President Barack Obama's endorsement of
gay marriage is being credited in part for a big drop in the number
of people who say being gay is a sin.
According to a survey by the Southern
Baptist-affiliated LifeWay Research, a plurality of Americans (45%)
do not believe being gay is a sin. Thirty-seven percent of
respondents said it was a sin, while 17 percent refused to answer.
The results were reported by the Detroit
That's a 7 percent drop since LifeWay's
September 2011 survey.
Anthea Butler, associate professor of
religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania, pointed to
several reasons for the shift in attitudes, including Obama's May,
2012 endorsement of gay nuptials.
LifeWay's Ed Stetzer said the shift
created a whole new issue.
“The culture is clearly shifting on
homosexuality, and this creates a whole new issue: How will Americans
deal with a minority view, strongly held by Evangelicals, Catholics,
Mormons, Muslims, and so many others?” Stetzer said in releasing
his group's findings.