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  • LGBT Americans Are 'Significantly Less Religious' Says Gallup – Here's Why

    Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans are much less religious than their heterosexual peers, a new Gallup poll finds.

    By a wide margin, LGBT Americans are "significantly less religious" than heterosexuals. A new Gallup survey finds that LGBT people in the U.S. are "significantly less likely than non-LGBT Americans to be highly religious, and significantly more likely to be classified as not religious."

    Overall, nearly half -- 47 percent -- of LGBT people are "not religious," they say, agreeing that "religion is not an important part of their daily lives and that they seldom or never attend religious services." By comparison, 30 percent of non-LGBT people identify as not religious.

    This who say they are moderately religious, claiming "religion is important in their lives but that they do not attend services regularly, or that religion is not important but that they still attend services," weigh in equally at 29 percent of the population -- both LGBT and non-LGBT.


    Less than one-quarter -- just 24 percent -- of LGBT people ay they are highly religious, claiming "religion is an important part of their daily lives and that they attend religious services every week or almost every week." 41 percent of non-LGBT Americans also identify as highly-religious in Gallup's survey of 104,024 adults, conducted from January to July of this year.

    Gallup also notes that "67% of LGBT Americans identify with a specific or general religion, lower than the 83% of non-LGBT adults who identify with one."

    Unsurprisingly, Gallup offers these possible reasons for the lack of religious beliefs among the LGBT population.

    There are a number of possible explanations for the lower level of religiosity among the U.S. LGBT population. LGBT individuals may feel less welcome in many congregations whose church doctrine, church policy, or ministers or parishioners condemn same-sex relations, and for the same reasons may be less likely to adopt religion into their own daily lives and beliefs.

    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.

    But Gallup whitewashes the "possible explanations."

    In reality, it's no wonder that LGBT people are less religious, when daily the LGBT community is lambasted as perverted, sick, sinners, of the devil, and "worthy of death." It's no wonder that LGBT people are less religious, when those who claim to represent God and religion call for the mass murder of the world’s homosexuals

    Gays are regularly treated them as inhuman by most of the religious right's loudest voices. Those same voices, along with the majority of GOP politicians -- who are often one in the same -- attack LGBT people as “perverted,” “degenerate,” “spiritually darkened” and “frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally.” They often engage in verbal assaults, like claiming homosexuality is an "unhealthy, sexual addiction,” an “abomination in the sight of God,” that same-sex marriage leads to "Adam and a bull," and almost daily compare LGBT people to alcoholics, child-molesters, and thieves, and claim same-sex marriage will lead to polygamy, incest, increase in disease, and general immorality. And they call coming out as LGBT a "tragedy," and a "family crisis."

    Ironically, the loudest voices who also claim to represent religion -- or the religious right -- now regularly claim that homosexuality and Christianity are incompatible, and even that "Jesus would stone homos."


    Image by khrawlings via Flickr

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    • commented 2015-03-03 11:05:34 -0500
      Doesn’t surprise me, why would you believe in a philosophy that tells you your lifestyle is evil? I certainly wouldn’t. I am heterosexual female who believes all religion is EVIL Yes I was raised in an organized religion, to me they are all repressive and believe humans are so stupid and evil that the only way we know how to be good is if we are told how to conduct yourselves to be good. WHAT A LOAD OF HORSE SHIT!!!!

    • commented 2014-08-13 21:54:46 -0400
      there isn’t a single thing accomplished by any religious institution that cannot or has not been mirrored or surpassed more efficiently, more cheaply, more easily without all the religious charity hocus pocus baggage. Add that there does not exist a religion that has any manner of exclusivity or monopoly on good sense or superior, much less unassailable, morality. To become part of any religion or denomination which adheres to the Levitican condemnations of homosexuality necessarily requires the supplicant be an apologist for the excesses derived from those magical pronouncements. I, personally, cannot bring myself to overcome what it takes to endure quietly the overt discrimination and constant denial of civil equality as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. I shall not attempt or apologize for refusing to kiss, figuratively or virtually or otherwise, the arrogant, self righteous bigots’ backsides. I may even succumb to the loss of housing, employment, medical care, medical coverage, federal spousal benefits, mere consortium or any of the other due process details non-faggots take for granted daily. Nor shall any of us self respecting sexual minorities overlook religionists insistence that everybody pretend their delusion exists or that their exclusionary practices aren’t actually killing people. Surprised, are you, we don’t so readily join your ranks? Let me put it this way: When I was a child, I did childish things. But, when I became a man, I put childish things aside. Stop with the anti-social fairy stories and grow up.

