NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The percentage of Americans who believe that homosexuality is a sin has decreased significantly in a year, according to a recent survey released Thursday by LifeWay Research, a Christian-oriented firm.
The November 2012 survey of adults in the United States found 37 percent affirm a belief that homosexual behavior is a sin – a statistically significant change from a September 2011 LifeWay Research survey asking the same question. At that time, 44 percent answered, “Yes.”
In contrast, the percentage of Americans who do not believe homosexuality is a sin remains nearly the same between the two surveys – 43 percent in September 2011 and 45 percent in November 2012. Seventeen percent in the November 2012 survey said, “I don’t know;” an increase of 4 percent over the September 2011 survey.
The poll results reflect a a considerable shift in attitudes from the previous year, according to researchers.
According to Reverend Cindy Andrews-Looper of Holy Trinity Community Church in Nashville, whose congregation has a significant number of LGBT persons, the polling data was not a shock.
In an interview with The Tennessean, Andrews-Looper said that being LGBT person isn’t any more sinful that being left-handed.
“Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn anyone,” she said. “To use the gospel to condemn anyone is missing the point.”
Researchers also noted that persons who answered that they believe homosexuality is a sin also attend church at least once a week or identify themselves as Evangelical. Those who never attend religious services were more likely to say they do not believe homosexual behavior is a sin (71 percent).