A Survey of LGBT Americans and Religion

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Lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender adults are, on the whole, less religious than the general public. About half (48%) say they have no religious affiliation, compared with 20% in the general public; this pattern holds among all age groups. LGBT adults who do have a religious affiliation generally attend worship services less frequently and attach less importance to religion in their lives than do religiously affiliated adults in the general public.


Also, a third (33%) of religiously affiliated LGBT adults say there is a conflict between their religious beliefs and their sexual orientation or gender identity.

That sentiment is even more prevalent among the general public. About three-quarters of white evangelical Protestants (74%) and a majority of all U.S. adults with a religious affiliation (55%) say homosexuality conflicts with their religious beliefs. Among all adults in the general public, there is a strong correlation between the frequency of church attendance and the belief that homosexuality should be discouraged.

The new Pew Research survey asked LGBT respondents to rate six religions or religious institutions as friendly, neutral or unfriendly toward the LGBT population. By overwhelming margins, most rate all six as more unfriendly than friendly. About eight-in-ten LGBT respondents say the Muslim religion, the Mormon Church and the Catholic Church are unfriendly toward them, while one-in-ten or fewer say each of these religious institutions is friendly toward them.

Written By: PEW Research
continue to source article at pewsocialtrends.org

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  1. As an Atheist, and as a former Christian, I find it appalling when the LGBT community reveals their religiosity. I personally know quite a few homosexuals, men and women, that try to align Christianity with their lifestyle. When I hear one of them espousing their love for Jesus, I can’t help thinking of all the homosexuals that have been persecuted, set aflame, and tortured in the name of Christianity. Then there are always Facebook posts that reiterate nonsense about how Jesus never said anything about homosexuals, or that no Christian follows every word of Leviticus. These are of course true, but I’m sorry you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Sure the religious hen pick scriptures, but one that they have always stood behind is that homosexuality is a sin. It’s like a pre requisite for good Christian living. If you’re gay, that’s all the more reason to abandon the credulity and insufferable stupidity of religion.

    • In reply to #1 by ThereIsGrandeur:
      Spot on! But I must admit I can’t get the image of a religious hen out of my mind.

      As an Atheist, and as a former Christian, I find it appalling when the LGBT community reveals their religiosity. I personally know quite a few homosexuals, men and women, that try to align Christianity with their lifestyle. When I hear one of them espousing their love for Jesus, I can’t help thinkin…

    • Sounds like you still have some homophobic beliefs from your religious days. You try to qualify your homophobia by stating you ‘know quite a few homosexuals, men and women’ however if you were friends with them you’d know that lesbians don’t like being called homosexuals for a just reason & in fact gay men don’t like being called that either as it was used by your religious cohorts & probably yourself to persecute gay & lesbian people. You find it ‘appalling’ that gays & lesbians could believe in religion yet you haven’t walked one mile in their shoes so who are you to judge? You may call yourself Atheist now but boy you still sound Christian! A lot of straight religious people choose to condemn, control & hate gays because its the one thing in the bible which DOESN’T apply to themselves so they can go to town on it in the knowledge they are safe from the very vilification they themselves are inflicting on gays & lesbians. The fact is, neither Jesus nor God wrote anything about gays in the bible, in fact they didn’t write the bible at all! The bible is just a series of stories written by various men stating what they think either God or Jesus believes. Who are you to be ‘appalled’ at some gay people for believing in a god. This is a FREE world for people to get through life in whatever manner works for them. You need to be more humble & less judgemental.

      In reply to #1 by ThereIsGrandeur:

      As an Atheist, and as a former Christian, I find it appalling when the LGBT community reveals their religiosity. I personally know quite a few homosexuals, men and women, that try to align Christianity with their lifestyle. When I hear one of them espousing their love for Jesus, I can’t help thinkin…

  2. The Catholic and Mormon churches both have a human leader (The Pope and Thomas Spencer Monson, respectively). Whatever they say, goes, so a gay person attempting to adapt to either one of them is engaging in a complete exercise in futility. Jews on the other hand, have three different branches, orthodox, conservative and reform. The latter might be more accepting of people involved in “alternative lifestyles,” although officially, it is not condoned. Protestant churches, of course, number in the thousands and are all over the map when it comes to “literal” or “figurative” (and selective) interpretations of the Bible. I don’t think Unitarians would have any problems with gays. Needless to say, all Muslim sects (Shiite, Suni or whatever) want to kill not just every homosexual on the planet, but every human who doesn’t bow towards Mecca five times a day.

