DURHAM, N.C., Sept. 13 (UPI) -- The percentage of religious congregations willing to allow homosexual people into their congregations has risen over 10 percent, according to a new Duke University study.
When asked if they would accept gays and lesbians as "full-fledged members" of their religion, the number of affirmative answers rose from 37.4 percent in 2006 to 48 percent in 2012. The 2014 levels could be even higher.
The study included many different religious groups, encompassing 1,331 groups altogether. In contrast to the overall trend, Catholic churches exhibited slightly less accepting views of homosexuals than they had previously expressed.
"The increasing acceptance of gays and lesbians is a well-known trend in America," Duke sociology professor Mark Chaves said in a press release. "The number of congregations whose leaders said that no volunteer leadership positions were closed to gays and lesbians increased from 17.7 percent to 26.4 percent [between 2006 and 2012]," the study also notes.