Religion News: Gays less likely to be religious, poll shows

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By Drama Queen (Church of the Pilgrims) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Week in Religion

Americans who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) are significantly less likely than their non-LGBT counterparts to consider themselves religious, according to a new Gallup poll.

A little more than half, 53 percent, of LGBT respondents considered themselves “moderately” or “highly” religious, compared to 70 percent of non-LGBT respondents.

The reasons for the discrepancy could be due to a number of reasons, Gallup notes.

“LGBT individuals may feel less welcome in many congregations whose church doctrine, church policy, or ministers or parishioners condemn same-sex relations, and for the same reasons may be less likely to adopt religion into their own daily lives and beliefs,” the poll report states.

“Other possible explanations have to do less with church doctrine and more with the demographics of the LGBT population. LGBT individuals may be more likely to live in areas and cities where religion and religious service attendance are less common, and may adopt the practices of those with whom they share geography.”

The poll, released on Aug. 11, was based on 104,000 interviews conducted beginning in January 2014.

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The Word

Laicization: A formal proceeding at the Vatican in which a priest is “returned to the lay state.” This means he is free to marry and is no longer required — or permitted — to say Mass, although in an emergency he can give final sacraments to a dying person. Technically, he remains a priest, but only in the eyes of God, because the Catholic Church believes that ordination leaves an indelible mark on the soul. Most laicizations are done at the request of the priest, though some are carried out involuntarily as punishment for serious offenses.


Religion Around the World

According to the CIA World Factbook, the religious makeup of Liberia is:

- Christian, 85.6 percent

- Muslim, 12.2 percent

- Traditional, 0.6 percent

- Other, 0.2 percent

- None, 1.4 percent