90 Percent of Protestant Clergy Against Homosexual Union

Mainlines Pastors Split on Issue
( [email protected] ) Jul 07, 2003 05:54 AM EDT

The Ellison Research survey, conducted on 568 protestant clergy, showed 90 percent of church ministers opposed homosexual marriage. The poll was taken in light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Lawrence et al v. Texas case in which the court struck down Texas’ law against homosexual sodomy.

Ron Sellars, president of the Arizona-based Ellison Research said the survey was released to provide a context about what ministers really think.

"We hear so much information about the individual denominations or individual church leaders who are celebrating the (Lawrence et al v. Texas) decision, who are protesting the decision and who are fighting for homosexual rights or fighting against homosexual issues," Sellers said. "We see a lot of those things on an individual level, and it's really hard to have a perspective."

The survey taken from ministers across all denominations also showed 84 percent of clergy thought homosexual couples should not be allowed to adopt children. However, when the statistics were limited to “mainline” denominations such as Presbyterians, United Methodists and Episcopalians, the stance on homosexuality showed less lucidity.

72 percent of the mainline pastors think homosexuals shouldn't be allowed to marry, and 60 percent don't think they should be allowed to adopt.

The "mainline churches are the liberals," said Peter LaBarbera, senior policy analyst at the Culture and Family Institute, an affiliate of Concerned Women for America.

"These churches have gotten away from the Bible. The Bible teaching is quite clear," she said.

48 percent of the mainline ministers said homosexuality was not sinful because it was genetic. Fifty-two percent thought homosexuality was sinful and a matter of choice, the Ellison survey indicated.

"This is sad. It's because of the influx of all the propaganda about a gay gene," LaBarbera said. "This has had an effect, and now, a lot of people think that homosexuals can't change and aren't responsible for their behavior."

"I don't know what's causing some of those ministers to say it's perfectly normal and there is nothing wrong with it, but [homosexuals] shouldn't be allowed to do all these things," Sellars said. "I would have to assume it is just one of the reasons for all of the controversy in the mainline churches. A lot of these ministers don't have a consistent belief system."

51 percent of the mainline pastors were also shown to “not knowingly” let a homosexual become a member of the church. However, according to Sellars, the information does not clearly portray the situation of the churches.

"Just from my experience with working with these churches, I would say in some cases there are some pastors, especially among the conservative pastors, a feeling that they want (homosexuals) to come to church because they can reach out to them," he said. "They want to try to help them change by becoming straight or at least avoiding homosexual activity by leading a life of celibacy."

"This is going to be a political war," he added. "The tidal wave is coming."