Pew Research Looks At The Conflicting Relationship Between LGBT Adults And Religion

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 4.42.46 PM

The comprehensive Pew Survey of LGBT Americans we reported on earlier detailing the coming out process and social acceptance has a fascinating section that examines the conflicting relationship between LGBT adults and religion. Unsurprisingly, there is a stark difference between the religious views of LGBT adults and that of the general public.

From Pew:

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 4.40.12 PMLesbian, 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.

Later on, the survey asks 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. And about three-in-ten LGBT adults (29%) say they personally have "been made to feel unwelcome at a place of worship or religious organization."

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 4.40.50 PM
Check out the full survey HERE


  1. atomic says

    Well, to be fair, any Muslim would be offended, period. Either they would be offended that the result isn’t 100%, or they would be offended that their “religion of peace” is being demonized as gay-unfriendly, but they’d do nothing about it.

  2. jason says

    Pew is a conservative research and polling organization. Another thing is that its polling is based on flawed notions of sexuality. Sexuality isn’t identity.

  3. candideinnc says

    The reaction to Catholicism is peculiar in the sense that Catholics are generally supportive of gays, but the hierarchy is antagonistic. In contrast, I think both the clergy and the membership of evangelical cults are antagonistic to gays. I am surprised by this polls results.

  4. Joe in Ct says

    I wish they had asked specifically about Baptists.

    I suspect Baptists would be ranked right up there with Muslims and Mormons in being among the most unfriendly toward GLBT people.

  5. Jack Smith says

    Most Episcopal Churches I’ve been in have a substantial number of gay people present.

  6. Francis #1 says

    Episcopalians are definitely far better on this issue compared to pretty much all mainstream religious sects in the US. Jewish are as well outside of the Orthodox conservatives so not surprised their numbers are better than they are with Muslims, Mormons, who are virulently anti-gay on the balance. The Catholic church is anti-gay but self-identified Catholics in the US support marriage equality at higher rates than the US national average, so there is a schism there, as there is with other sects/denominations.

    Most LGBT people see religion as against them and they find religious communities to be unwelcome. I also think being discriminated against and generally being an outcast and outsider means people in our community are much more able to think for ourselves and craft out our own pathways, which leads to lower rates of religious affiliation.

  7. Jake says

    Most “church queens” those who get actively involved in the ritual and ceremony are Episcopalians, and I believe they truly enjoy it.

  8. Bob says

    Sad to see the bigoted comments about muslims, above. And sad to see the anti-semitism that rates Jews incorrectly
    As for the survey, 2 comments:
    1– that 2% that thinks mormonity is friendly toward Gays are fooled by the expensive lds public relations. (But it IS true that morholes WANT To be SEEN as friendly)
    2– The figurew for Jewish people ouught to be – ~25% or less unfriendly (the ultra orthodox) and closer to ~25% neutral, 50% friendly

  9. JonnyNYNY2FLFL says

    All religions want you to blindly accept their dogma…
    They call it “faith”

  10. Tyler says

    I’m proudly not religious and distance myself from it having realized that my life is worth living in the now, for now, not for a fable that has yet to at all be scientifically proven.

  11. Duration & Convexity says

    I respect anyone for any beliefs, but based on my own personal experiences with religious LGBT (not casually religious, I’m talking those who are religious…religious) it hasn’t been pretty. At all. Could have just been my dozen or so experiences but I honestly haven’t seen much of a stark contrast between the religious heterosexuals I’ve encountered and gay religious folks I’ve encountered.

  12. USC Trojans Fan says

    Religion: the only institution where 96% of members were ‘born’ into it by way of forced teachings of their parents during impressionable childhood years.

  13. Alejandro says

    My last boyfriend was Christian. Church attending every sunday kind of Christian with very Christian gay group of friends. I didn’t mind at first. Until of course, we were in social settings and they all attempted to start preaching, converting, all coupled with self hating clichés:

    “Now why do some gays have to wear it on their sleeves though? Just tone it down”

    “Sorry drag queens give us a bad name and trannys scare the crap out of me”

    “Pride makes us all look bad. I heard everyone there does drugs and tries to pursue getting AIDS”

    Sorry, just because you sleep with the same sex and can’t quite fight off your urge for the peen does not excuse you from being a complete a hole. If the only thing separating you from Rick Santorum is you are open about sleeping with the same sex, than sorry, that’s not good enough for me, and you’re still ignorant. Not all Christian gays are ignorant, but damn, I’ve met some ignorant Christian gays.

