Duke University has released a new study that claims churches have become more willing to welcome homosexuals as members and place them in leadership positions, according to The Blaze.
According to a news release, data from the newest wave of the National Congregations Study show that from 2006 to 2012, the number of congregations accepting gay and lesbian members increased from 37.4 percent to 48 percent.
In that time span, the number of congregations open to gays and lesbians in volunteer leadership roles rose from about 18 percent to 26.4 percent.
“The increasing acceptance of gays and lesbians is a well-known trend in America,” Chaves said. “Churches are no exception,” said Mark Chaves, a Duke professor of sociology, religious studies, and divinity.
The study also found that while conservative white Protestant churches were more accepting of gay and lesbian members in 2012 -- up to 23.5 percent from about 16 percent six years prior -- there was no increase in the acceptance of homosexuals in church leadership positions.
“Congregations reflect general cultural trends, but they also reflect divisions on this issue,” Chaves noted.
Publication date: September 12, 2014