Why Are More Evangelicals Supporting Gay Marriage?

A recent Pew survey reported that 47% of young white evangelicals support gay marriage.

Same-sex marriage has been framed in civil liberties terms. The language used in the survey is based on and reinforces what Sprigg calls the “gay identity paradigm.”  This model considers homosexuality as a fixed trait like skin color and ties the gay rights struggle to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, a connection he believes rests on faulty premises.

 

Polls showing rising numbers of evangelicals supporting same-sex marriage show the influence of culture and failures of churches, according to two experts interviewed by The Christian Post.

A recent Pew survey reported that gay marriage support among white evangelicals has more than doubled, from 14 percent to 35 percent, over the last 10 years, plus, about half, 47 percent, of young white evangelicals support gay marriage.

Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. said in an interview with The Christian Post Wednesday that he thinks the specific wording was geared to produce results showcasing greater support for redefining marriage. Respondents were asked if they favor or oppose “allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally.”

“The use of the word ‘allowing’ appeals to a libertarian streak which is strong in many Americans,” Sprigg said.

“Most Americans believe people should be ‘allowed’ to live their lives as they see fit — even if those choices fall short of a social or moral ideal. The opposite of ‘allowing’ is ‘forbidding,’ and most people do not want the law to ‘forbid’ people from making choices about their private relationships.”

Same-sex marriage has been framed in civil liberties terms. The language used in the survey is based on and reinforces what Sprigg calls the “gay identity paradigm.”  This model considers homosexuality as a fixed trait like skin color and ties the gay rights struggle to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, a connection he believes rests on faulty premises.

Some evangelicals say they support gay marriage “legally” but not necessarily theologically, but the poll questions do not explore that dimension, he added.

Alex McFarland, an apologist and a director of the Center for Christian Worldview and Apologetics at North Greenville University, said in a phone interview with The Christian Post Wednesday that the growing Christian support for gay marriage is multi-faceted.

 

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