How Many Gay and Lesbian Christians are there in the U.S.?
How many gay and lesbian are there in the United States? The 2010 census counted 308 million people living in the U.S. At the very least, 75% of the U.S. population identifies as Christian (it’s probably closer to 80%), which comes to roughly 231 million people. Using the most conservative estimate for the percentage of gays and lesbians in the population, which is 3.5 %, that means that there are, at the very least, 8 million gay and lesbian Christians in the United States alone. If the percentage is 4%, then the figure is 10 million.
There are at least 8 million gay and lesbian Christians in the U.S.
Gay and lesbian Christians are only outnumbered by the Roman Catholic Church (68 million) and the Southern Baptist Convention (16 million).
There are more gay and lesbian Christian than there are members of the United Methodist Church (7.7 million), the Mormon church (6 million), Church of God in Christ (5.5 million), the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A. (5 million), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (4.5 million), the National Baptist Convention of America, Inc., (3.5 million), the Assemblies of God (2.9 million), the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. (2.8 million), or the African Methodist Episcopal Church (2.5 million). There are another 13 denominations between 2.5 million and 1 million.
That number, 8 million gay and lesbian Christians, could be higher or lower. Higher depending on sheer population increase, higher if the percentage of gays and lesbians is actually higher. Lower if we consider the number of gay and lesbian believers who lost their faith as a result of the dismal treatment they received at the hand of anti-homosexual pastors and Christians, lower depending on how many have taken their lives in despair.
Christians Persecuted in the United States
When anti-homosexual Christians support political crusades against homosexuals, they need to be aware that they are targeting people who identify themselves as Christians–at least 8 million people who name the name of Christ. The Bible tells me that “Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters.” (Hebrews 2:11)
If Jesus is not ashamed to call these folks his brothers and sisters, then neither am I. I refuse to participate in a campaign against other Christians. I refuse to stand silently by while oppression and scapegoating occur.
But I don’t show favoritism. It makes no difference whether a person is a Christian or not. Oppression and scapegoating are wrong. Period. The writer of Hebrews wrote, “Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.” (Hebrews 10:33) Hebrews doesn’t specify that the people you stand with only applies to other Christians. You consider these people your enemies? Remember that Paul exhorted, ”If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink.”
It’s time to stand side by side with those who are publicly exposed to insult and persecution.
All denomination membership figures are from the National Council of Churches; http://www.ncccusa.org/news/110210yearbook2011.html