Savi Hensman has written this article, published by Ekklesia: Few British Christians think same-sex relationships ‘always wrong’.
Only a sixth of British Anglicans agree with the Church of England’s official view on same-sex relationships, the 2016 British Social Attitudes Survey reveals. Opinions among other Christians too have shifted hugely.
Just 16 per cent of Anglicans now believe that sex between two adults of the same sex is always wrong. The percentage is even lower among Roman Catholics – just 13 per cent, similar to the average of 12 per cent for all faiths and none.
This rises to 19 per cent for other Christians and 37 per cent among other faiths, while it is just five per cent for those of no religion. However Natcen, which carries out the survey, warns that the numbers of Catholics and non-Christians surveyed was low, so their figures may not be wholly reliable.
The wording of the question is also unclear, making it harder to interpret the results. People are asked whether sexual relations between two adults of the same sex are always wrong, mostly wrong, sometimes wrong, rarely wrong or not wrong at all.
But choosing ‘mostly wrong’, ‘sometimes wrong’ or ‘rarely wrong’ might have nothing to do with gender. For instance some Christians might opt for ‘sometimes wrong’ because they disapprove of casual sex or infidelity, for opposite-sex or same-sex couples…
The original press release from the National Centre for Social Research is here: British Social Attitudes reveals Britain wants less nanny state, more attentive parent which includes the following:
…Free to love: Britain’s sexual liberalisation continues unfettered with views on everything from sex before marriage to same-sex relationships and adult films becoming more liberal than ever before. Most striking has been the shift in the views of Britain’s Christian population and the closing of the gap in views between younger and older people.
- Sex before marriage: Three quarters (75%) now say sex before marriage is “not wrong at all”. This stood at under two thirds (64%) in 2012. 73% of Anglicans agree that sex before marriage is not at all wrong, up from 54% only four years earlier and around double the proportion who said this in 1985. In 2005 the gap between the youngest and the oldest people on whether sex before marriage is “not wrong at all” was 53 percentage points, it has now halved to 25 points.
- Same-sex relationships: Attitudes towards same-sex relationships have become significantly more liberal with 64% of people now saying that they are “not wrong at all”, up from 59% in 2015, and 47% in 2012. Over half (55%) of Anglicans say same-sex relationships are “not wrong at all”, up from 31% only four years previously.
And the full text of the relevant chapter of the study is downloadable from here.
Two tables which show the more detailed breakdown referenced by the Ekklesia article can be seen here.