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More on evangelicals shifting views on same-sex marriage

by Brad A. Greenberg

May 22, 2012 | 11:28 am

After President Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage, I mentioned Cathleen Falsani’s “Great Gay Awakening” piece from the Huffington Post.

Christianity Today, which has the best pulse on evangelical Christians, also discussed the shifting sands of evangelical attitudes toward same-sex marriage, focusing more on surveys than liberalizing voices. Sarah Pulliam Bailey and Tobin Grant reported:

With changing attitudes toward homosexuality comes greater acceptance of same-sex marriage as a legal right. When the survey asked in the early 1990s if “homosexual couples should have the right to marry one another,” most Americans disagreed. By 1998, however, attitudes began to change. Opposition among evangelicals dropped from 90 percent to 76 percent within the same decade. The drop among non-evangelical white Americans fell from 68 percent to 46 percent. In 2010, those disagreeing that gay couples have a right to marry shrank further. Still opposed, two-thirds of evangelicals disagree that gay couples have the right to marry, compared to three in ten of other Americans.

A recent poll from LifeWay Research asked, “Do you believe homosexual behavior is a sin?“Overall, Americans are evenly split with 44 percent saying yes, 43 percent saying no, and the remaining saying they are not sure. Among evangelicals, however, 85 percent said “homosexual behavior is a sin.” The LifeWay poll also asked whether knowing that a church taught that homosexuality was sinful would make people more or less likely to attend. Half of those who believe homosexuality is sinful said that they would feel more positively toward a church that believed homosexuality was sinful.

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While evangelicals appear to be moving toward greater acceptance of marriage as a legal right, they still oppose the idea of same-sex marriage.

The why is what I don’t understand.

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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