Growing number of California churches believe homosexuality not sinful

02/28/2014 3:21 PM

11/18/2014 11:26 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 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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