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Nearly half of mainline Protestant pastors (47%) now agree “there is nothing wrong with two people of the same gender getting married,” according to a LifeWay Research report published Feb. 11.

Overall, this remains a minority view among U.S. Protestant pastors, with only 24% of all respondents agreeing with this position. This is a 4-point increase from 2018.

Among the 72% of all Protestant pastors who disagree with this statement, 67% “strongly disagree” and 5% “somewhat disagree” – an overall three-point decline in disagreement from last year. The remaining 4% were unsure (unchanged from 2018).

The number of mainline pastors affirming same-sex marriage has increased 15 points since 2010. This is the primary reason for an overall 9-point increase in Protestant pastors’ support during this time period because evangelical pastors’ support has remained unchanged at 8%.

“Lutherans (35%), Methodists (47%) Presbyterian/Reformed (49%) and Christian/Church of Christ (20%) are more likely to ‘agree’ than Baptists (3%) and Pentecostals (1%),” the report said.

Support was slightly higher for legal civil unions between same-sex couples, with 32% of Protestant pastors saying they “see nothing wrong” with this. By comparison, 63% disagree and 5% were not sure.

In 2018, 28% agreed, 66% disagreed and 6% were unsure.

The full 2019 report is available here and the 2018 report here.

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