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The present research was designed to incorporate religiosity into a conceptual framework relating essentialist beliefs and attitudes toward gay men and lesbians and to elucidate causal relationships among these variables. Study 1 extended previous research, finding that believing homosexuality to be an immutable and biological trait was associated with more positive attitudes toward gay men and lesbians, while perceiving sexual orientation categories as discrete was associated with more negative attitudes. Religiosity was strongly associated with both essentialist beliefs and attitudes. Study 2 tested a framing manipulation in which participants read about a civil-rights-style gay rights organization or a gay rights organization dedicated to religious inclusion. Results indicated that, among religious participants, the religious inclusion framing resulted in significantly more positive attitudes than civil rights framing; the religious inclusion frame also resulted in increased immutability beliefs. Study 3 was designed to detect indirect or delayed change in immutability beliefs by utilizing a two-phase design that added a persuasive article about the essential nature of homosexuality to the design of Study 2. Although the article was successful in changing participant beliefs about the immutability of homosexuality, the results of the first phase of this study led to a reinterpretation of findings from Study 2. When compared to a control condition, participants in the religious frame condition did not demonstrate attitude change. Instead, participants were counterarguing the civil rights framing of gay rights activism, resulting in more negative attitudes in that condition. Study 4 improved upon the two-phase design of Study 3 with methodological enhancements and a comparison of only the religious inclusion frame and a control frame. Again, the religious frame did not result in any immediate attitude change. However, the results did show evidence of indirect change, such that the persuasive article regarding the nature of homosexuality was most effective for religious participants who had previously encountered the religious inclusion frame. Moreover, the change in essentialist beliefs resulted in subsequent attitude change. The role of religiosity in moderating the effectiveness of persuasive efforts, the indirect attitude change seen in Study 4, and the broader implications of the current research are discussed.