More LGB Americans consider themselves Christian than ever before. In a new Pew Research Center report, 48 percent of LGB Americans identify as Christian, up from 42 percent in 2013. The statistic contrasts the study’s finding of overall decline of Christianity, from 78.4 percent of Americans identifying as Christian, down to 70.6 percent.
“Among respondents who identify themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual, fully 41% are religiously unaffiliated, and fewer than half (48%) describe themselves as Christians,” the study finds. “Non-Christian faiths also are represented in the gay community at higher rates than among the general public, with 11% of gay, lesbian and bisexual respondents identifying with faiths other than Christianity.”
Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu mostly compromised the 11 percent of non-Christian faith. Under the 41 percent of religiously unaffiliated, 8 percent identify as atheist, 9 percent as agnostic, and the remaining 24 percent don't identify with any particular label.
The findings could represent a culture shift, says Matthew Vines, author of God and the Gay Christian.
“Many people might find that figure surprising, in large part because the majority of LGBT people represented in the media don't identify as Christians,” Vines told The Advocate.
“The 'Christians vs. LGBT people' narrative that we hear so often is part of the story, but as the Pew poll shows, it's not all of it. In fact, it's the 48 percent of LGBT Americans who are Christians who are best positioned to change both religious attitudes about same-sex marriage and secular attitudes about religion. As LGBT Christians continue to find their voice, they'll be changing both their churches and the LGBT community for the better.”
The survey consisted of 35,071 adults, 1,604 of them identifying as LGB. The survey was conducted by telephone, from June 4 to September 30, 2014.