Young evangelicals differ from elders on gays, similar on abortion rights

WASHINGTON (ABP) — A new poll says white evangelicals under 30 are just as opposed to abortion as their older counterparts, but more liberal in their views on same-sex marriage or civil unions for gays.

The survey, conducted for the PBS show Religion and Ethics Newsweekly , found that only 25 percent of white evangelical Christians in the United States believe that abortion should be legal in most cases. Another 46 percent support limits on abortion rights, while 25 percent believe it should be completely illegal.

The figures were similar among both older and younger evangelicals. But on that other hottest of hot-button issues in America’s culture wars, homosexuality, the age groups differed significantly. One in four (26 percent) of white evangelicals aged 18-29 believe that gay and lesbian couples should have the same right to marry as heterosexuals.

That is two-and-a-half times as many as hold that view — only 9 percent — among their 30-and-older evangelical counterparts. Older white evangelicals are more open toward legal arrangements that provide most or all of the same protections and responsibilities as full marriage.

More than one-third of older evangelicals (37 percent) support legal recognition of civil unions. Nearly half of the older group (49 percent) said there should be no legal recognition of relationships between gays and lesbians, compared to 41 percent of those under 30.

Full Baptist Standard Article

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