Survey: Evangelicals Increasingly Countercultural on Same-Sex Issues

Religion Today

Survey: Evangelicals Increasingly Countercultural on Same-Sex Issues

As Americans who believe in a "one man, one woman" definition of marriage become a minority for the first time ever, evangelical Christians have actually become more opposed to same-sex marriage, according to a recent survey by the Barna Group, Christianity Today reports. The poll reveals that as Americans have become more aware of the LGBTQ community's agenda, a majority of Americans have likewise become more accepting of legal recognition of same-sex unions and granting these unions equal rights. Catholics, other religious groups, and religious "nones" have shown large increases in support for legal recognition of gay rights, but churchgoing Protestants -- and evangelicals in particular -- have maintained firm opposition to the legal measures on social and moral grounds. More than a third of practicing Catholics think same-sex relationships are morally sound, a marked increase since 2003, but those who identify as practicing Protestants show the least moral support for same-sex marriages, at only 15 percent. Evangelicals pronounced an even stronger rejection of the morality of same-sex relationships, with the percentage of disapproving respondents jumping from 95 percent to 98 percent. However, numbers of evangelicals supporting same-sex couples' ability to adopt increased from 12 percent in 2003 to 18 percent in 2013. Pew found that for the first time in history, a (slim) majority of Americans support legalization of gay marriage. While only 22 percent of white evangelical Protestants favored same-sex marriage in 2013, the number who supported "legal agreements" recognizing same-sex unions more than doubled in the last 10 years. Barna Group president David Kinnaman noted that evangelicals maintain their beliefs regardless of cultural trends. "Some will say this demonstrates evangelicals' principled behavior; others will claim this proves their repressive social views," he said. "Either way, the data shows that evangelicals remain countercultural against a rising tide of public opinion."


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