Survey Says Most Religious People Don’t Hate gay people

DESPITE A perception that religion and gay intolerance go hand in hand, a US survey by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) shows that statistically, the reality doesn’t match up to the perception.

According to the survey, religious bias is overstated:

Bias against the gay community based on religious grounds is not as common as it is assumed to be. The latest report found that nearly 75 percent of Catholics think that other churchgoers disagree with same-sex marriage; however, 50 percent of Catholics support it. Though 60 percent of “white mainline Protestants” said other churchgoers protest marriage equality, 57 percent actually approve of it.

This apparently also goes for non-Christian religions, such as Judaism and Islam. A GLAAD study from 2012 shows that people have this bias because of how much certain anti-gay religious leaders dominate mainstream discourse and media coverage. This may be why so many people make this association, and why the PRRI survey founds that 31% of millennials left their childhood religion because of anti-gay rhetoric.


16 thoughts on “Survey Says Most Religious People Don’t Hate gay people

    • I think that as long as people revere a book which pompously states(as it puffs itself up to reveal its full ignorance) that such things are sins or abominations, then believers will have to disbelieve those parts in order not to hate gay people.

      “Love the sinner, hate the sin” just doesn’t cut it in the real world, if you are going to use an arbitrary, ignorant and biased definition of the sin. Suppose a homosexual moved in next door. Are you going to keep loving(or even start loving) someone who is quite determined to keep doing what you regard as a sin and an abomination?

      I don’t think so. It would be near-on impossible to ignore the constant “abominations”. You mightn’t hate the person, but you sure as hell wouldn’t welcome them as a friend. You would probably avoid them.

      Bit rich then, to claim the cop-out that you don’t actually hate them. I doubt they would notice the difference.


  1. I think most people were anti gay sex not very long ago. I was, until I met first one wonderful couple, then another, and more. And now with more public acceptance it is easier. Once I would have been upset if my children had followed that path, but more on the basis of public opinion about them than on a biblical base. I can remember, even back in those days, replying to church criticism with the fact that God had created most if not all animals with instances of this behaviour.

    Quote from –

    Examples of same-sex behavior can be found in almost all species in the animal kingdom — from worms to frogs to birds — making the practice nearly universal among animals, according to a new review of research on the topic.

    “It’s clear that same-sex sexual behavior extends far beyond the well-known examples that dominate both the scientific and popular literature: for example, bonobos, dolphins, penguins and fruit flies,” said Nathan Bailey, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Riverside.

    Same-sex behaviors in different species are not all equivalent, the review finds. For instance, male fruit flies sometimes court other male flies, but this behavior is due to a missing gene that gives the flies the ability to distinguish between sexes, said Bailey, a co-author of the review. “That is very different from male bottlenose dolphins, who engage in same-sex interactions to facilitate group bonding, or female Laysan Albatross that can remain pair-bonded for life,” he added.

    The review also found a gap in the literature: While many studies have tried to understand why same-sex coupling exists and why it might make sense in terms of evolution, few have looked at what the evolutionary consequences of this behavior might be.

    “Like any other behavior that doesn’t lead directly to reproduction — such as aggression or altruism — same-sex behavior can have evolutionary consequences that are just now beginning to be considered,” Bailey said. “For example, male-male copulations in locusts can be costly for the mounted male” and this cost may put evolutionary pressure on the locusts, he said. As a result, a larger number of males may secrete a particular chemical that discourages the mounting behavior, he added.

    In their future research, Bailey and Marlene Zuk, a biology professor at UCR, plan to try and address questions about the evolutionary outcomes of same-sex couplings, focusing on the Laysan Albatrosses.

    The review article was published in the June 16 issue of the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution, and the study was funded by the UCR Academia Senate.

    (There is a lovely photo in the article showing a female-female pair of Laysan Albatross. Females cooperatively build nests and rear young when males are scarce. Scientists said nearly all animal species exhibit same-sex behavior.)


  2. I came across this newspaper clipping hidden away in a magazine a few days back. I must have kept it for a reason. It’s from the Opinion section of THE TIMES, April 21, 2012 by Matthew Parris, who is an atheist and gay BTW. And I think he is very brave to have said what he did:


    Same-sex male attraction used to be something you do, not something you are. We are not two separate tribes

    On the margins of bigger news in recent days have been three little stories that caught my attention. The Mayor of London has reportedly stepped in to stop a Christian evangelical group advertising on London buses their claim that people can be “cured” of being homosexual.

