The majority of LGBTQ+ people have ‘No religion’, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has confirmed.
The release of detailed data from the 2021 Census provides the first-ever official figures on how religion or belief, and sexuality and gender identity, intersect. LGBT Humanists has said that the results were ‘unsurprising’ but underline the need for recognition of humanist marriages in England and Wales, as an issue that disproportionately affects same-sex couples, the majority of whom have no interest in marrying in a religious setting.
The new figures reveal that 62% of lesbian and gay people, 66% of bisexual people, and 63% of all LGB people ticked ‘No religion’. Meanwhile, 36% of trans people ticked ‘No religion’. And while it’s not possible to precisely combine the overlapping datasets of LGB and trans figures, LGBT Humanists believe it is possible to estimate that around six in ten LGBTQ+ people ticked ‘No religion’.
Nick Baldwin, LGBT Humanists Coordinator, commented: “It’s good to have these first ever results of how the LGBTQ+ community breaks down by religion or belief. That most LGBTQ+ people are non-religious is no surprise, given the history of homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia by many religious groups.
“There’s been a lot of focus over the years from national and local governments and others on the needs of religious LGBTQ+ people, particularly making the point that it’s possible to be both Christian and LGBTQ+, or Muslim and LGBTQ+, or of another faith and LGBTQ+.
“That work is generally worthwhile and commendable. But the facts that most LGBTQ+ people are non-religious, and that non-religious LGBTQ+ people might have specific needs, are often overlooked. One example of that is with respect to legal recognition of humanist marriages. We hope the Census results will mean we are overlooked no longer.”