    • Well said. Not to mention the various Christian denominations that heavily oppose Homosexuality. Such as all Assemblies of God (Pentecostals, etc.), Evangelicals, Southern Baptists, and even most non-denominations. You can’t cite a few minor examples of churches that mildly tolerate or accept gay members and claim that Christianity is gay-friendly. “…exercise in futility,” I like that. How homosexual Americans can be religious, boggles my mind. Christianity is the only reason that gay rights are consistently curbed in this country. You can argue right and left politics all day, but Conservatism is a Christian construction, and it treads on civil rights whenever it can.
      In reply to #3 by IDLERACER:

      The Catholic and Mormon churches both have a human leader (The Pope and Thomas Spencer Monson, respectively). Whatever they say, goes, so a gay person attempting to adapt to either one of them is engaging in a complete exercise in futility. Jews on the other hand, have three different branches, orth…

    • In reply to #3 by IDLERACER:

      The Catholic and Mormon churches both have a human leader (The Pope and Thomas Spencer Monson, respectively). Whatever they say, goes, so a gay person attempting to adapt to either one of them is engaging in a complete exercise in futility. Jews on the other hand, have three different branches, orth…

      To IDLERACER, I think it extremely unfair to label all Muslims, whatever their sect, as potential murderers. This could not be further from the truth, and statements like that only serve to spread further fear and hatred. I am a male heterosexual atheist, and have been an atheist since about 14 yrs of age (having been born into a Church of England culture, which I disbelieved and rejected many years ago), but have known lots of very lovely people who have a faith of one form or another, among these people have been a number of Muslims. The vast majority of Muslims have peace in their hearts. It is the hardcore radical few which act in unforgivable ways and lead many to believe as you have illustrated. There are, and have been throughout history, many deaths, torture, wars and persecutions in the name of many different religions although paradoxically they all claim to be doing so in the name of love, redemption and holiness. What currently upsets me about organised religion is sexual subjugation, and the hypocrisies which go alongside it. I’m not just talking here about the way that these communities treat persons of a homosexual persuasion, but also the treatment of women as second class citizens (that’s half the worlds population right there), limiting (depending on the particular religious sect) rights to be a leader, rights to freedom of choice about contraception and abortion, rights to education, rights to even sit or walk alongside men, the right to wear clothes of their own choice and in some cultures the right to even show their face. Then there is the Catholic church who, while preaching about homosexuality, protect their own clerics who find it acceptable to practice sexual abuse on children. Whilst I am an atheist I accept that people will believe in whatever deity, ghost or forest nymph suits them, but refuse to accept that any divine entity that claims to stand for love and peace would punish anyone for being born into the wrong gender or persuasion (so long as that persuasion does not subjugate or hurt another). Violence or subjugation enacted in the name of religion is not for the benefit of the relevant deity but for the furthering, advancement and personal gain of either ; the person committing the act, or those who have manipulated and taken advantage of the person committing the act.

      • ‘…would(n’t) punish anyone for being born into the wrong gender or persuasion (so long as that persuasion does not subjugate or hurt another)’

        By persuasion you are referring to gay people. I agree with most of what you’ve written however in this quote why do you say that only gay people should be punished for subjugating or hurting another? Why apply that solely to gays & not everyone. Its also very odd given gay people are NOT renown for subjugating or hurting others and it is in FACT gay people who suffer from this. Yes, these are subtle things but they are clues to your real beliefs. You maybe atheist now but you still think gay people should be punished more than everyone else & that they are guilty of somehow hurting others by being themselves. However straight people never hurt or subjugate. What a load of bollocks. I had thought this blog would be homophobic free as normally Atheists are knowledge, questioning people but this is the 3rd comment on this tread in the same vein.

