There’s a lot of fascinating material in a new Pew survey of LGBT Americans, and I’ll have more to say about it later. But for now, I’d just like anyone who thinks the struggle for equality is over, or that gay folk need to be more patient, to focus on these findings:
About four-in-ten (39%) say that at some point in their lives they were rejected by a family member or close friend because of their sexual orientation or gender identity; 30% say they have been physically attacked or threatened; 29% say they have been made to feel unwelcome in a place of worship; and 21% say they have been treated unfairly by an employer. About six-in-ten (58%) say they’ve been the target of slurs or jokes.
As a religious believer, I’m particularly aggrieved by perceptions among LGBT folk of the relative friendliness or unfriendliness of various faith communities, virtually all of whom profess to being open to anyone. Perhaps LGBT perceptions of “the Muslim religion” (84% unfriendly, <1% friendly, and 13% neutral) or “the Mormon Church” (83/2/13), or “the Catholic Church (79/4/16) or “Evangelical churches” (73/3/21) are only surprising because of their dimensions. But even “the Jewish religion” (47/10/41) and “Non-evangelical Protestant churches (44/10/43) aren’t exactly coming across as welcoming and affirming institutions proclaiming God’s universal love.
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