Shocker: Gay People Less Religious

In the least surprising news in the history of the universe, a new survey finds that gay Americans are significantly less religious than the general public. Gosh, I can’t imagine why that would be, can you? I mean, I’m just spitballing here, but maybe it’s because religion has provided the justification for their oppression since pretty much the beginning of human civilization?

Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender Americans are far less likely to identify as religious than non-LGBT people in the U.S., according to new Gallup poll.

Only 24% of LGBT Americans identify as “highly religious” — meaning that religion is an important part of daily life and services are attended weekly or almost weekly — compared to 41% of non-LGBT Americans. For LGBT Americans, 47% identify as non-religious, while only 30% of non-LGBT Americans do.

One common explanation behind the disparity is that LGBT Americans may feel less welcome to participate in religious congregations or organizations, although religious groups have become more accepting in recent years.

Ya think? I have several friends who are both gay and religious, but they tend to belong to very liberal Christian denominations (mostly Episcopalian).

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • dingojack

    Is there any breakdowns of the numbers by religion? I’m guessing that liberal religious traditions would have higher participation by LGBT than conservative ones, as you observed anecdotally Ed*.

    Dingo

    ———

    * It would be nice to have hard data to back the gut feeling.

  • drivenb4u

    Why any gay person would be religious is beyond me. It’s like being a black white supremacist.

  • Larry

    It’s like being a black white supremacist.

    Or being a gay and/or black republican.

  • greg1466

    @2 drivenb4u: I agree completely. I think the same logic applies to women with regards to most religions.

  • anubisprime

    It is the same scale of wotdafuckery’ that ‘suggests’ that those of a fundamentally religious outlook are the lowest in IQ, the worst in ethical morals, and the highest in bigoted ignorance…tis a quid pro quo type of result.

  • http://onhandcomments.blogspot.com/ left0ver1under

    What really puzzles me is how some in the LGBTQ community would rather try to win over religious people, many/most of whom call LGBTQ people “sinners”, than be with a smaller group of atheists, most of whom accept them unconditionally. It’s all about the numbers.

  • abb3w

    @1, dingojack:

    Is there any breakdowns of the numbers by religion? I’m guessing that liberal religious traditions would have higher participation by LGBT than conservative ones, as you observed anecdotally Ed*.

    The Gallup summary is here; they’ve previously indicated that the LGBT are circa 3.5% of the population. Unsurprisingly, the unaffiliated have a lot more LGBT; slightly surprising (to me, anyway), those affiliated to non-Abrahamic religions have a higher fraction still. Gallup did not release the breakdown within the Protestant denominations — unless you count Mormons, who appear less likely to self-report as LGBT; contrariwise, that may be a rounding artifact, so they may not be significantly different than from Protestants generally.

    As a cross-check, the GSS 2008-2012 included SEXORNT as a variable (though that omits the T aspect), which has similar breakdown on RELIG. The sample size is smaller, so there’s not much confidence; but it does suggest (in line with Ed’s anecdata) that lesbians, gays, and bisexuals are more common among Episcopalian, Nondenominational, and “other” Christian denominations, as opposed to Methodist, Lutheran, and Presbyterian. Baptists tend about par for Protestant, which is surprising; I suspect a sampling artifact, since the SBC sample tended a bit higher than par.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    I used to be Mostly Episcopalian, until the Reform Mostly Episcopalians pushed us Orthodox Mostly Episcopalians for not being wishy-washy enough. It was only a matter of time before we left, anyway. I’m pretty the straw that would’ve broken the camel’s back was their plan to add a question mark on the end of “Open on Sundays”. That’s too liberal!

  • John Pieret

    One common explanation behind the disparity is that LGBT Americans may feel less welcome to participate in religious congregations or organizations

    Ya know the ad campaign for one of those online hotel/travel sites that features “Captain Obvious”? The guy who wrote the above should audition for the part.

  • Stacey C.

    I have a friend who is transgendered who is a big booster of the UCC. But the thing about the UCC is they basically are willing to admit that they don’t know that God exists and that they choose only to follow the nice bits of the Bible. They are one step away from UU churches. I have another friend who is a priest in the UCC church who totally champions the idea that he doesn’t know and that’s okay. I’m personally Bi and dyed in the wool Atheist. For what it’s worth.

  • muzakbox

    I know three gay men that are all heavily involved in their Catholic churches.

    One is married to a non-Catholic husband and he is deeply committed to the church and, in all fairness, his particular diocese seems pretty deeply committed to him as well. His husband attends the high holiday masses and is treated openly as Jamie’s spouse by the congregation and the hierarchy. I know this is a one off, local anecdote and, personally, I think the Church is evil but in this particular case they have been a rock for my friend. They were supportive when his parents died and when his sister was severely injured in an accident. He is a soloist in the choir and often asked to sing at weddings and funerals for members of the congregation. He is held in high regard overall. So I do not find it surprising that he is one of the change the Church from within types.

    I know our cardinal here in Connecticut is solidly a douche about homosexuality but these men all grew up in and attend Catholic churches that have been supportive throughout. It is the local leadership that is doing this.

  • forestdragon

    Gay folks feel unwelcome at church? I think Iago said it best:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxlhyX-4qKI&feature=player_detailpage

  • williamquinn

    From ModusOperandi:

    Reform Mostly Episcopalians pushed us Orthodox Mostly Episcopalians

    Let me see, the RME faction is the one that is now doing all the sappy camp songs and the OME is the one that kept all the good pipe organs and still sings Tallis? Do I have that straight? (First gay person I ever met was an Episcopal church musician, taught me a lot of fine music and they were all quite open about being gay even back in the day.)