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Is Pastors' Support For Gay Marriage Increasing? Surprising Results Reveal What’s Really Happening

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Despite ever-shifting cultural tides showing greater general support for gay marriage, the vast majority of Protestant pastors remain firmly opposed to same-sex nuptials.

Simultaneously, the proportion of those supporting gay matrimony appears to be stalling, according to a new Lifeway Research study.

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The faith-based research firm found 75% of Protestant pastors oppose same-sex marriage, with 69% expressing strong opposition.

An additional 21% said they “see nothing wrong with two people of the same gender getting married,” a percentage that remains statistically unchanged. Consider that 24% expressed no moral qualms with same-sex weddings back in 2019.

The 21% found in the survey is an increase from the 15% who said the same in 2010, though growth has stagnated. An additional 4% of preachers said they’re unsure where they stand.

Meanwhile, evangelical preachers have held the line against same-sex marriages, with just 7% of self-identified pastors in this cohort expressing they see no moral issue with people of the same gender marrying. The proportion has remained below 10% since 2010.

Any initial growth in overall pastoral support was seemingly driven by Mainline pastors, who increased from 32% backing gay marriage in 2010 to 46% today. It should be noted this proportion was 47% in 2019 showing, again, a stagnation among the group where growth had been most pronounced.

Other ideological and denominational differences are also worth exploring.

While 53% of Methodists support same-sex marriage, lesser proportions of Presbyterian/Reformed (36%) and Lutherans (34%) agree. Just 5% of non-denominational Christians, 4% of Baptists, and 1% of Pentecostal preachers offer the same support.

On gender and age, too, profound differences exist, with female pastors far more likely (42%) than males (16%) to support gay nuptials. And while 27% of pastors between ages 18 and 44 back gay marriage, just 15% of those 65 and older agree (as do 22% of those aged 55 to 64).

This Lifeway survey’s data were collected from Aug. 29 to Sept. 20, 2023, among 1,004 Protestant preachers. Read more about the results here.

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About The Author

Billy Hallowell writes for CBN's He has been working in journalism and media for more than a decade. His writings have appeared in CBN News, Faithwire, Deseret News, TheBlaze, Human Events, Mediaite, PureFlix, and Fox News, among other outlets. He is the author of several books, including Playing with Fire: A Modern Investigation Into Demons, Exorcism, and Ghosts Hallowell has a B.A. in journalism and broadcasting from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York and an M.S. in social research from Hunter College in Manhattan, New York.