An Assessment of Church Leader’s Perceptions on Gay Relationships, and its Acceptability by the Church

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Annie Gitau

Keywords

Church Leaders, Perceptions, Gay Relationships, Acceptability

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine how church leaders felt about gay relationships and whether they were acceptable in the church. The study used Bandura’s Social Learning Theory to demonstrate that a person's behavior is a function of the factors that surround them. The research focused on the All Saints Cathedral Anglican Church in Nairobi, and it used a cross-sectional study design. Questionnaires, interviews, and focus groups were used to gather information. Cross tabulations and simple statistical analyses were carried out using descriptive summary statistics. The results reveal that there is a clear link between modeled behavior and behavior acceptance. The view of church leaders affected the recognition of gay relationships in the church. Younger churchgoers, on the other hand, were more likely to change their actions in response to what their age-mates who were also churchgoers did. Furthermore, the results of the focus group discussion reveal that most parents would rather support their children if they came out as gay and continued to attend church than denounce them. Finally, while African culture is hostile to gay relationships in general, the presence of gay church leaders in the community /or complicit church leaders is likely to affect the church community's view of gay relationships and, as a result, their inclusion in society.

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