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Half of Anglicans believe there is nothing wrong with same sex relationships

15 February 2017 | Tags: British Social Attitudes, same sex relationships, same sex marriage

Ahead of the Church of England General Synod’s debate on the issue of gay marriage on Wednesday, new data reveals that 50% of Anglicans believe that same sex relationships are “not wrong at all”.

The findings, which come from NatCen’s British Social Attitudes survey, show that Anglican opinions towards same sex relationships have been softening over time but acceptance is highest (73%) among those with no religion. The lowest levels of acceptance of same sex relationships come from those belonging to non-Christian religions: 31% of this group say that these relationships are not wrong at all.

Meanwhile, 17% of Anglicans think that same sex relationships are “always wrong”, the lowest level since records began in 1983 when 50% were of this view. In 2015 6% of those with no religion felt this way. 

Table: Attitudes to same sex relationships by religion, 2015

Same sex rels by religion 15 (1)
Source: NatCen’s British Social Attitudes survey

Gay marriage?

When it comes to the key issue of gay marriage an earlier British Social Attitudes survey from 2014 showed that just under half (47%) of Anglicans agreed or strongly agreed that gay and lesbian people should have the right to marry. This figure was 60% among the public as a whole and 73% among those with no religion.

Although the proportion opposing this view was smaller, (26% of Anglicans disagreed or strongly disagreed with same sex marriage), there was still a significant proportion (20%) that neither agreed nor disagreed that gay and lesbian people should be able to marry.

ENDS

Click here to download the data tables.

For more information please contact Sophie Brown: Sophie.brown@natcen.ac.uk or 0207 549 9550 / 07734 960 069

Notes to Editors

NatCen Social Research, Britain's largest independent social research organisation, aims to promote a better-informed society through high quality social research (www.natcen.ac.uk).

The 2015 British Social Attitudes survey consisted of 4,328 interviews with a representative, random sample of adults in Britain with a response rate of 51%. Interviewing was carried out between 4th July and 2nd November 2015.

The 2014 survey consisted of 2,878 interviews with a representative, random sample of adults in Britain. Interviewing was mainly carried out between August and October 2014, with a small number of interviews taking place in November 2014.