A new survey shows that religious groups are slowly becoming more liberal and accepting of both homosexuality and gay marriage.
The Public Religion Research Institute recently released the 2017 American Values Atlas this past Tuesday.
The survey, conducted through 40,017 telephone interviews, focused on religious attitudes towards LGBTQ rights, love, and visibility with the overall statement that most religious people are on the pathway to acceptance.
That said, it seems that Protestant groups are holding the most resistance with White evangelical Protestants being 58% against same-sex marriage, Mormons 53% against it, Hispanic Protestants 45% against, and Black Protestants 43%.
That said, where do Muslim Americans stand? Despite many claims of Muslims being violent by nature, most academic surveys are reporting that Muslims (both American-born and those who immigrated here) are becoming more liberal and accepting of homosexuality.
In this specific survey, Muslim Americans showed that they were slightly in favor of same sex marriage with 51% of respondents supporting it. Only 34% of respondents were opposed to gay marriage and 15% decided to keep their opinions to themselves.
This shows an increase as only 43% of respondents reported favoring same-sex marriage in 2015 and 27% said so in 2007.
As for when it came to “religious freedoms” that allow refusal of services to LGBTQ people, 59% of Muslim respondents rejected such practices.
But again, this goes along with many other surveys, which have found that Muslim Americans are becoming more liberal by the year. Perhaps this is due to the hate directed towards the majority group of Muslims. Thus, making them wish for and respect equality issues more.
For instance, a survey from last year that was conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that the majority of American Muslims surveyed (1,001) registered as either democrats or independents. U.S. born citizens reported being 42% Democrat and 40% Independent, while Immigrants said they were 28% and 39% respectively.
Then, it turns out that U.S. Muslim voters came out in swarms to support Hilary Clinton in the last presidential election. 77% of U.S. born respondents voted for Clinton and 81% of Immigrants did the same.
The same survey by the Pew Research Center asked American Muslims their thoughts on the political atmosphere in the country. Many expressed that they were proud to be American (92%) though they also expressed that there’s a lot of discrimination against them in the country (with 75% thinking so).
And we must not forget the American Muslims who are also gay. Often, it’s hard to live at the intersection of two groups. Living as an LGBTQ person and as a Muslim comes with several struggles. That said, support for gay and general LGBTQ Muslims has increased in the past few years.
For instance, the NPR had an interview last month with Mahdia Lynn who’s both a transgender woman and the co-founder/Executive Director of Masjid al-Rabia, a safe prayer space in Chicago that openly welcomes LGBTQ Muslims.
In the interview, Lynn shared that LGBTQ people are a marginalized group within a marginalized group. That said, people like Lynn are popping up to support LGBTQ members of the faith.
“You can live true to Islam while remaining inclusive and affirming and be a part of a justice-facing community that is feminist, that is affirming, that is uncompromising in its inclusivity.”
Then NPR noted:
“Other religious communities are having the same internal struggles about inclusion and homophobia. But she worries that by drawing attention to these issues within Muslim communities in America, she'll just give more ammunition to those who are intent on demonizing her religion. Places like Masjid al-Rabia are rare, but there are informal prayer circles in other American cities, a mosque with a similar mission in Toronto, Canada, that has been open since 2009 and an annual LGBTQ Muslim retreat put together by the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity. Blair Imani is an author and social justice activist who's also a bisexual, Muslim woman. She says Masjid al-Rabia is a step forward.”
While yes, there are certainly extremists and possibly even a potent source for violence in the religion of Islam, the majority of American Muslims (immigrant and U.S. born) are supportive of equality concerns and LGBTQ rights.
It seems that American Muslims are becoming more accepting and liberal by the year, and who knows how far they’ll go.