According to a new YouGov online survey, over half of Anglicans believe that same-sex marriage is “right” despite the church’s opposition to the practice.
The survey, which was conducted between February 22 and 27 of this year, found that 55 percent of self-identified Anglicans support same-sex marriage, an increase in Anglican support from previous years. In 2013, only 38 percent of Anglicans said same-sex marriage was ‘right.’ Just two years later, in 2015, support increased to 45 percent. Support continued to rise, and by 2020, 48 percent said they supported same-sex marriage.
Conversely, the recent findings show that just 29 percent of Anglicans said same-sex marriage is “wrong,” a significant decrease from 2013, when 47 percent said it was wrong. According to The Christian Post, between 15 and 19 percent of Anglicans said they “don’t know” if same-sex marriage is right or wrong, a percentage that has remained unchanged since 2003.
The survey also found that Anglican females (62 percent) were more likely to back same-sex marriage than Anglican men (44 percent). Regarding Anglicans by age, an overwhelming 73 percent of Anglicans between the ages 25-49 say that same-sex marriage is “right,” followed by 64 percent of 18–24-year-olds, 57 percent of 50-64-year-olds and 64 percent of Anglicans over 65.
The Ozanne Foundation, the LGBTQ advocacy organization that commissioned the survey, expressed joy over the increased Anglican support for same-sex marriage.
“These results show that an overwhelming majority of those who identify as Anglican in England believe that same-sex marriage is right, underlining the urgent need for the Church of England hierarchy to bring forward proposals to accept and celebrate same-sex relationships,” Jayne Ozanne, an LGBT church campaigner and former member of the Church of England’s Archbishop’s Council, said in a statement.
“We have waited long enough – indeed, it is over five years since we were promised a ‘new radical Christian inclusion’ by Archbishop Justin [Welby],” she added.
“To deal with that disagreement, to find ways forward, we need a radical new Christian inclusion in the Church,” he said at the time. “This must be founded in scripture, in reason, in tradition, in theology; it must be based on good, healthy, flourishing relationships, and in a proper 21st century understanding of being human and of being sexual.”
Meanwhile, critics such as university lecturer Sam Margrave asked why the Church must be influenced by public opinion to change its position on particular issues instead of the Bible.
“What is the Biblical basis for such a change?” Margrave tweeted. “The majority of the public also support abortion, sex before marriage and capital punishment. Do you also want to see the Church change its policies on those issues based on public opinion?”
About 1,165 self-identified Anglicans participated in the YouGov survey. Overall, 5,120 adults in the United Kingdom participated in the survey.
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.