Study: Most US gay people find the majority of religious organisations to be ‘unfriendly’
A study has revealed that the majority of gay Americans are much less religious compared to the US population, and around a third have said they have felt unwelcome in a place of worship.
The survey by the Pew Research Center, released at the end of last week, looks at how LGBT Americans perceive the prominent religions in the country.
It finds that the majority of gay americans find most religions to be “unfriendly”, reports the Washington Post.
A large majority, 84%, said that they perceived Islam as unfriendly towards gays, the Mormon church at 83%, the Roman Catholic church with 79%, and evangelical churches at 73%.
More of a mixed reaction was had from Judaism and non-evangelical Protestantism, with over 40% considering them either unfriendly or neutral about gay people.
Director of news and faith initiatives at GLAAD, said the relationship between the gay and religious communities had improved over recent years, however before the last decade they were “pretty painful”.
He went on to say that the sense of unfriendliness could come in part from the loudest voices of faith groups speaking out against LGBT rights.
Citing a GLAAD study from last year, Murray said that religious groups in support of LGBT rights got far less media attention than those against.
“The leading anti-gay voices always put it in religious terms, which taints how people view religion,” he said.
Despite the Pew research finding that US gay people had begun to feel greater social acceptance, 29% of respondents said they had felt personally unaccepted in a place of worship.
39% said they had been rejected by a close friend or family member, and 21% said they felt they had been treated unfairly by an employer.
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Almost 50% of the LGBT respondents said they had no religious affiliation, compared to 20% in the general population. A third of LGBT adults said they felt a conflict between their sexuality or gender identity and their faith.
The lower percentage of younger people in the general population to have a religious affiliation is also reflected in the LGBT community, however it is almost double, with 60% of LGBT people aged 18-29 having no religious affiliation, compared to just under a third for the general population.
The Pew survey was based on interviews from April 11-29 with 1,197 self-identified gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender adults and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.