Growing number of California churches believe homosexuality not sinful
02/28/2014 3:21 PM
03/03/2014 10:15 AM
More than 800 Christian churches in California affirm and support gay members, a number that has risen 50 percent since 2005, according to the latest survey from gaychurch.org.
Gaychurch.org maintains the largest online directory of gay-friendly churches and lists Christian congregations that "do not view homosexuality in and of itself as a sin, and therefore they would welcome and treat a homosexual person no differently than any other person who walked through their church doors."
California's gay-affirming churches are largely concentrated in urban, coastal areas like San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Sacramento region is home to more than three dozen gay-affirming churches, but such churches are otherwise rare in the Central Valley.
Among California cities with more than 50,000 residents, Berkeley has the most gay-affirming churches per capita.
About three quarters of Christian, gay-affirming churches in California belong to five denominations: the Episcopal Church; the United Church of Christ; the United Methodist Church; the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
A group of about 30 northern California Methodist churches recently announced a joint “declaration of inclusion,” putting their denomination on notice that they intend to allow same-sex weddings in their facilities.
This map shows the cities with the highest concentrations of gay-affirming churches in California. The chart below breaks down the churches by denomination.
Population figures from U.S. Census Bureau.
Note: Map excludes cities with fewer than 45,000 residents.
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