    • commented 2014-08-13 21:32:28 -0400

    • commented 2014-08-12 22:30:44 -0400
      Sometimes we can do more and better together than we can alone. There is a place for organized (or in the case of the Unitarian Universalists, semi-organized) religion. Not every congregation will be a final destination on the spiritual?religious path but can be a place of exploration, renewal, questioning and finding along the way. The most compelling thing for me is the under-reported fact that most of people who work in mainline congregations are supportive if they cannot be overtly welcoming. And there are many fully welcoming, open and affirming congregations. The people working in those congregations work faithfully to help people make sense of this crazy life and help people become who they are called to be. They do not get the attention of the media and therefore cannot be seen as the overwhelming counter wight to the hate mongering nut jobs who fill the headlines. And it isn’t just clergy and staff but the whole congregation. If you are looking for a religious/spiritual home, there are places all over the country who will welcome you, LGBTIQ or A.

    • commented 2014-08-12 22:14:26 -0400
      The question should be about spirituality and faith, not religion or organized religion. I’ll bet you’d get very different answers. While I am a true believer in God, I hate religion. My life is spiritual, not religious!! Hard to be “religious” where you are hated.!!

    • commented 2014-08-12 17:50:07 -0400
      Maybe you need to stop and think about what this means? Although most religious organizations don’t fully recognize their gay members doesn’t mean that they don’t exist, 24% is still a good chunk of our population.

      It doesn’t surprise me at all that we’re less likely to count on neither faith nor religion since unlike the case with most straight visible minorities in the U.S., after the rise of the right-wing, religion has been the cause of opposition and oppression towards the legitimization of our rights as individuals and so we, as a community, would have at least some reservations about it, but let’s remember that many of our own leaders are also leaders in their respective faiths.

    • commented 2014-08-12 15:58:39 -0400
      It is hardly a surprise the LGBTI people are less involved in corporate religious expressions. Someone looking to drum up business for their brand is always denouncing (or worse) LGBTI people. The may get more air time BUT they are a minority, becoming smaller every day. And there are many congregations and some whole denominations who not only want LGBTI folks as they are, expect full inclusion and participation from their LGBTI members and talk about welcoming and throw open their doors every day to make sure their message of welcome is known. However, the idiots spouting hate and ignorance are the ones given space in the media. Check out the Unitarian Universalist Association, the United Church of Christ and the Metropolitan Community Church or Reform and Reconstructionist Temples for starters. Other denominations are in process and congregations are at different points on the way to full welcome and inclusion. In sum, we’re NALT, Not All Like That.

    • commented 2014-08-12 15:19:32 -0400
      Or perhaps the act of questioning and rejecting inaccurate and unscientific mainstream beliefs about homosexuality also gave us the precedent, tools, and wherewithal to question and reject inaccurate and unscientific mainstream beliefs about the supernatural.

    • commented 2014-08-12 13:52:23 -0400
      Who can blame the LGBT for shunning religion when the most vicious of the religious rights want them stoned to death. Yeah, Christians. Bullshit!

    • commented 2014-08-12 12:43:34 -0400
      The reason is that no religion wants us as we are.

    • commented 2014-08-12 12:27:30 -0400
      I’m a gay man who is an atheist because I see insufficient evidence for the existence of any of the multitude of gods humanity has worshiped over the course of human history.

    • commented 2014-08-12 11:39:13 -0400
      Yeah, how noxious to skip over the fact that, in the lifetimes of LGBT people of all ages, a significant portion have been directly harmed by abusive, religiously-based ex-gay “therapy,” not to mention officially blocked from participation & membership. Gifted Catholic teachers, musicians and even those employed in outreach to the poor and hungry have been employed for years as openly LGBT, only to be fired and denied any further option for volunteer parish work.

      I was a church-going person for most of my first 40 years. Then I lost my partner to suicide, with his rejection as a musician by two churches (where he had been beloved by most) was a contributing factor, I wanted to remain connected to a supportive faith community, but I might as well have had PTSD… no longer could I be a part of it and still take care of myself.

      The more appropriate question is, How the hell do so many LGBT believers — against the odds — remain moderately to highly religous?

    • commented 2014-08-12 11:10:38 -0400
      Frankly, I just think that most of us have come to the conclusion that we don’t need lying hypocrites telling us how to live our lives when we know perfectly well how to do it without them. Secondly, most of us would rather rely on proven science to inform us of the universe instead of myth, mysticism, and irrational thought.

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