Homosexuality: A Spiritual Disorder?
Documentary: Fish Out of Water
Coming Out in the Muslim Community
The Christian Closet
Holler If You Hear Me: Black and Gay in the Church
Loving All God's Children Equally
Methodist Pastor Defrocked for Officiating Son's Same Sex Wedding
Bar Mitzvah Speech by Gay Teen
Jennifer Knapp: Lesbian Christian Musician
Huge LGBT Pride Celebration in the Muslim World
Best Anti-Homophobia Message on Church Sign
Presbyterian Minister: What To Do With This New Day
Interview with Bishop Gene Robinson
Is Homosexuality a Sin?
The Gay Debate: The
Bible & Homosexuality
FAQ: God, Jesus, Bible, Gay People
How God Helped Me Accept My Gay Son
Anti-Gay Easter Message
Being Gay is a Gift
Living as an Openly Gay Christian
LGBT Affirming Congregations in
LGBT people often encounter some
frustration trying to find a faith community. For LGBT people
seeking a spiritual home (church, synagogue, temple, mosque), locating a
gay-affirming or LGBT-welcoming congregation can prove to be difficult.
Listed here are resources that may be helpful for LGBT persons in
Alabama who are in search of a faith community.
Equality Alabama's List of Welcoming Places of Worship in Alabama
List of Welcoming Gay Friendly Churches in Alabama
Gay in Alabama: LGBT Friendly Episcopal Churches
Gay in Alabama: LGBT Friendly MCC Churches
UAB GSSA: LGBT
Friendly Churches in Birmingham
Birmingham Area LGBT Affirming
Out in Church: Lesbian Christian Songwriter
Bri Bruce of Birmingham Weld
reading. "I never really planned on growing up and being a rock star," Jennifer explains. "I just started writing about my faith experience in music. I was just writing as an expression of what I was going through at the time, and God ended up taking me from one church to another. I was paying my way through school, and before I knew it, I had a record deal and was hanging in and out of Nashville."
She continues: "20 years later I came out as a lesbian. That creates all kinds of controversy. Now I’m finding this second career as an advocate for LGBT faith issues. In Birmingham, I’m doing an Inside Out Faith event, which is me talking about my own story, my experience, what’s it like to actually be gay in the church, to actually have that coming out process. In a lot of church environments, particularly in the South, it’s not a side of the story most folks have heard much about. I think there’s an assumption that gay is something that happens to you when you lose your faith, when there’s something wrong with your faith. Really most people rely on their faith to get through the social difficulties of that."
"Churches wanted to show their support when I came out. So did people who had grown up listening to my music. It was really beautiful, all these people asking me to come play. I didn’t know if I was capable of walking into a room and having someone yell out, “Turn or burn,” but yet here are these churches were calling me. I started to realize that this was really important. These churches were asking me to tell me story. They were trying to say, “Not everybody’s like that.” There are communities that have been and will continue to invite everybody they possibly can into having whatever kind of faith experience they can."
sold more than a
once rocked the
2010, she rocked
when she came
out. Since then,
she has released
music album and
is touring the
country with her
Inside Out Faith
LGBTQ issues in
After walking away from stardom as a Christian singer-songwriter in 2002, Jennifer Knapp never expected to return to a musical career -- and certainly not as a Christian artist. And when she later came out as a lesbian, that prospect seemed especially remote. "When I put my guitar in the case and said this is my last concert, I really didn't think I had anything to contribute to the religious conversation at all in music," recalled the folk-rock artist, whose five Christian albums sold more than 1.5 million copies between 1994 and 2001 and earned her a Grammy nomination and Dove Award.
So the 38-year-old Kansas native is as shocked as anyone with her newfound role -- as a gay Christian artist urging fellow Christians to affirm homosexuals. And she finds herself singing and making her case in the most unlikely venues -- churches. Knapp doesn't call herself an activist for gay issues. In her music and interviews, she declines to offer a biblical defense for her own sexuality. "I'm just a human being that is going through the journey," she said. When she first came out, she recalled, "every public conversation was trying to make me justify, on the one hand, my gayness or, on the other, my faith. Or both of them together." As someone who dislikes conflict, she explained, "I felt for me not to respond was my answer."
But when a Nashville woman was fired by her Christian employer for acknowledging her own homosexuality, Knapp was moved to speak out, and has been ever since. Her appearances this year are being billed as a music-and-lecture series called "Inside Out Faith," which intends "to create a positive and constructive dialogue on behalf of LGBT people of faith."
