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March 24, 2009Leadership, Research

Mainline Protestants: Views of Homosexuality

As you know, I often try to highlight religious research data. There has been much data on mainline denominational leadership as of late. Last week, it was the Mainline Protestant Clergy Survey. Now, it is the Pew Forum.

The Pew Forum is sharing some research that shows most mainline Protestants say society should accept homosexuality. Perhaps this is not "new news," but the strength of opinion is surprising, at least to me.

Members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, two mainline Protestant denominations, are considering whether to allow the ordination of non-celibate gays and lesbians as members of their clergy. The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life, finds that majorities of both denominations say that homosexuality is a way of life that should be accepted by society. Among mainline Protestants overall, 56% say homosexuality should be accepted, compared with only about one-in-four evangelical Protestants and four-in-ten members of historically black Protestant churches.

The chart is a helpful way to compare and contrast views by group:

The same research also showed that 64% of "Evangelicals" think homosexuality should be discouraged by society. Check out the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey. The interactive sections make looking through the data easy.

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Mainline Protestants: Views of Homosexuality