According to a new analysis of the Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study, gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans are far less religious than the nation as a whole. (The survey did not include data about transgender people.)
… gay, lesbian and bisexual adults are substantially less likely than straight adults to affiliate with a religious group. Four-in-ten (41%) identify as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” compared with just 22% of straight adults who say the same.
I know, I know, you already assumed as much. But in theory, there’s no reason there should be any difference. The disconnect, I would assume, is almost entirely due to the way religious groups perceive and treat LGBTQ people. Many of the largest denominations have actively demonized them to the point where LGBTQ people want nothing to do with organized religion. They may still believe in the supernatural, but they know damn well that holy books have no love for them, and that many followers of God actively work to suppress their civil rights.
Maybe the better question is what those other 60% of LGB people are getting out of their religious affiliations. Sure, many likely belong to progressive denominations, but not all of them, which means those people are supporting groups that work to hurt other LGBTQ people.
Secular groups should also keep these numbers in mind because we need to be there for the LGBTQ people who are looking for a community but have nowhere to turn. Bigotry against LGBTQ people should remain in the realm of the religious. We do ourselves no favors when we make similar arguments for why LGBTQ don’t deserve rights or opportunities under the guise of “rationality,” or allow those misguided opinions to remain unchallenged.