Nearly half (47%) of LGBT+ adults in the US are religious with older, black and residents of the South more likely to have faith.
Of the five million LGBT+ people who say they are religious, around one million say they are highly religious. They say religion is important in their daily lives and they attend services weekly or nearly weekly.
That’s according to a new study by researchers at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.
The researchers found religious people are spread across all demographics and states.
However, there are also sharp differences. For example, 74% of LGBT+ adults living in South Carolina and 70% in Mississippi are religious. By contrast, just 31% are in Maine and Alaska, and 32% in Oregon and New Hampshire.
Overall, 54% of LGBT+ residents of the South are religious.
Kerith Conron, research director at the Williams Institute, said:
‘Our study shows that religion plays an important role in the lives of nearly half of all LGBT people in the country. Religious LGBT adults are socio-demographically diverse, live in every region and state, and participate in all religious denominations.’
LGBT+ people of color are more religious
The researchers analyzed data from the Gallup Daily Tracking Survey to get a broad picture of religious belief among LGBT+ Americans.
They found most were Christian. In particular, they estimate there are 1.5 million Protestants and 1.3 million Roman Catholics in America’s LGBT+ community.
A further 1.3 religious LGBT+ adults belong to another Christian religion while 107,000 are Mormons.
But there are also 131,000 Jews and 106,000 Muslims. Furthermore, 425,000 identify with another religion.
The researchers also discovered that middle-aged and older LGBT+ adults are more religious than the next generation.
Just 40% of LGBT+ Americans aged 18 to 34 are religious.
But from the age of 35 upwards, this rises sharply and makes more than half of the LGBT+ population in all other age groups. 51% of those ages 35 to 49, 56% of those ages 50 to 64, and 65% of those ages 65 and older are religious.
Meanwhile the researchers also confirmed that LGBT+ people of color are more likely to follow a faith than white LGBT+ adults.
The biggest number is among black LGBT+ people – 71% are religious.
Meanwhile that number is 61% for Hawaiian and Asian Pacific Islanders, 57% of American Indians and Alaskan Natives, and also 57% of Lantinx people.
By comparison just 38% of white LGBT+ adults are religious.