New poll shows slight decline in support for same-sex marriage

Meredith Flynn —  September 30, 2014

THE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn

49% of Americans say same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, Pew found in research released last week. The percentage is down five points since the researcher last asked the question in February.

According to the report on Pew’s website, “It is too early to know if this modest decline is an anomaly or the beginning of a reversal or leveling off in attitudes toward gay marriage after years of steadily increasing public acceptance.

“Moreover, when the February poll and the current survey are combined, the 2014 yearly average level of support for same-sex marriage stands at 52%, roughly the same as the 2013 yearly average (50%).”

The_BriefingWe could know as early as this week whether the U.S. Supreme Court will hear any of the pending same-sex marriage cases, Reuters reports. The justices met yesterday for a private conference prior to the new term that begins Oct. 6. In September, 32 states asked the Court to decide the marriage issue once and for all, as did a coalition of religious groups including the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

SBC disfellowships ‘third way’ church
The Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee voted last week to withdraw fellowship from New Heart Community Church, the California congregation whose pastor announced in February he no longer believes same-sex lifestyles are sinful. The committee’s action followed a similar decision by the California Southern Baptist Convention in September.

More from Pew: Public split on business rights and same-sex marriage
Pew’s recently released data also shows 47% of people think wedding-related businesses should be allowed to refuse services to same-sex couples, while 49% say they should be required to provide services. Half of those surveyed believe homosexuality is a sin, up from 45% a year ago, Pew reported.

Court to hear Arizona church sign case
One case already on the Supreme Court’s schedule is Reed vs. Town of Gilbert, in which a Presbyterian congregation is fighting its town’s signage code. Gilbert, Arizona, requires that signs like those posted by Good News Presbyterian Church cannot go up more than 12 hours before the event advertised—Sunday worship, in this case.

‘Kimye’ pastor will star in reality show
The Oxygen network has announced Miami pastor Rich Wilkerson, Jr., who performed the Kim Kardashian/Kanye West wedding earlier this year, will get his own show. “The Wilkersons” will focus on the pastor of Trinity Church and his wife, DawnChere. The show will join other Oxygen faith-centric shows including “Preachers of L.A.” and the upcoming spin-off “Preachers of Detroit.” Read more at ChristianPost.com.

Meredith Flynn

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Meredith is managing editor of the Illinois Baptist newspaper.