A new survey from the Public Religion Research Institute shows that one-third of millenials who leave their religion do so because of the anti-gay policies that religion has. The data looks at a 10 year change in American attitudes about same-sex marriage and LGBT issues, noting a 21% - increase in the support for gay marriage among Americans, between 2003 and 2013.

17% of Millennials said that the negativity surrounding gay marriage and LGBT issues was "somewhat important" in their departure from their religion. Another 14% said it was a "very important" factor in their departure. An overwhelming majority—70%—of Millennials believe that religious groups are "alienating young adults by being too judgmental on gay and lesbian issues."

Robert P. Jones comments:

"While many churches and people in the pews have been moving away from their opposition to LGBT rights over the last decade, this new research provides further evidence that negative teachings on this issue have hurt churches' ability to attract and retain young people."

Leadership Journal has consistently navigated this difficult topic with both pastoral wisdom and cultural savvy. Be sure to catch "The Gospel in an LGBT World," "Gay Marriage and Christian Volatility," and our buzz-worthy recent issue on "Sexual Tensions."

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