REPORT: Half of LGB Americans Identify As Christian

By Eliel Cruz

Originally published on May 12 2015 7:10 PM ET

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.”

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.