I have to admit that I’ve never seen any statistics like this before. And it does resonate with me, based on my own work with Christian men who contend with same-sex attractions.
Yet, there’s something about seeing the numbers that still jolts me a bit, even though I’ve suspected it for some time.
If the following research can be replicated, it would be difficult to argue that it’s only a matter of gay rights.
A new study by Mark Regnerus (associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin) reports that Christians who support gay marriage are far more likely to hold more permissive views in all of the following categories, as well:
- premarital cohabitation
- No-strings attached sex
- Marital infidelity
- Three-way sexual relationships
- Abortion rights
And we’re not talking small margins of difference in these areas, either. These differences between churchgoing Christians who oppose same-sex marriage versus churchgoing Christians who support same-sex marriage are multiples of 2x to 13x more permissive:
To be fair, the study’s author is by no means a stranger to controversy related to research surrounding same-sex issues, based upon his previous writings and research. But then again, any researcher in this area is bound to be criticized, regardless which side of the hotly contested debate they were on.
As far as I can tell, Mark’s sample size and methodology for this study seems solid, using a population-based sample (meaning that it represents a mix that actually reflects the nation as a whole).
By the way, the “churchgoing Christians” group who support same-sex marriage are practically indistinguishable from the population average in the United States.
Additionally, “gay and lesbian Christians” as a group were even more permissive in each of these categories than the “churchgoing Christians who support same-sex marriage” group, and the “gay and lesbian non-Christian” group was more permissive even still.
It seems, perhaps, that support for gay rights may not be as cut-and-dried a civil rights issue as some have suggested.
Instead, it may suggest a much broader moral conundrum for believers who embrace gay marriage.