UK study reveals that 61% of Christians back equal rights for gay couples

The results of a survey released today say 61% of people in the UK who identify as Christian back fully equal rights for gay couples. The 2011 Ipsos MORI study explored the “beliefs, knowledge and attitudes” of people who identified as Christian after the nationwide census last year. The survey was conducted on behalf of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science and is reported by PinkNews with quotations from Richard Dawkins and George Broadhead of the Gay Humanist charity the Pink Triangle Trust.

61% of respondents agreed that gays should have the same rights in all aspects of their lives as straight people.

Only 29% said they disapproved of sexual relationships between gays. Nearly half said they did not actively disapprove.

The data raises the question of how widely held religious beliefs on gay issues are by the UK’s self-identified Christian population. Only 10% said they would draw on religious teaching to make a moral decision compared with 54% who would act according to their own “inner” moral sense.

There is clearly strong support for LGBT rights despite the hostility to these from Anglican, Catholic and other Christian Churches.

The survey results confront the main denominations with the growing gulf amongst people of faith between what the churches present as their orthodox, traditional beliefs about homosexuality and the attitude of the majority in the pews.

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