American Muslims are more accepting of homosexuality compared to white evangelicals, study claims

(Reuters/Mark Blinch)A woman carrying a sign that reads, "Queer, Muslim and Proud" marches during the Gay Pride parade in Toronto July 1, 2012.

A study conducted by the Pew Research Center has suggested that American Muslims are more accepting of homosexuality compared to white evangelicals.

The survey, conducted between January and May and released by Pew last week, showed that 52 percent of U.S. Muslims are more accepting of homosexuality, compared to 34 percent of white evangelical Protestants.

In 2007, only 27 percent of American Muslims said that homosexuality should be accepted by society. Among devout Muslims, the acceptance rate of homosexuality has jumped 25 percent from 2007. Lesbianism among American Muslim women also increased by 31 percent in the past 10 years.

White evangelicals appear the be changing their views about homosexuality in a much slower rate compared to American Muslims. The acceptance of homosexuality among evangelicals increased by just 11 percent between the period of 2006 to 2016.

Among the U.S. Muslim community, women and college graduates had the highest acceptance of homosexuality, both at 63 percent. The two demographic groups were followed by less religious Muslims at 62 percent and Millennials at 60 percent.

The study found that younger Muslims in America are more accepting of homosexuality than the older generation. Sixty percent of millennials within the U.S. Muslim community said homosexuality should be accepted in society, compared to 42 percent of Muslim "Baby Boomer or older" demographic.

The highest acceptance rate of homosexuality was found among white mainline Protestants at 76 percent, a 23 percent jump from the previous decade. The group was followed by Catholics at 66 percent and black Protestants at 50 percent.

The report, which includes date from over 1,000 adult U.S. Muslims, also revealed that 66 percent of American Muslims continue to identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party. Thirty-nine percent described themselves as politically moderate.

In last year's presidential elections, 44 percent of Muslims who were eligible to vote cast their ballots, compared to 37 percent in 2007.

Muslims overwhelmingly supported Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at 78 percent, compared to eight percent for Donald Trump. Muslim leaders actively campaigned to register voters in mosques and at community events during the 2016 campaign, leading to higher overall turnout.

Pew researchers estimate that the number of American Muslims has been growing at the rate of 100,000 each year, reaching 3.35 million or one percent of the American population. The researchers have projected that Islam will replace Judaism as the second-most popular religion in the U.S. by 2050, with Muslims making up 2.1 percent of the future population.

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