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Evangelical churches try to find right balance on gay issues as public opinion evolves

Growing public acceptance of gay rights is causing some conservative evangelical churches to reconsider the way they talk about homosexuality and sin.

Multiple opinion polls in recent years show that majorities of younger Americans support civil unions or full gay marriage. At the same time, the number of young Americans who declare belonging to a particular religion is dropping.

Some church leaders like the Rev. Robert Jeffress at First Baptist Dallas say the Bible is clear on the sinfulness of gay sex, but he addresses it in the context of other sinful behavior, like premarital sex and adultery.

For evangelical faiths, which depend on new converts, attracting new followers as demographics change will continue to be a challenge in coming years.

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