        In reply to #14 by —
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        In reply to #3 by IDLERACER:

        The Catholic and Mormon churches both have a human leader (The Pope and Thomas Spencer Monson, respectively). Whatever they say, goes, so a gay person attempting to adapt to either one of them is engaging in a complete exercise in futility. Jews on the other hand, have…

  3. It always astounds me that the oppressed still want membership of the very institutions that oppress them. I’m not so sure about the GLBT community such as its self-appointed leaders and spokesmen who purport to speak for the community, and make decisions for us such as whether we’re gay or homosexual, gay or lesbian, GLBT or LGBT, LGBTQ or GLBTQ or BGLT or …

  4. For the religious gay, it is highly important to stay in the closet. My boyfriend was a Philipino Christian, and he insisted he walk 10 paces behind me, so no one would suspect we were a couple. He was most worried being outed to his family back home where homophobia is very high. I look on it as Stockholm syndrome. He looked on it as what you have to do to maintain family peace.

    Jewish gays I think are mainly attached to the culture, the food, the ceremonies, the stories. They don’t fret about hellfire. They do pretty well. Parent tend to be pretty cool, so long as you marry a doctor.

    Oddly most of the people I have been in relationship with were Christian. Perhaps they hoped my militant atheism would cure them of their persistent guilt. It did not happen. It was a very touchy subject, so I tended to avoid it. I think they tended to look on themselves as an interlocutor to protect me from God’s wrath.

  5. How slowly the Roman Catholic Church moves! In the seventeenth century its outmoded astronomical views interfered with the new discoveries of that period. The charge of heresy brought against Galileo Galilei by the Inquisition was not formally retracted until 1992! Now we witness in our own times another instance of the church’s outmoded thinking, this time on matters biological and, more particularly, sexual. How long will it be before not just the Catholic Church but all the churches accept that homosexuality is as much part of nature as heterosexuality? Another four hundred years? Leaders of Christian churches claim to be guided by the Holy Spirit in their decision-making. Our own observations and reasonings seem to be much better than relying on the Paraclete (an entirely imaginary entity in any case) for finding out what is going on around us in this universe.

    • In reply to #7 by Cairsley:

      How slowly the Roman Catholic Church moves! In the seventeenth century its outmoded astronomical views interfered with the new discoveries of that period. The charge of heresy brought against Galileo Galilei by the Inquisition was not formally retracted until 1992! Now we witness in our own times an…

      As long as religions keep the old versions of their “holy” books as their guide to righteousness, with the attitudes prevalent firstly in the Bronze Age, then in the Middle Ages, bigotry, hatred, inhumanity, racism, slavery, rape and pillage, segregation and misogyny will continue to be their “law”; attitudes that many of the followers would dearly love to maintain today. Fred Phelps has, I’m sure, the undercover support of many Christians.

      Secularists have changed the old religious laws, not the religions themselves. If religions were serious about their humanity and humility and their caring, then they would reprint their vicious and nasty books of old to reflect modern values and attitudes. Until they do this, they will not be considered by many to be sincere about changing their unacceptable ways and their membership will dwindle. As recently as last week, on this site, was the report of the Salvation Army in the USA condoning “death to homosexuals” because their book says it should be so.

      • In reply to #8 by ArloNo:

        To be fair, ArloNo, that remark from some Salvationists was published over a year ago now and the Salvation Army has apologized for it. They have not changed their thinking, of course, so your point still stands; they have just controlled the damage and disciplined some of their members for speaking out too frankly in public and making the Salvation Army seem unloving and inconsistent with their reputation for beneficence.

    • eppur si mouvre

      In reply to #7 by Cairsley:

      How slowly the Roman Catholic Church moves! In the seventeenth century its outmoded astronomical views interfered with the new discoveries of that period. The charge of heresy brought against Galileo Galilei by the Inquisition was not formally retracted until 1992! Now we witness in our own times an…

  6. Jesus may never have said anything about man on man action, well he probably never existed so how could he, but the new testemant is according to the the king james version defo against it, contrary to an earlier post on here. see Romans something or other number, I checked it out because the rdfr claimed there was no reference to homosexuality in Romans just whoring, poor form get your facts straight fellow rdfr, Romans definitely specifies homosexuality as a crime.
    homosexuality as a term did not exist in the time of the translation but if it did it would be in there.

  7. A cynical view of the catholic church is that it professes to be anti gay but if a gay person joins it as a priest it will welcome them with open arms. The church appears to be largely manned by gay men who use apparent celibacy as an excuse to stay away from women.

    • ‘The church appears to be largely manned by gay men who use apparent celibacy as an excuse to stay away from women.’ Wow, the ignorant homophobia is rife on here today only matched by the homophobia in the religions you criticise. Amazing hypocrisy! Yes, there are some gay men in the Catholic Church but the men who run the place like the heterosexual, anti gay, Pope can’t possibly be straight! No, because straight men NEVER do anything evil. They wouldn’t run a church & pretend to be celibate while fucking women on the side. LMFAO!

