The Nashville-based LifeWay Research organization revealed that just 37 percent of Americans surveyed in November said they believed homosexual behavior was a sin, a seven point drop from the previous year's survey.
Interestingly, respondents who did not believe homosexuality was a sin increased by a mere two percent, while a greater number of those surveyed said they were now unsure of what they believe.
Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, said that President Barack Obama's embrace of same-sex marriage last year "probably impacted the evolution of cultural values -– there is a real and substantive shift, surprisingly large for a one-year timeframe."
Pointing also to Pastor Louie Giglio's withdrawal from Obama's forthcoming inauguration ceremony, Stetzer added, “The culture is clearly shifting on homosexuality and this creates a whole new issue: How will America deal with a minority view, strongly held by Evangelicals, Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, and so many others?”
According to Anthea Butler, associate professor of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania, a surge in the popularity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) celebrities and media figures like Ellen DeGeneres has also contributed to the movement.
"Who wouldn't want to take their grandmother to see her show?" Butler told USA Today.
The religious non-profit organization -- which believes "the Bible is the eternal, infallible, inerrant Word of God and is the plumb line for everything we say and do," according to its website -- polled 1,191 participants, whose responses were weighted by region, age, ethnicity, gender, and education to reflect the population.
Read more about the poll here.