Religion in the United States has been studied widely; however, relatively little is known about religiosity and LGBT people. Prior population-based studies indicate that more than half of LGBT adults are religiously affiliated, yet, information about the importance of religion to LGBT people, their service attendance, and characteristics has been lacking. This report aims to fill these gaps. Data from the nationally representative Gallup Daily Tracking Survey, an anonymous telephone survey, were analyzed to describe religiosity among LGBT-identified respondents and to provide information about their sociodemographic characteristics. Respondents were classified as not religious, moderately religious, or highly religious based on the responses to two questions—the importance of religion in daily life and frequency of service attendance. Gallup and Census data were used to produce estimates of the number of religious LGBT adults in the nation, by state, region, and religious affiliation. Main findings include:
- Nationwide, about 5.3 million LGBT adults are religious, including an estimated 3,063,000 LGBT adults who are moderately religious and 2,230,000 who are highly religious.
- Religious LGBT adults are found across the age spectrum, in every racial-ethnic group, among married and single people, among those who are parenting, and among rural and urban dwellers.
- About one in seven highly religious LGBT adults is married to a same-sex partner (8.9%) or is cohabitating with a same-sex partner (5.9%); one in five (20.5%) is married to a different-sex partner; about one in seven (15.5%) is separated, divorced or widowed.
- Many religious adults are parents (45.8% and 57.7% among moderately and highly religious adults, respectively) and many currently have a child under the age of 18 (25.4% and 31.3% among moderately and highly religious adults, respectively).
- Demographic patterns in religiosity observed in the general population are also observed among LGBT adults. Middle-aged and older adults are more likely to be religious than younger adults. Many Black LGBT adults are religious.
- About 40% of LGBT adults ages 18 to 34 are religious, as are 51.1% of those ages 35 to 49, 55.8% of those ages 50 to 64, and 64.9% of those ages 65 and up.
- Over 70% of Black LGBT adults are religious—either moderately (39.3%) or highly (31.7%) religious.
- Over half (54.1%) of LGBT adults in the south are religious—including those who are moderately (31.0%) or highly (23.1%) religious.
- Among religious LGBT adults, there are an estimated 1.5 million Protestants, 1.3 million Roman Catholics, 1.3 million who report belonging to another Christian religion, 425,000 who identify with another non-Christian religion, as well as 131,000 Jews, 107,000 Mormons, and 106,000 who are Muslim.
Religion is important to many LGBT people. Religious LGBT adults, including those who are moderately or highly religious, are socio-demographically diverse, reside in every region and state, and are represented across all religious denominations. Among LGBT adults, older adults, Black adults, and those residing in the South are the most likely to be religious.