LifeWay Study Finds Mainline Protestant Pastors Are Driving Support for Same-sex Marriage in the U.S.

A majority of Protestant pastors in the United States still disapprove of same-sex relationships, but the overall approval has grown largely due to mainline pastors, a new study by LifeWay Research reveals.

Only about 8 percent of self-identified evangelical Protestant pastors say they have no issues with same-sex marriage, and their percentage has remained the same since 2010, according to a new survey by the Nashville-based research group.

However, support among self-identified mainline Protestant pastors for same-sex marriage has jumped from a third (32 percent) in 2010 to almost half (47 percent) in 2020.

The study suggests that Presbyterian or Reformed (49 percent), Methodist (47 percent), Lutheran (35 percent) and Christian/Church of Christ pastors (20 percent) are more likely to see nothing wrong with same-sex marriage than Baptist (3 percent) or Pentecostal pastors (1 percent).

Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, says the data should be interpreted cautiously. “The stability in the views of evangelical pastors means either there has been no growth in acceptance of same-sex marriage among them or the pastors that no longer have moral reservations about it no longer identify as evangelical.”

Last week, the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan consecrated its first openly lesbian bishop, the Rev. Bonnie A. Perry. Anna Stania, director of Communications for the diocese, told The Christian Post that Perry’s candidacy received no opposition because of her sexual orientation. “We have experienced an overwhelming outpouring of joy, grace and excitement since her election and consecration.”

The study also indicates that white pastors (27 percent) are more likely to see nothing wrong with same-sex marriage than African American pastors (15 percent) or pastors of other ethnicities (6 percent).

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Anugrah Kumar