Evangelical churches refine message on gay issues (POLL)

Gay Issues
Posted at 10:53 AM, Jan 31, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-31 06:01:08-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Growing public acceptance of gay rights is causing some conservative evangelical churches to reconsider the way they talk about homosexuality and sin.

Multiple opinion polls in recent years show that majorities of younger Americans support civil unions or full gay marriage. At the same time, the number of young Americans who declare belonging to a particular religion is dropping.

Some church leaders like the Rev. Robert Jeffress at First Baptist Dallas say the Bible is clear on the sinfulness of gay sex, but he addresses it in the context of other sinful behavior, like premarital sex and adultery.

For evangelical faiths, which depend on new converts, attracting new followers as demographics change will continue to be a challenge in coming years.