Magazine: Out in
Jennifer Knapp: Gay Christian & Unlikely Hero
Christianity Today: Jennifer Knapp Comes Out
Jennifer Knapp Home Page
YouTube: Jennifer Knapp on Larry King Show
Pope's Gentler Viewpoint on Gay
Pope Francis faulted the Roman Catholic church for focusing too much on gays, abortion and contraception, saying the church has become "obsessed" with those issues to the detriment of its larger mission to be "home for all." The church can share its views on homosexuality, abortion and other issues, but should not "interfere spiritually" with the lives of gays and lesbians, the pope added in a recent interview.
“We have to find a new balance, otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel," Francis said in the interview. In the interview, Francis does not come out in support of gay marriage, abortion rights or contraception, saying that church positions on those issues are "clear," but he added that the "the proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives.”
“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality,” he said. “I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person.”
on Gays: Who Am I To Judge Them?
approach to a
that has divided
that he would
seem to be
shift in tone if
not a change in
While in Rio de
for World Youth
Day, he said,
"Who am I to
judge a gay
As the pontiff
spoke about gays
and the reported
gay issues came
in the context
of a question
In making these
question of how
he would respond
to learning that
a cleric in his
ranks was gay,
For decades, the
men with what
"Who am I to
judge a gay
seeks the Lord?"
in Italian. "You
mark the first
time a pope had
spoken so openly
about the topic.
Speaks About Gay
New York Times:
Pope Says of
Gays: Who Am I
USA Today: Pope
on Gay Priests
Desmond Tutu: My God is Not
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, famous for his
role in ending Apartheid in South Africa, has said that he would rather
go to Hell if he discovered that God was homophobic. “I would refuse to go to a homophobic
Heaven,” Archbishop Tutu said at the launch of a new LGBT global public
education campaign by the United Nations Human Rights Office. “I would not worship a God who is
homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this. I am as passionate
about this campaign as I ever was about Apartheid. For me, it is at the
“Can you imagine me having said it’s
unjust to penalise something they cannot do anything about, their race
or gender, and then to keep quiet when people are hounded, people are
killed, because of their sexual orientation?” Archbishop Tutu, a Nobel
Prize winner pondered. “I think it’s as utterly unjust as racism ever
Archbishop Tutu said LGBT people were often described as being a
“particular breed”. “They are not a peculiar breed. That is precisely
what we are saying, that they are human beings. I don’t know why we are
so surprised. They have gifts, they can become judges. They can become
all sorts of wonderful things.”
Pink News: Desmond Tutu Would Rather Go to Hell
LGBT Religious Commentary
How the Religious Left is Changing America's Future
Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin
White: Praying While Gay
New Conversation About Homosexuality & the Bible
Pope Slams Gays in World-Day-of-Peace Speech
Do Gays Need Their Own Church?
Gays and the Myth of the Christian Minority
Services for Gay Muslims
Minister's Reaction to Same Sex
Comments from Rev. Janet Edwards, Presbyterian
What a moment!
Let us rejoice
that the Supreme
under the law.
With this week's
will be granted
only that, but
also upheld in
this, we rejoice
I confess that
for words to
speak to this
moment. It is
unusual for the
have a time like
this of pure
unusual for my
soul. I want to
pause to truly
I also want to
this day has
been a long time
coming. In this
season of swift
change in public
opinion, it is
good to remember
that the LGBT
Before so many
freedom to marry
were decades of
LGBT members in
2010 took over
year that the
loses, loses ...
and then it
wins. This is
true of the LGBT
the country as
Loss does not
Setbacks do not
stop us. Our
cannot stop us.
In faith work
stop singing the
old, old story
of Jesus and His
can we keep from
song of God's
love? We cannot.
Even in this
have started to
reflect on what
might offer to
disagree with us
and who must be
in this moment.
What can we
share with them?
How have we
On my journey --
with its many
toils and snares
-- daily reading
of the Bible has
Although we know
our joy at these
rulings, I trust
we all return to
in Scripture for
together that we
are united in
Gospel of love
in Jesus Christ.
Even as we
new day through
we would do well
in the church,
to reach out to
sisters on the
common ground we
We can be honest
with one another
the way a family
by our faith in
Christ. We can
together in the
ourselves to the
of knowing that
the death of our
us from the love
of God in Christ
I believe that
now is the
to revisit our
message to the
others that the
Gospel is our
And the Gospel
We all --
on any one
concern -- trust
Christ wins in
to our rejoicing
for our brothers
and sisters who
along the way?