  14. Two Dads says

    It’s all bull cut from the same cloth and that some LGBT really believe sectors of the Christian faith are so much more loving about our community is nothing short of American xtian propaganda rebranding itself in some spaces to GET YOUR MONEY. Simple as that hun. That muslim mosque is not much different than that Christian holy church in how both have mistreated our community. Never ever let yourself think otherwise.

  15. Mike CA says

    Hmm how about they are all stemmed from old useless men with nothing better to do writing fairy tales to control the masses and make billions upon billions of dollars a year? Too honest?

  16. Yolo says

    I was around religion all my life. It absolutely destroyed me. Yes, some may be better, but none are great…it’s an entrapment and you are in an almost literal sense, a slave, mentally and emotionally, to an institution that is just as much focused on making money as they are controlling minds. 25 years of experience and I am finally free at last, without the religious chains to weigh my soul down.

  17. klien says

    Oh, I could make this really simply. I don’t trust any of them. Across the board.

    The most deceitful people I have known in my life have all been vocal religious people. Cheating, lying, lack of loyalty. My loving dog has shown me far more loyalty in my life than my religious siblings who stole from our parents, attempted to harass me for being gay, but hey, they went to church once a month, so it’s all good for them.

  18. Global Guy says

    If you need organized religion in order to act with values, you have no values to begin with. If you need to be told you’ll go into a bunch of clouds, with fairies and unicorns after death in order to be kind to your fellow man, then you are not a kind person to begin with. If you need a book to tell you how much more saved & better you are from your fellow human beings who don’t fit your chosen book club, then you are desperate for belonging.

    Morality has nothing to do with religion. But a lot of religion has stripped people of morality.

  19. Real Talk says

    @ Jose carrabbas Tu Quiero Taco Bell Feliciano

    Why do some gays like you talk like that? dayum. “Miss thang, queen this, queen that, gurrl bye” Stop tryin talk like a sassy black girl stereotype. It’s not cute, even though you clearly got yourself convinced it is. Stop.

  20. HH505 says

    Jose Carrabbas also loves throwing anti gay slurs every waking chance IT gets. I think he’s the previous poster named choclatebear who was especially homophobic but tried to be the voice of equality for racial prejudice. You gotta love the irony in someone calling people out for saying something racially intolerant, while they themselves practice homophobic speech (and no, you don’t get a pass because you’re gay. You sound like a complete moronic thug with your constant gay derogatory slurs aimed at everyone on here Choclatebear)

  21. Leo says

    I’d really like to get some responses to this:

    Has anyone had an experience where their coming out made a religious family member become less religious by virtue of seeing how gay people are treated by some organized religious institutions?

    Has anyone actually had a family or friend leave the church after knowing a gay person and seeing how in political battles, some religious organizations actively campaign against us?

    I’d really be curious to know, as this happened with a friend’s sister.

  22. Jack M says

    It’s not a religion that’s friendly or unfriendly, it’s the people who follow the religion.

  23. Brian says

    This is a weird survey. What is meant by unfriendly? And what about the insistence where, the institution is antagonistic of gays but the people in it are not?

    I’m gay and Catholic. Am I unfriendly towards myself??

  24. ratbastard says



    The average American Catholic is indeed statistically MORE gay friendly than even than even the average mainline American Protestant. An evangelical Protestants, pentecostals, and Baptists statistically are far more anti-gay and seem to take the ideology of their respective religions far more seriously than American Catholics.

    Statistically, the most gay friendly religious people in the U.S. are [aside from people like Unitarians, of course] Jews and Catholics. This could be partially explained by the fact Jews and Catholics are particularly heavily located in metro suburban/urban areas, especially along the coasts and urbanized midwest.

  25. Peter Hargmier says

    Religion poisons everything.

    By all means be spiritual, have a belief system, but dont adhere to any religion. As soon as a heirarchy of power and enforced proselytizing are involved, and a belief system becomes a religious institution, that belief system is wide open to abuse, corruption and hypocracy.

    Make up your own mind, come to your own conclusions, and dont try to get others to subscribe to your vision. Leave them to make up their own mind too.

  26. jamal49 says

    @jason, you are, suprisingly, partially correct.

    However, as an adult LGBTQ person, I have no conflict with religion.

    It’s religion that has a conflict with me.

    F*** ’em all.

  27. Bryan says

    I’d love to read the thought process of the people that voted “neutral” on Islam