This study was done on Mainline clergy who are viewed as being part of the "liberal" wing of the institutional Church. These clergy are viewed as being more "progressive" than are the so-called "evangelical Christians," most all of whom are very "conservative," if not reactionary, in their political, social, and religious views.
A plurality of Mainline clergy constitute an Uncertain Middle, while close to one-third are strongly supportive of or opposed to LGBT rights and inclusion in the church.
· Supportive Base (29%), clergy who strongly support gay and lesbian rights and generally do not see homosexuality as a choice nor as a sin;
· Opposing Base (30%), clergy who strongly oppose gay and lesbian rights and generally see homosexuality as a choice and as a sin; and
· The Uncertain Middle (41%), clergy who support some gay and lesbian rights but are ambivalent on others.
[For the study's findings, see here.]
Notice that only 29% of the Mainline clergy in this study were wholeheartedly supportive of full and equal rights for Gay people. The rest were either opposed to such rights or ambivalent about some rights.
Therefore, 71% of those clergy were, to one degree or another, against full and equal rights for Gay people! And these are the "liberals" in the institutional Church!
This is a tragically expected finding that shows how irrelevant the institutional Church is regarding equal rights! For those who claim to represent the Prince of Peace, and then advocate discrimination by rhetoric and/or actions and/or by silence and/or by ambivalence which translates into lethargy regarding the dignity and rights of others, is a direct affront, an assault, on the teachings of Jesus!
We have seen the institutional Church play the role of caboose in regard to the civil rights struggle for African Americans! Now, we see that it hasn't learned from that embarrassing and horrific antipathy toward full equality, and most of its clergy and followers are expressing the same stance (along with the same unctuous and sanctimonious "justifications" for that stance), again appealing to the Bible which they have presumably selectively read, in aligning themselves with others who would deny full and equal civil rights to Gay people.
Followers of Jesus would be on the front lines demanding full and equal civil and sacramental rights for all of God's children! No follower of Jesus can or would sit idly by and allow others to be oppressed, and then add insult to injury by seeking to justify that oppression in the name of God!
If one aligns oneself with haters, with those who discriminate against others, with those who seek to impugn the dignity of others, with those who seek political and/or monetary capital at the expense of a minority group that is viewed as being "safe" to persecute, with those who use a minority group as a target against which to vent their emotional/sexual frustrations, that person is not a Christian!
And if such a person dares call him/herself a Christian, he/she is fooling him/herself and, perhaps, fooling some others. But he/she is certainly not fooling God!
He hath shown thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:8)