Nearly half of all gay Americans identify as Christian


Today, Pew released the findings of its survey of religious affiliation.

There are multiple major findings, including that the share of Americans identifying as Christian has fallen to new lows, while those saying they lack any religious affiliation rose across all demographics.

Here’s another one: 48 percent of gay Americans identify as Christian.

Within that group, 29 percent identified as Protestant, while 17 percent identified as Catholic. Just 8 percent of gays said they were atheists. There was no historical data available to show how these rates have changed over time. 72 percent of straights identify as Christian.

The results come as Pope Francis has softened the Catholic Church’s language about homosexuality, having said in July 2013, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?” While some gay-rights groups in Italy argue there has not been any major change in Catholic doctrine, Religious News Service’s David Gibson reported in February that Vatican representatives have been much more active in helping gay Christian groups attend major church events in Rome. As a result, the number of pilgrims attending Holy Site visits has doubled, the service said.

“Chalk it up to the so-called Francis Effect,” Gibson wrote, “where the pope’s open-arms acceptance is giving new hope to gay and lesbian Catholics who have felt alienated from their church for decades.”

They also come as the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in deciding whether to allow gay marriage. According to the Washington Post, “more than a dozen briefs have been filed by religious conservatives concerned with defending traditional family structures.”

While no one on the court (1/3rd of which is Jewish) appears to have made reference to any religious passages, individuals protesting outside the hearings have.

And finally, they hit as states like Indiana weigh “religious freedom” laws that allow businesses to refuse service to certain people.

These results show that those businesses who do may not fully understanding whom they’re dealing with.

Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.

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