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LGBT religious community feels unwelcome in most US houses of worship

LGBT religious community feels unwelcome in most US houses of worship

A new study by the Pew Research Center reveals that roughly a third of the LGBT community in the United States feel they are not welcome in most houses of worship.

As well, the study reports that they view the top religions as unfriendly toward them.

According to a story published by Religion News Services, the following statistics apply with regard to the percentages of how the LGBT community perceives individual religions as being unfriendly or unwelcoming:

  • Islam – 84 percent
  • LDS (Mormon) – 83 percent
  • Roman Catholic – 79 percent
  • Evangelical – 73 percent

Jewish and non-evangelical protestant churches fared better, with a number around forty percent.

The story cites Director of News and Faith Initiatives for the pro-gay advocacy group, GLADD, Ross Murray, as stating the relationship between the LGBT community and the religious community has improved over the years.

Murray points out, though, that the negative perception of the LGBT community is coming from a small, but very vocal slice of the religious community. He reasons that the anti-gay rhetoric coming from these groups are tainting the overall view of LGBTs.

Murray states,

“The leading anti-gay voices always put it in religious terms, which taints how people view religion.”

A surprising statistic is that the acceptance of the LGBT community among religions in general is still better than their acceptance within their own families or social circles.

The study cites that the 29% who feel unwelcome or unaccepted in religion compares better than the 39 percent who state they have been rejected by someone personally close to them, such as a family member or a good friend.

It should be noted that the percentage of the LGBT community who have no affiliation with religion is significantly higher when contrasted with the US population as a whole.

About 20% of the general population state they are not affiliated with a particular faith, while that number among the LGBT community stands at roughly half, or 50%.

Among those in the LGBT community who are affiliated with a faith, a third of them state the reason they feel unwelcome is directly associated with their sexual orientation or how they identify themselves with respect to gender.

About Al Stefanelli

Al is a retired author, writer and journalist. His books include "Free Thoughts - A Collection Of Essays By An American Atheist" and "A Voice Of Reason In An Unreasonable World - The Rise Of Atheism On Planet Earth." Al began writing in 1985, starting with the New York Times. In 1993 he joined a McClatchy newspaper, writing a weekly column for ten years. His writing continues to be widely distributed on the Internet and in print. He also produced and hosted a weekly syndicated radio broadcast from 1995 to 1998, and his work won a North Carolina Journalism award in 1998. Al is the former Georgia State Director for American Atheists, Inc., and served on the Board of Directors for "The Clergy Project." He is also a former Southern Baptist Pastor, having served two churches and as pulpit supply for three counties. Currently, he writes part time for The God Discussion, co-hosts the Internet radio programs, "The God Discussion Show" and "Reap Sow Radio." Al lives in the Atlanta suburb of Peachtree City, GA.
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