The Public Religion Research Institute released a new study on June 2, highlighting how sexual orientation and gender identity correlate with politics, race, wealth, and religion.
The report used survey data from PRRI polling conducted in 2021 and 2022, and can be read in its entirety here. Here are five notable takeaways from the report:
1. Black and Hispanic Americans — regardless of orientation — are more likely than white Americans to say their sexual orientation is a very important identity.
Additionally, across orientations, respondents who said their sexual orientation is a “very important identity” were less likely to be white than the general population. Among heterosexual Americans who said their sexual orientation was a “very important identity” 20 percent were Black, 17 percent of Hispanic, 6 percent another race, and 56 percent of white.
2. LGBTQ Americans who say their sexual orientation is a very important identity are substantially more likely to be religiously unaffiliated.
Overall, 27 percent of Americans are religiously unaffiliated, but 47 percent of LGBTQ Americans who say their orientation is a “very important identity” are religiously unaffiliated. Additionally, “only two percent of LGBTQ Americans identify as white evangelical Protestants and four percent as white mainline Protestants.” Thirteen percent of Americans identify as white evangelical Protestants, and 14 percent identify as white mainline Protestants, according to PRRI.
3. LGBTQ evangelicals are more than five times more likely to say their sexual orientation is a “very important identity” than non-evangelical LGBTQ Americans.
Additionally, over 65 percent of Black Protestants, Hispanic Catholics, white Catholics, white mainline Protestants, and white evangelical protestants say their friendship networks are exclusively heterosexual. Eighty percent of white evangelicals said they did not have any LGBTQ people in their friendship network, while 56 percent of religiously unaffiliated people said the same.
4. Heterosexual Americans are less likely to support religious diversity.
PRRI found that less than 40 percent of heterosexual Americans “would prefer the U.S. to be made up of people belonging to a wide variety of religions,” whereas 60 percent of LGBTQ aligned with religious diversity.
5. Sexual orientation is more likely to be a “very important identity” among those who make less than $50,000 a year.
Overall, thirty percent of the general American population makes less than $50,000. However, among heterosexual Americans who say their orientation is a “very important identity” and LGBTQ Americans who say the same, 34 percent and 39 percent, respectively, make less than $50,000.
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