      In reply to #11 by Richard01:

      A cynical view of the catholic church is that it professes to be anti gay but if a gay person joins it as a priest it will welcome them with open arms. The church appears to be largely manned by gay men who use apparent celibacy as an excuse to stay away from women.

  8. To the overly PC commentor with the broken username.

    As a homosexual myself, I agree with everything Grandeur and Richard have said. I do not hate the term ‘homosexual’, nor do I believe any homosexual has any reason to hate it, including lesbians. It is a perfectly valid descriptive term, complimentary to the term ‘heterosexual’. They can hate the term if they wish, but it means no more than if anyone were to turn around and say that they hate the term ‘homosapien’.

    The bible and the leadership of the Abrahamic faiths have plenty of negative things to say about homosexuality, and it is complete denial and hypocrisy for a homosexual to follow their teachings. Sure they’re free to believe in a higher power if they wish, but belief in the Abrahamic deity is nothing short of stockholm syndrome, or perhaps ignorance at the very least. Perhaps I wouldn’t be appauled at such a failure to reason, but I would at the very least be extremely disapointed.

    The comment regarding the catholic church and gay preists is also perfectly valid, I’m sure many of the homosexual catholics stuck in that kind of cognitive dissonance see preisthood as an easy an intellectually lazy solution, and I would not be at all surprised if a large amount of catholic preists were gay.

    I find your attempt to speak for all homosexuals in such a manner to be a far more homophobic display than either of these comments. We are not a bunch of homogenous children who need your protection, many of us are big enough to take care of ourselves.

    • I never said that all gay men hate being called homosexual. In fact I never used the word hate at all. I also never asserted that I spoke for all gay & lesbian people & most certainly didn’t offer you ‘protection’ of any sort.

      As for ‘The church appears to be largely manned by gay men who use apparent celibacy as an excuse to stay away from women’ its is complete BS. I have met the odd & extremely rare gay man who is part of the clergy but 99.99% of the gay men I’ve met don’t need to be in the clergy of the Catholic Church to ‘stay away from women’! It takes no effort what so ever to ‘stay away from women’. So his statement that it’s ‘largely’ run by gay men is bollocks.

      You state ‘it is complete denial and hypocrisy for a homosexual to follow their teachings’ however thats no different to any religious believer regardless of sexual orientation who believes & adheres to modern day values which go against the biblical teachings. The bible states a man can rape his wife & she must submit to him whenever he wants; a man must take ownership over all of his wives possessions; a rape viicm must marry her rapist; a man can marry a pre pubescent girl; a man can have as many wives as he can afford to keep; a widow must marry her dead husbands brother; eating lobster is an equal abomination to being gay; must not have tattoos; they must not wear mixed fabrics (cotton/polyester mix); women must not wear mens clothes like trousers or jeans. So if a gay man or lesbian chooses to over look the parts of the bible which no longer fit with modern life they are in ‘complete denial and hypocrisy’ yet any of the straight men & women who choose to over look the previous sections which no longer fit with modern day life, then they’re fine. No hypocrisy or denial on their part at all? Fact is, the majority of people who are religious don’t strictly adhere to the bible. Modern day values means they all cherry pick the bits which suit them so why is it denial or hypocritical just because some gay people choose to do the same as the straight believers? I see no sense in joining a group of people who hate you but if someone wants to believe in the ‘good god’ of the bible, then fine by me – I’m not ‘appalled’ by it. The fact he said he was appalled shows he still has some revulsion towards gays which is more than likely a hang up from his Christian upbringing & childhood formative years. Personally, I believe the bible is just an outdated guide to life written by many different, conservative, heterosexual men over a 500 year period (explains its contradictions) which favoured engineering society to their own benefit. Everyone should be free to believe whatever they want, just don’t push it on others.

      In reply to #18 by Seraphor:

      To the overly PC commentor with the broken username.

