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Same-sex views sought

17 February 2017

Iris Prize

Threatened: two lesbians talk about their past treatment by church leaders, in All in One in Christ, a film by Changing Attitude Cymru. The film was shortlisted for the 2017 Iris Prize www.irisprize.org

Threatened: two lesbians talk about their past treatment by church leaders, in All in One in Christ, a film by Changing Attitude Cymru. The film was shortlisted for the 2017 Iris Prize www.irisprize.org

HALF of those in Britain who identify as Anglicans believe that there is “nothing wrong at all” with same-sex relationships, new data re­­leased to co­­incide with the General Synod’s sexuality debate on Wed­nesday sug­gests.

The data, published for the first time this week, was taken from NatCen’s British Social Attitudes survey in 2015. Of the 622 people surveyed who identified as “Church of England/Anglican”, 50 per cent stated that same-sex relationships were “not wrong at all”, compared with 73 per cent of the 1543 people who said that they followed “no reli­gion”; 57 per cent of 284 Roman Catholics; 45 per cent of 581 Chris­tians of other denominations; and 31 per cent of 203 people of other religions.

The lowest levels of acceptance came from the non-Christian reli­gious group, 45 per cent of whom said that same-sex relationships were “always wrong”. Seventeen per cent of Anglicans held this view — the lowest level, NatCen stated, since records began in 1983, when the figure was 51 per cent. This was compared with six per cent of non-religious people; 14 per cent of Roman Catholics; and 22 per cent of other Christian denominations, in 2015.

NatCen also released previously unpublished figures from its 2014 survey of 2878 individuals to indicate views on same-sex marriage. Just under half (47 per cent) of Anglicans surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that gay and lesbian people should have the right to marry. This figure was 60 per cent among the general public, and 73 per cent among those with no religion.

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