Ordaining gay clergy and embracing new liturgies to celebrate same-sex unions, the Episcopal Church is part of a growing movement in American churches toward more active acceptance of gay and lesbian members. A new study out of Duke University shows that more than half of the country’s houses of worship are gay-friendly, a 10 percent increase since 2007. From the Huffington Post:
The statistics, which represent a sharp uptick in acceptance of gay and lesbians in religious communities, are part of Duke University’s latest National Congregations Study, which was previewed this week and will be released in full early next year.
“Compared to our study in 2006-2007, there’s been a ten percent increase among congregations that say gays and lesbians in committed relationships can be full-fledged members,” said Mark Chaves a professor of sociology at Duke University who led the study. “Last time we asked these questions, it was 38 percent of congregations that let gays and lesbians be full members.”
The study reports that close to one in three congregations allow gay and lesbian members to hold voluntary leadership posts. While it’s encouraging to see evidence that these numbers are going in the right direction, obviously a lot of churches have a long way to go toward being inclusive. Read more.