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article imageReligious think-tank: More Christians support gay rights

By Andrew John     Jul 1, 2010 in Lifestyle
The religious think-tank Ekklesia says more Christians are identifying as gay-supporting than in previous decades. The UK-based organization has published its findings ahead of Saturday’s London Pride event, which Christian groups will be attending.
Both evangelicals and Catholics seem to be going against received opinion and finding a Biblical justification for more liberal positions, the think-tank notes.
“Christian groups plan a visible and united presence at Saturday’s festival as ‘Christians Together at Pride’,” says Ekklesia, noting the “development of groups across the spectrum of Christian belief, including evangelical organisations such as Courage UK and Accepting Evangelicals, as well as the Catholic group Quest.
They pointed out that a number of Christians welcomed a decision in April to allow religious elements in civil partnerships, while last year the Quakers became the first major Christian denomination to resolve to carry out same-sex marriages.”
Ekklesia says some Christians have hardened their views on gay marriage, but “others traditionally aligned with a ‘conservative’ position have stood up for legal equality despite their own difficulties with accepting same-sex relationships.”
Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill
It cites examples such as “the support given by the Evangelical Alliance Ireland for the introduction of same-sex civil partnerships, and the opposition to the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill by the British evangelical group Fulcrum.”
Symon Hill, Ekklesia’s associate director, says in a press release: “Christian differences over sexuality are complex and nuanced. We should avoid crude caricatures such as the image of two blocks always fighting each other. What we can say is that while certain Christians opposed to homosexuality and bisexuality have become more hardline and vocal, the trend appears to be firmly against them.
“The increasing Christian acceptance of same-sex relationships is highlighted by the image of liberal, evangelical, Catholic and other Christians marching together at Pride. In recent years, the small number of Christians who turn up to protest against Pride have been vastly outnumbered by the Christians participating in it.
“Of course, many Christians still find same-sex relationships difficult to understand or accept. But many who are in this position are genuinely open-minded and seem to be increasingly alienated by the rhetoric of the hardliners.”
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