New report shows people leaving religious communities over anti-LGBT beliefs

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According to a new report released on February 26, at least one-third of adults in the US have left a religious community over its treatment of and attitude towards LGBT people.

Though it’s widely known that younger people are more likely to be agnostic or atheist than previous generations, the study by Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), titled “A Shifting Landscape: A Decade of Change in American Attitudes about Same-Sex Marriage and LGBT Issues,” is one of the first of its kind to look into why Americans under thirty-four are likely to put less emphasis on faith.

The CEO of PRRI, Robert P. Jones, said in a news release for the study, “While many churches and people in the pews have been moving away from their opposition to LGBT rights over the last decade, this new research provides further evidence that negative teachings on this issue have hurt churches’ ability to attract and retain young people.”

According to the study findings, “Nearly 6-in-10 (58%) Americans agree that religious groups are alienating young people by being too judgmental on gay and lesbian issues. Seven-in-ten (70%) Millennials believe that religious groups are alienating young adults by being too judgmental on gay and lesbian issues:

“Among Americans who left their childhood religion and are now religiously unaffiliated, about one-quarter say negative teachings about or treatment of gay and lesbian people was a somewhat important (14%) or very important (10%) factor in their decision to disaffiliate. Among Millennials who no longer identify with their childhood religion, nearly one-third say that negative teachings about, or treatment of, gay and lesbian people was either a somewhat important (17%) or very important (14%) factor in their disaffiliation from religion.”

The report can be read in its entirety here.

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