized survey experiment using the SocialSci platform, exposing religious and secular respondents to religious and anonymous primes about same-sex marriage. Individuals who are religious and who are exposed to the treatment prime are more likely to say that they support marriage equality and would vote for a ballot initiative in their state that would allow same-sex marriage. Despite widespread opposition to marriage equality among people of faith, having that religious identity primed through an elite religious cue has a significant and often dramatic effect on attitudes toward marriage equality.