Can we be one
with those who
oppose us on the
common ground of
singing of God's
would be a win
for us all in
disagree with us
can help take us
closer to that
day when all of
us will rejoice
at these SCOTUS
rulings and the
right to the
(From Rev. Dr.
Janet Edwards /
To Do With This
Episcopal Church Backs Gay
The US Episcopal Church became the biggest
church in the United States to approve a provisional rite for blessing
gay unions after its House of Deputies gave its final approval.
Speaking in favor of the blessings, Deputy Jenna Guy from Iowa said the
resolution is important to the younger generation of Episcopalians,
adding that passing the resolution would bring more people into the
Church. "It’s always with great pride that I tell people of the
inclusive nature of this Church,” Guy said.
A deputy from Alaska added, "There is never anything wrong with
The new Episcopal same-sex liturgy is called "The Witnessing and
Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant."
In the proposed rite, each person would make a vow to the other,
exchange rings and be declared "bound to one another in a holy covenant,
as long as they both shall live." The liturgy is expected to go into
effect for provisional use in December.
In states that currently allow same-sex civil marriage, such as
Massachusetts and New York, Episcopalians may already bless same-sex
marriages, but there is no formal church-wide liturgy. Commitment
ceremonies for gay couples are allowed elsewhere in the church at the
discretion of the local bishop.
NBC News: Episcopal Church Blesses Gay Unions
NBC News: Episcopal Bishops Approve Resolution to Bless Gay Unions
Birmingham Minister's Reaction
to Pastor Charles Worley
Among the many voices of opposition
to Pastor Charles Worley's anti-gay sermon was Rev Sarah Jackson
Shelton, pastor of Baptist Church of the Covenant. BCOC is an LGBT-affirming
church in Birmingham, Alabama. Her sermon, with love as its theme,
was presented on June 3 and came in the aftermath of hateful remarks
made by the North Carolina pastor in which he said that gays and
lesbians should be
put in an electrified pen and killed
You can read Pastor
Shelton's sermon or listen to the audio track of it by visiting the BCOC
Rev Sarah Jackson Shelton Sermon: The Love of God
Read Sermon and Listen to Audio: The Love of God
More Info About Pastor Worley's
LGBT Youth Ministry in
find that hard
Robinson. "But I
grew up in a
why I have the
foundation I do
as a Christian.
for me, I never
had a question
about God loving
Not all who
realize they are
gay or lesbian
Robinson said. A
driven out of
the church by
not all can find
a message of
God's love in a
"I felt like I
was a disease,"
says one teen
who is featured
on a recent
"I couldn't talk
to my pastor
That feeling is
teens who begin
to realize their
part of the mix
that helps keep
among gay and
times that of
kids. The gay,
teenager is also
more prone to
drop out of
school, turn to
drugs or run
away from home.
was put out of
his house by his
"I'm alive for a
purpose. I have
a voice. I'm
going to use
that voice to
years ago. The
the first of its
kind in Alabama,
as far as he
knows, seeks to
resources to gay
GLBT Advocacy &
offers a weekly
for teens and
friends of teens
who are gay,
6-8 PM, at The
More Info: James
Advocacy & Youth
LGBT Advocate in Huntsville Honored at Montgomery Vigil
Christian LGBT Youth Ministry in Huntsville
Through My Eyes
Apology and Support From Church Groups
A new billboard
has been raised in Charlotte apologizing to gay
people for North's Carolina's vote in support of
Amendment One. The billboard was funded by a
California church and went up on Billy Graham
Parkway on Wednesday. The billboard reads,
"Mission Gathering Christian Church is sorry for
the narrow-minded, judgmental, deceptive,
manipulative actions of those who denied rights
and equality to so many in the Name of God."
The message has received a lot of responses from
people on both sides of Amendment One. The
Charlotte Diocese said it doesn’t like the
billboard, because it doesn't think the
California-based church should get involved. If that in deed is
the case, then somebody needs to tell Pastor
Worley to quit sending his NC folks to
Birmingham AL to protest at gay rights parades.
Ralph Belk with
the Mecklenburg County Democratic Party supports
the billboard. "We were
very much against the amendment and felt like it
was an attack on civil rights," said Belk.