    And Chris Birch, from Wales, has testified to turning from being heterosexual to being gay, after suffering a stroke when he broke his neck at the age of 26. Meanwhile, in a letter to The Times this morning, 15 senior figures in the Church of England—bishops and others—support gay marriage and see “God’s grace at work in same sex relationships”.

    It seems that, depending on your point of view, God, a stroke or a broken neck can turn you gay, help you to be gay or make you straight. On one thing, though, these opinions all agree—people can change.

    And (gulp) I think that that’s true. I will be misinterpreted; I may give comfort to wrongheaded evangelicals; gay friends may think I’m letting the side down . . . but I do believe that male sexual orientation is less fixed than we suppose. It may alter. We gays fought that idiotic “section 28” on dishonest grounds. Homosexuality can, as the statute implied, be “promoted”. So can heterosexuality. It always has been, with much success.

    At once must come the qualifications. I don’t think that everyone is alterable. I don’t think change is possible without shelving part of one’s nature. I think that it’s generally unwise to fight a strong orientation unless it would lead to hurt. And I absolutely don’t think that homosexuality can be “cured” in the sense of expelling some kind of disease from the system.

    But what I do believe — know beyond any shadow of doubt — is that the previous century took Western thinking on sexuality in a very false direction, and that this has seriously skewed the way in which we think about sexual attraction. It’s difficult even to discuss it in the language our parents bequeathed us. We are not two tribes — the straight and the gay.

    It’s inherently most improbable that evolution would have produced two entirely distinct models of the human male, and it hasn’t. That view is quite recent. Prejudice against male homosexual behaviour is as old as Man, but the categorisation of a whole section of males as “homosexuals” (or indeed “heterosexuals”) was 20th-century and it’s simply a mistake.

    Before the late Victorians and for almost all recorded history, humanity described male same-sex attraction as a kind of habit, a diversion to which any man might be prone and into which any might be led — something men do as opposed to something men are. Some were known to be more prone to this habit than others, but the elevation of a habit to the status of an identity, “gay” or “straight”, would have struck our ancestors as weird.

    ….to be cont’d


  3. Part – 2 –

    Bisexuality has been the love that dared not speak its name

    It is weird. It flies in the face of the evidence staring us in the face. Try an experiment. Imagine that a majority of men are more straight than gay, a minority more gay than straight. Imagine this in terms of a scatter-graph from left (straight) to right (gay), with some very close to one end, some very close to the other and plenty spread between them. Imagine that those at either pole can feel little if any attraction to the other, but that those between the poles can, depending on where they are, feel weakly or strongly the attraction of both poles. Add to this picture a strong and unremitting social pressure to be considered (and consider yourself) as being at the left-hand (straight) end.

    What would be the result? Everyone who, without making themselves too frustrated and miserable, could live a straight life would move towards the left in their behaviour and self-description; a minority who felt they just couldn’t would cluster (partly for self-defence) into a sort of ghetto at the right-hand end. And all the pressure would be to “make your mind up”, i.e., shift towards the nearest pole.

    Consider how much observed behaviour my hypothesis explains. It explains why in self-description the apparent straight-gay dichotomy has arisen. It explains why until about yesterday there didn’t seem to be many gays and suddenly they’re everywhere. It explains how throughout history most men with homosexual inclinations have married, many happily, many with a fair degree of physical attraction to their wives; and all of them down the ages with every reason to shut up about it. And it explains the strange and unwitting conspiracy between the world of macho heterosexuality and the world of gay pride to make a no man’s land — to deny the very existence — of all that territory in between. For different reasons, neither side wants to believe they could ever have been located there, that they ever had a choice. Bisexuality has been the love that dared not speak its name.

    That my hypothesis has explanatory power doesn’t of itself make it true; evidence is required, yet the hypothesis explains why systematic evidence would be hard to gather. Asking men about their own desires — or studying publicly observable behaviour — is likely to deliver skewed results.

    Do I then have anecdotal evidence? I hate talking about my own sexual behaviour and my experience is hardly extensive, but I’ll say only this. Without ever seeking the type out, I’ve slept with as many men who considered themselves basically straight, lived basically straight lives and in some cases (I think) really were basically straight, as with men who were self-identifying gays.