      As a homosexual myself, I agree with everything Grandeur and Richard have said. I do not hate the term ‘homosexual’, nor do I believe any homosexual has any reason to hate it, including lesbians. It is a perfectly valid descriptive term, complime…

  9. “As for ‘The church appears to be largely manned by gay men who use apparent celibacy as an excuse to stay away from women’ its is complete BS. I have met the odd & extremely rare gay man who is part of the clergy but 99.99% of the gay men I’ve met don’t need to be in the clergy of the Catholic Church to ‘stay away from women’! It takes no effort what so ever to ‘stay away from women’. So his statement that it’s ‘largely’ run by gay men is bollocks”

    I’m not sure how you managed to turn “a large number of preists are gay” into “most gay men become preists”. Not all thumbs are fingers. I’d expect gay preists to be a minority in the number of gay men, perhaps even as low at the 99.99% you plucked from thin air(If you’ve met ‘the odd’ gay preist then I assume you’ve met a thousand other gay men not in the clergy), but a much larger minority, if a minority at all, in the number of preists.

    • ‘I’m not sure how you managed to turn “a large number of preists are gay” into “most gay men become preists”‘
      He never said a large number of priest are gay! He didn’t even mention their rank within the church at all. You’re pretty good at filling in the dots & making shit up. He said ‘The church appears to be largely manned by gay men who use apparent celibacy as an excuse to stay away from women’. The number of gay clergy I’ve met is far smaller than 1 in a thousand & I’ve been exposed to a lot of clergy and gay men from all around the world. I know someone who works for the Vatican & I do know for a fact that the church is largely manned by fucked up straight men. But hey, yeah its always the gay men who are responsible for the worlds problems! LMFAO!

      In reply to #20 by Seraphor:

      “As for ‘The church appears to be largely manned by gay men who use apparent celibacy as an excuse to stay away from women’ its is complete BS. I have met the odd & extremely rare gay man who is part of the clergy but 99.99% of the gay men I’ve met don’t need to be in the clergy of the Catholic Chur…

  10. My former church, Unity, had a very liberal view towards homosexuality. Basically, there was no closet and being gay was a non-issue. I’ve seen gay couples embrace, cuddle, kiss each other in church without a bat of an eye from the minister and congregation. Couples could even have spiritual unions or bring their kids to church. Unitarians and United Church of Christ also shared similar views – with Unitarians being the most politically progressive. A few other smaller churches or offshoots of larger religions also allow gay marriages. What I find is that the studies as shown in this article do not adequately account for the number of homosexuals that are deists. I think the unaffiliated number is actually higher. Nearly all the gay people I know are non-religious, but believe something is “out there” types. I think it is time that society starts accounting for deism and deists inside the Catholic and Protestant Church. Most people are completely unfamiliar with the word “deist” so they are not adequately counted.

    I find the difference in LGBT statistics compared the general population to be telling. Notice the 48 unaffiliated compared to the majority of the general population in Christianity and Protestantism? It’s as if some people need to be burned by a church before waking up to the BS of religion. Non-gays simply need to start noticing how their church burns them for random reasons.

  11. What is the actual science of homosexuality? I hear it constantly quoted that exactly 10% of the population is gay. But that is scientifically absurd, no other attribute amongst a varied population is constant despite variations in environment and genetic make-up. Both Kinsey and Freud believed that Homosexuality was mutable and effected by society, so why do we not believe now that homosexuality is not itself an unscientific religious belief like polygamy or a mental illness like depression or anorexia?

    I think some people are concerned that if normal biological pairing and the consequent property ownership by families is not protected (in some way) then the state will gain control of too much of our lives, a fear which has been shown to be validated many times throughout history. This would surely be the case if governments become the sole arbiters of who can have children (after all they are the ones that choose which gay couples are fit to be parents).

    There is some evidence for this idea, as marriage is in decline and although the rich are not that adversely affected by frequent divorce, the children of the poor are massively more so, which we do not see in the popular media. If young adults, who are scientifically proven to be chemically confused by their hormones through their age of majority, are bombarded with homosexual ideation through the media then are we that sure that it will not lead first to an anti marriage majority and then to an anti straight / anti monogamy majority?

    I see a potential in the spread of homosexuality misinformation by the liberal elite, for creating an unstoppable momentum behind the flow of children from those whose biological parents have had their resources pulled away from them by impossibly unfair governments, to the those who have been chosen as state approved as parents. It seems to me to be the subversion of the poor by the rich for the rich’s own selfish and often sexually perverted pleasures.

    The fecundity of society has to be a moral issue surely if it is to have consequences on our children?

    Can we ever actually have some unbiased science on the subject?

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