Evangelicals' Opposition to Gay Marriage Is Showing Some Cracks

Looks like the Earth still has a couple of miracles lying around: Seems the evangelical consensus against gay marriage, gay rights, and gays generally is starting to look a little crumbly.

That's according to Politico, which offers numbers:

Over the past decade, evangelical support for gay marriage has more than doubled, according to polling by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute. About a quarter of evangelicals now support same-sex unions, the institute has found, with an equal number occupying what researchers at Baylor University last year called the "messy middle" of those who oppose gay marriage on moral grounds but no longer support efforts to outlaw it. The shift is especially visible among young evangelicals under age 35, a near majority of whom now support same-sex marriage.

That reflects larger trends in U.S. culture; more than half of Americans now support gay marriage. But it's a big shift from ten years ago, when just 11 percent of evangelicals were in favor, according to Pew. Plus, as Politico points out, there are are figures like Matthew Vines, who capitalized on the popularity of a YouTube video to found the pro-gay evangelical Reformation Project. (He argues as long as gay relationships hew to traditional monogamous lines, they're totally compatible with the evangelical tradition.) And hey, the Presbyterians came around!

"Evangelicals will more or less come to embrace homosexuality in the next 20 to 30 years," says Idaho State University sociologist Jeremy Thomas. "I would put all my money on that statement."

It seems a little early to start celebrating, though. There are still a great many well-funded Christian evangelical organizations campaigning against gay rights—and plenty of pastors and good church folk making people born into the religion fucking miserable. A quarter support for same-sex marriage isn't exactly an overwhelming embrace, and many evangelicals flipped their lids over Vines' book, God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships.

But the wavering sure is encouraging.

Photo via Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock.