The Ozanne Foundation has released the results of a new YouGov poll.
Here is a link to the research results summary with graphics.
This has been reported in the Telegraph: ‘Most’ Anglicans believe gay couples have right to marry, YouGov poll suggests.
Click here for chart of Anglican Men Under 65 vs Over 65 and Anglican Women Over 65 vs Over 65.
The full text of the press release (without diagrams) is copied below.
SAME SEX MARRIAGE – RAPID CHANGES MEAN THAT ONLY A THIRD OF CHURCH OF ENGLAND SUPPORTERS NOW BELIEVE SAME SEX MARRIAGE IS WRONG.
Fast changing attitudes within society and the Church of England have led to a rapid decline in the number of people believing same sex marriage is wrong, according to a new opinion poll. Nearly half of Church of England members now believe same sex marriage is right, with well over two-thirds of those under 50 believing it is right, despite the Church of England’s official stance against same sex relationships.
The Poll, conducted last week by YouGov, repeated a question asked about same-sex marriage in 2013 and 2016, and shows a marked increase in the number of Anglicans believing same-sex marriage is right (from 38% in 2013 to 48% in 2020) and a marked decrease in numbers believing it is wrong (from 47% in 2013 to 34% in 2020).
The results show that those who identify as Anglican in England lag well behind the general public in their views, with the majority of British respondents (60%) in support and only a quarter (24%) against. That said, well over half of Anglican women (53%) are affirming compared to only 41% of Anglican men. Results are highly age dependent with a marked difference between Anglicans aged over 65+ (30% right, 48% wrong) to Anglicans aged 25-49 (71% right, 17% wrong), with even Anglicans aged 50-65 being strongly now in favour (52% right, 30% wrong).
The YouGov research surveyed attitudes amongst 5169 people in total across Great Britain, including 1171 Anglicans in England. The results show some regional variation with those in London more affirming, where over two thirds (68%) supported same- sex marriage. Results amongst the general public are also skewed by age, with those aged 18-24 being twice as likely to approve as those who are over 65+ (74% vs 37%).
The 2020 poll was commissioned by the Ozanne Foundation, which works with religious organisations around the world to eliminate discrimination and prejudice based on sexuality and gender. Commenting on the results the Foundation’s Director, Jayne Ozanne – a prominent gay evangelical within the Church of England – who had also commissioned the previous 2016 You Gov poll said:
“These results show that those opposed to same-sex marriage are now clearly in the minority, and that a substantial group within the Church of England believe same sex marriage is right. This shows the urgent need for the Church of England hierarchy to recognise and respect the clear views of a significant proportion of its members, which are steadily increasing as time goes by. To pretend that this is an issue on which many have not yet formed a view is to misunderstand the reality of what is happening in our pews. It will be interesting to see how the Living in Love and Faith report is received by those who have given such a strong message of support for same-sex marriage.”
Commenting on the results Rt Revd Paul Bayes, the Bishop of Liverpool and Chair of the Foundation, said:
“These results provide a challenge to us in leadership within the Church of England to ensure that we understand the views of the people we serve. Attitudes are indeed changing quickly, and we must be open to what the Holy Spirit is saying to us through them if we are to be an effective witness of God’s love to the nation.”
The results come just a few weeks after the Archbishops apologised for the House of Bishops’ recent “pastoral statement” on civil partnerships, which condemned sex outside heterosexual marriage. The statement had caused 3750 people to sign an open letter to the Archbishops, organised by Jayne Ozanne and three other Church of England members, that stated the “Church had become a laughing-stock to the nation”.