A Pew Research study released yesterday shows that many Americans identify as "religiously unaffiliated," meaning they are atheist, agnostic, or nothing in particular. The unaffiliated include many millennials; the survey of 35,000 Americans found that 35 percent of Netflix-binging, Tinder-swiping, Snapchatting 20-somethings consider themselves unaffiliated, while the number for the general population was 23 percent, itself having climbed six percentage points since a similar study in 2007.
An even larger percentage of gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans fall into the unaffiliated category, 41 percent, according to the study. Forty-eight percent of LGB respondents identified as Christian, compared with 72 percent of heterosexuals, while 11 percent of LGB folks were adherents of non-Christian faiths. These results are fairly similar to those in Pew's 2013 survey of LGBT Americans, which indicated that 48 percent had no religious affiliation, while a third saw conflicts between their religion and their sexual orientation or gender identity. Some prominent gay people, though, urge others not to give up on religion.
Do not give up on God. I used to fear being gay meant I will live a lonely life. Gay or not there is no lonelier life than one without God.
— Daniel Franzese (@WhatsupDanny) July 26, 2014
While fundamentalist Christian churches are generally far from accepting of LGBT people, and the Roman Catholic Church teaches that homosexuality is a disorder, many mainline Protestant denominations support LGBT equality. These include the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American, Presbyterian Church (USA), and United Church of Christ. Conservative and Reform Judaism are also LGBT-friendly. And LGBT people are working to make other religious bodies more accepting.
In the film Owning Our Faith, LGBT Catholics call for acceptance; the filmmakers were inspired to do the project after discovering how many queer youth are disowned by their families and homeless. Watch the film below!