There’s been a remarkable shift, globally, over the past two decades when it comes to acceptance of homosexuality. Even in countries like Kenya, where being gay was once so taboo that support for gay people was virtually non-existent, support is now in the double digits.
That’s according to a new report from the Pew Research Center, based on the Spring 2019 Global Attitudes Survey.
In the United States, 72% of people now say being gay should be accepted, compared to 49% in 2007, which is a huge improvement (though we still lag behind other wealthier countries).
But let’s just look at how religion plays into this.
It’s no surprise that the more religious people are, the more bigoted they are. This survey didn’t break down the results by denomination, though it did ask people if religion was “important” to them. Among those in the U.S. who said religion was “very important” to them, only 57% said homosexuality should be accepted by society. Among those who don’t care much about religion? The number jumps to 86%.That difference ranks among the highest in the world. (In Israel, the numbers are 22% and 62%, respectively.)
While we don’t get the denomination breakdown, the analysis does include this passage pointing out that non-religious Americans are far more accepting of gay people than Christians.
… those who are religiously unaffiliated, sometimes called religious “nones,” (that is, those who identify as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular”) tend to be more accepting of homosexuality. Though the opinions of religiously unaffiliated people can vary widely, in virtually every country surveyed with a sufficient number of unaffiliated respondents, “nones” are more accepting of homosexuality than the affiliated.
The more our nation moves away from organized religion — thanks, Donald Trump! — the more welcoming we will be to LGBTQ people. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when faith-based hatred isn’t standing in the way.
(Featured image via Shutterstock)