Tags: Gay Marriage | evangelicals | opposition | priority

Gay Marriage Opposition Weakens Among Evangelicals

By    |   Friday, 14 November 2014 10:30 PM

Same-sex marriage opposition is no longer a top priority for many evangelical leaders and Republican politicians as gay marriage becomes legal in more states, CNN reports.

"Is it time to differentiate between religious ceremony and civil ceremony?" Jim Daly, the president of Focus on the Family, told CNN. "Civil ceremony to the Christian community is no different than getting your car registered."

Conservative commentator and RedState.com editor Erick Erickson insists "the fight should not be given up on upholding the several thousand-year-old definition of marriage."

But, he concedes to CNN: "The courts are probably very quickly going to undo that."

"Behind the scenes, a lot of evangelical leaders inside and outside of politics are laying the groundwork for religious liberty and conscience protections," he said.

Yet Daly, whose daily Focus on the Family radio broadcast reach more than 2.9 million listeners weekly, insists the legalization of gay marriage in America isn't a "fait accompli."

He told CNN his vision for the evangelical movement is focused instead on reaching out to, rather than attacking or rejecting, other segments of society — what he calls taking a "gracious attitude."

Russell Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, is also pressing for a more open approach, calling for Christians to "love your gay and lesbian neighbors."

"If we don't recognize [the culture shift], we're clueless as to what is happening," Moore told CNN.

About 43 percent of white evangelical millennials support same-sex marriage, according to a 2014 Public Religion Research Institute poll, while 7 in 10 white evangelicals overall oppose same-sex marriage, CNN reports.

The generational split shows up even more clearly among Republicans, CNN reports: nearly two-thirds of Republicans under 30 favor same sex marriage compared with 39 percent of all Republicans, according to the Pew Research Center survey.

"When Mitt Romney was the nominee of the party, could you have imagined that there could be a Republican nominee the next time around who is in favor of same-sex marriage? Even I couldn't have imagined that," said Republican strategist and LGBT activist Margaret Hoover.

Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman -- who has a gay son and has endorsed same-sex marriage in 2013 -- says he considering a run for the White House in 2016.

Yet there's still plenty of opposition to same-sex marriage among Republicans and evangelicals, CNN notes.

Vincent Harris, a 26-year-old digital strategist who's worked for conservative Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee, said gay marriage remains "very potent to the Republican electorate."

And Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, called an evangelical move away from gay marriage opposition a "joke notion."

"People are still charged up about this," Brown told CNN. "There's not been enough standing up for marriage especially in the wake of what is essentially a constitutional crisis."

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Same-sex marriage opposition is no longer a top priority for many evangelical leaders and Republican politicians as gay marriage becomes legal in more states, CNN reports.
evangelicals, opposition, priority
Friday, 14 November 2014 10:30 PM
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