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More than half of Christians finally support same-sex relationships

Mayer Nissim June 29, 2017
church of england same-sex marriage

Demonstrators hold placards as they protest outside Church House, the venue of the Church of England's General Synod, in London on February 15, 2017.(DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Over half of Christians in the UK now support same-sex relationships, a new study has found.

The latest British Social Attitudes survey measured the percentage of people saying that same-sex relationships are “not wrong at all”.

In the 2016 figures, the statement had the support of 55 percent of Church of England/Anglican followers, 62 percent of Roman Catholics and 53 percent of Christians from other denominations.

A graph from the British Social Attitudes survey
A graph from the British Social Attitudes survey (NatCen Social Research)

This compared to 30 percent for non-Christians of various faiths, and 76 percent of those who say they have no religion.

When the survey was conducted in 2012, the numbers were 31 per cent for Church of England/Anglican, 28 percent for Roman Catholic, and 37 per cent for other Christians.

For the overall UK population, 64 percent of people say that same-sex relationships are “not wrong at all”.

These findings seem to mirror those recently published regarding Christians in the US, where a study carried out by the Pew Research centre found that two-thirds of Americans are now in favour of equal marriage laws.

67 percent of Catholics and 68 percent of mainstream Protestants back same-sex marriage equality.

While the majority of white evangelical Protestants still oppose same-sex marriages, the acceptance rate has grown 21 percent in the last decade from a 14 percent up to 35 percent now.

“Attitudes to sex before marriage, same-sex relationships, abortion and pornography have all become more liberal,” read the 34th British Social Attitudes survey report.

Related: 10 things you’ve always wanted to ask a guy who’s been through gay conversion therapy

“While people who identify as religious, older people and those without a formal education are less liberal, there are signs this is changing.”

It continued: “There has also been a significant increase in liberal attitudes towards same-sex relationships since the introduction of same-sex marriages in 2014; the proportion saying that same-sex relationships are ‘not wrong at all’ is now a clear majority at 64 percent, up from 59 percentin 2015, and 47 percentin 2012.

“Looking further back to when the question was first asked in the 1980s an even starker picture emerges. In 1983 only 17 percent were completely accepting of same-sex relationships.

“Attitudes hardened further during the late 1980s at the height of the AIDS crisis; in 1987 just 11 percent said same-sex relationships were ‘not wrong at all’.

“At that time three-quarters (74 percent) of British people thought same-sex relationships were ‘always’ or ‘mostly’ wrong, a view that has fallen to 19 percent today.”

More: british social attitudes, British Social Attitudes survey, Church of England, roman catholic, same sex relationships

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