Americans who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender are not quite feeling the whole religion thing as much as other Americans.
That’s according to a new Gallup poll, which found almost half of all LGBT adults are not religious compared with 30 percent of non-LGBT adults who say the same.
Only 24 percent of LGBT adults identify as “highly religious” — meaning they regularly attend religious services and say religion marks an important part of their day-to-day lives — while 41 percent of non-LGBT adults do.
To complete the study, Gallup interviewed more than 104,000 people, of which more than 3,200 adults identified as LGBT, between January and July.
Gallup offered some explanations:
- LGBT people may not feel as welcome at church. For example, many religious denominations stand staunchly opposed to same-sex marriage, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Southern Baptist Convention.
- Those who identify as LGBT might live in communities where religion plays a smaller role.
- There are a lot of young LGBT people in the United States: Younger people tend to be the least religious nationwide.
While 83 percent of non-LGBT adults identify with a religion, just two-thirds of LGBT adults do.
However, there’s been a shift in the acceptance of LGBT people and same-sex marriage in the past few years. In May, a Gallup poll found support for same-sex marriage reached 55 percent, a record high. Just this summer, the Presbyterian Church (USA) allowed pastors to wed same-sex couples in the states where it’s legal.
Even Pope Francis hinted at change. In July 2013, he told reporters aboard a papal airplane: “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”