Gay Marriage Support Among White Evangelicals Has Doubled, but 59 Percent Still Oppose: Pew

People worship at Harvest America at the University of Phoenix Stadium on June 11, 2017. | (Photo: Harvest America)

Americans' support for gay marriage has hit an all time high, according to a Pew Research Center survey, which says it also found "dramatic shifts" in opinions among evangelicals.

The survey, published on Monday, found that white evangelicals largely remain opposed to same-sex marriage, with 35 percent in favor, and a 59 percent majority opposed.

That being said, white evangelicals' support for gay marriage has more than doubled over the last decade, when it was only 14 percent.

"Views on same-sex marriage have shifted dramatically in recent years," Pew said, noting that as recently as 2010, 48 percent of all Americans opposed the legalization of gay marriage, compared to 42 percent who were in favor.

The latest survey, conducted between June 8–18 with the sample size of 2,504 respondents, carrying a margin of error of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points, notes that 62 percent of all respondents now back the Supreme Court's legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015, compared to only 32 percent who disagreed.

Younger white evangelicals continued the trend of being more in favor of gay marriage than the older population.

The survey found that 47 percent of white evangelical millennials and those born after 1964 favor gay marriage, with only 26 percent of older white evangelicals supporting it.

Pew noted that gay marriage support has risen across all religious groups in recent years, with black Protestants favoring gay marriage at 44 percent today, compared to only 24 percent in 2007.

"Wide majorities of Catholics (67 percent), white mainline Protestants (68 percent), and —  in particular — the religiously unaffiliated (85 percent) support legal marriage for same-sex couples," Pew said.

What is more, the Republican Party, whose members have traditionally opposed gay marriage, has also been experiencing major shifts. The June survey found that for the first time ever, Republicans are nearly split on the issue, with 48 percent opposing gay marriage, and 47 percent stating that they support it.

White people in general were most supportive of gay marriage at 64 percent; Hispanics backed the practice at 60 percent; while black Americans remained the most divided on the topic, with 51 percent in support of gay marriage, and 41 percent opposed.

"In the new survey, majorities across all educational groups now say they favor same-sex marriage, but levels of support are highest among those who have graduated from college: 79 percent among those with postgraduate degrees and 72 percent among those with bachelor's degrees," Pew added.

Michael Brown, host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program, said in an op-ed published in The Christian Post last week that no matter how many people who say they are Christians embrace homosexuality, it "doesn't make it true."

"First, to argue that greater acceptance of homosexuality by churches is proof of spiritual growth is like arguing that greater acceptance of obesity by doctors is a proof of medical progress. The reverse is actually true," Brown argued.

"Second, the Bible often warns us against compromise and apostasy, both moral and creedal. And in every generation, there have been heretics who have departed from the faith. Should we therefore celebrate every heretical doctrine and practice as proof of our spiritual maturity?" he asked.

Follow Stoyan Zaimov on Facebook: CPSZaimov

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