According to a new Gallup poll that will surprise exactly none of you, LGBT people are significantly less religious than the general population:
Why might that be the case? The obvious reason is that many religious traditions see homosexuality as a problem to solve, not a reality to embrace, and why would LGBT individuals want to be part of those traditions?
But Gallup’s Frank Newport offers additional possibilities:
Other possible explanations have to do less with church doctrine and more with the demographics of the LGBT population. LGBT individuals may be more likely to live in areas and cities where religion and religious service attendance are less common, and may adopt the practices of those with whom they share geography.
The LGBT population skews substantially younger than the non-LGBT population, and because younger people are the least religious of any age group in the U.S. today, age could be an explanation. However, a look at the relationship between LGBT status and religiousness across age groups shows that while older individuals in both groups are more religious than those who are younger, differences in religiousness are evident within all three age groups. In short, even if the LGBT population had the same age divisions as the non-LGBT population, the former’s lower levels of religiousness would most likely still be evident.
Either way, religious people do themselves a disservice every time a pastor condemns same-sex marriage, or a Christian baker refuses to make a cake for a gay wedding, or a right wing mouthpiece equates homosexuality with pedophilia. They’re not just alienating LGBT worshipers; they’re alienating straight allies, too.
Lucky for us, churches aren’t about to stop the bleeding.