    How to alter a straight man’s sexuality? ‘Five pints of lager’

    This is not my experience alone. Most gay men manage the considerable intellectual contortion of believing that there’s nothing they could do to alter their own sexuality while at the same time believing (not without evidence) that there’s quite a lot they might do to alter a straight man’s sexuality (“five pints of lager” is the usual prescription). As for altering a gay man’s sexuality, women would know most about this, and women don’t talk. Even I, who feel myself to be exclusively gay, know from dreams and from occasional involuntary physical reactions that shelved somewhere in my unconscious must be a strand of heterosexuality. Millions of gay men will have the same experiences.

    But most will be disinclined to mention it. Both sides — straights and gays — have strong reason to deny (not least to themselves) that they ever had a choice: the straights because gay inclinations were disapproved of; the gays because infinitely their most persuasive way of commanding tolerance has always been the (I believe) subtly self-oppressive: “It’s the way I am — nothing I can do about it — part of my identity — it isn’t my fault.”

    “I can’t help it”. The very words carry a kind of whimper. I hate this plea. It isn’t accepted as an argument for paedophilia and shouldn’t be. I’d want to be gay whether I could help it or not. The day that the battle for homosexual equality is won and over will be the day a man, straight or gay, can boast that he chose.


    • So many people it seems, sleep with multiple partners. Is that love? Is that ok?

      Should we not try to control our urges. I don’t know. It just sounds cheap to me. Not the way we should be. Very ‘throw-away’.


      • I agree with you Kathleen,

        But I also realize that the sexual urge is very great, and even more so for men. I also happen to believe that morality is taught and not something that is inborn and natural to the human condition, and that we will find excuses to justify our sinful actions ’cause it feels good.

        My Mum always believed (had great faith), that as long as we parents bring up our children with good morals, knowing right from wrong, that even if they go off the rails for a time, in the end they will surely remember all that was taught to them and like the prodigal son, prefer the good over the bad. And I so believe that too. My Mum never read the Bible but here it is in black and white:

        Proverbs 22:6
        Train up a child in the way he should go,
        And when he is old he will not depart from it.


      • Yes, both you and your mum are right.

        That is why I believe in teaching children the faith as that is mainly where I learnt my right and wrong from (and I’ve made my fair share of mistakes so I’d hate to think what I would have been like without that guidance).


      • “So many people it seems, sleep with multiple partners. Is that love?”

        Sometimes, some people might fall in love easily.

        ” Is that ok?”

        Yep. As long as it’s consensual adults having fun who’s to judge ?


  4. From

    The birth of intersexed infants has been documented throughout recorded time. In the late 20th century scientists can determine chromosomal and hormonal gender which is typically taken to be the real, natural, biological gender, usually referred to as the ‘sex’ of the infant. In spite of this, such biological factors are often pre-empted by cultural factors such as the ‘correct’ length of the penis, when doctors determine, assign and announce the gender of an infant.

    Medical teams have standard practices for managing intersexuality based ultimately on cultural or social understandings of gender, and yet in the medical literature such [cultural/social] issues as post-delivery discussions with parents, and consultations with patients in adolesence, are considered only peripherally to the central medical issues of aetiology, diagnosis and surgical procedures.

    Physicians hold an incorrigible belief in, and insistence upon male and female being the only ‘natural’ options even in the face of incontrovertible evidence to the contrary (i.e. the birth of intersexed infants). This paradox calls into question the idea that female and male are biological givens compelling a culture of two genders.


    • Sometimes a baby is androgynous, or close to it. My gynecologist friend said some years ago she often had to make up her mind pretty quickly as to what the baby’s gender was.

      And we all have both male and female hormones in varying degrees.None of us are completely male or female, just have a decisive majority in one area.


  5. One thing is clear. In any society that accepts or even lauds homosexuality (and there have been many which have done this) then homosexuality will become more widespread.

    There may be those who have no choice in their sexuality but there are also those, maybe the majority, who have the propensity to enjoy homosexual relations in certain circumstances. Such people, if taught to fear and hate gay sex in themselves, will probably mainly resist it for life and attack it in others. But if they are relaxed about their sexuality or have experienced pleasurable encounters in their childhood, then they may very well come to consider themselves bisexual in their attractions.

    It seems to require fear and threats to keep the expression of homosexuality down. The damage to those who have no other option can be drastic. Look at Zimbabwe.

    Does it really matter so much whom we love?

    Sex is not just about procreation. It is bonding, it is pleasure, it is recreation. Let’s face it, if you have three children, you really only need to have sex three times. Every other time was not for procreation.
    So we really only need the Adam and Eve scenario very rarely. Judging by the global population trends we already do it far too often. It seems to me that if more people did the Adam and Steve variation, we would solve the population problem more easily.

    Joking, of course. But…..


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