"Anyone who's willing to help us continue that
conversation and show that there is support
still for civil rights I'm in favor of that."
Have you heard
about the Marin Foundation? Have you heard
about their "I'm Sorry" Campaign? The
Marin Foundation is a single (and small)
organization with a focus of building bridges
between the church and the gay community.
As such they navigate the difficult role of
building alliances from various perspectives
around these issues. They believe that
"I'm Sorry" is a good beginning and hopefully
much reconciliation will follow.
They attend Gay
Pride Parades to apologize for the way the
church has treated homosexuals and carry signs
that say... "I'm sorry how the church has
treated you"... "I'm sorry Christians have
shunned you"... "I'm sorry Christians have
judged you." Members of the
Marin Foundation say that their intention,
through their actions, is to "apologize for the
collective sins of the church and to let people
know that God loves them."
There was a moment
from a Chicago Gay Pride Parade when a gay man
in the parade, wearing only his underwear, went
to curb to hug a member of the Marin Foundation
group. He hugged the man and said, "Thank
you!" Observers said, "That was
reconciliation personified! It’s nice to
see people of faith have common sense enough to
know that hate and prejudice is wrong. A step in
the right direction towards equality and
something everyone should learn from. THIS is
the kind of compassion that religion teaches,
but far too often doesn’t follow." The man
who was hugged by the gay parade marcher said, "I
hugged a man in his underwear. I think Jesus
would have too."
Marin Foundation at
Chicago Gay Pride Parade: I'm Sorry
Charlotte NC Billboard: I'm Sorry
NY Times: Signs Says I'm Sorry to NC Gays
Christian Group Holding Up Apologetic Signs at Gay Pride Parade
Reconciliation Between Church and LGBT Community
The Marin Foundation is the very first
organization that works to build a bridge between the religious and
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in a non-threatening,
research and biblically oriented fashion. Their unique approach is one
that strategically reaches out and partners with both religious and LGBT
organizations; working closely with each to make a sustainable,
structural difference for religious people in today’s socially driven
secular and religious cultures. The vision of the Marin Foundation is to
theologically, socially and politically see divided communities
reconciled with each other through a faith in God and each other.
In their posted
statement, the Marin Foundation explains:
"Over the last decade we have seen an ever
growing difference between a cultural version of
reconciliation and an actual reconciliation.
Cultural reconciliation is when the conservative
world or the LGBT community only sees
reconciliation as ‘the other’ dropping their
personal worldview and picking up a full set of
prescribed correct beliefs that brings everyone
to only one side. That scenario resembles more
of a mob mentality than an actual
reconciliation—which seeks to connect and
dignify two different groups of people on a
human to human level whether in agreement or
not. To us the outcome is secondary to the
fidelity of being a reconciliatory agent that,
in relation to and relationship with those not
like yourself, are the constant pursuers of that
which is disconnected. We model this type
of reconciliation everyday within our own
organization, on staff and in volunteers, which
consist of hetero and LGBT people: single,
partnered, celibate; liberal and conservative.
Such an effort is a countercultural place to be,
especially in light of the divisive culture war
that continues to surround faith, sexuality and
politics in our society today. There are some
out there who call us too idealistic. Too
unrealistic. Tell us we’re wasting our time. But
that’s the point of living a faith worth
Marin Foundation at
Chicago Gay Pride Parade
LGBT Religious Concerns
"My sexual orientation is not a sickness to be healed or a sin to be
forgiven. My sexual orientation is a gift from my Creator to be
accepted, celebrated, and lived with integrity."
"It is never
legitimate to use the words of scripture to promote a loveless agenda."
-Right Rev. Dr.
Peter Short / Moderator of United Church of Canada
"The Bible contains
six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals.
That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that
they need more supervision."
"It took the Catholic
Church 359 years to admit that they were wrong when they accused Galileo
of heresy and condemned him to death, unless he recanted that the earth
rotates around the sun. Since he wanted to live, he was forced to deny
the truth and agree with the Church that the sun rotates around the
earth, but he was still placed under house arrest until his death.
"The Church is powerful and has a history of pressuring society and
individuals to say and believe what "the Church" thinks is right. They
were wrong then and they are wrong now regarding homosexuality. Let's
hope it doesn't take them that long this time to discover and admit
have been misused to defend bloody crusades and inquisitions; to support
slavery, apartheid, and segregation; to sanction the physical and
emotional abuse of women and children; to persecute Jews and other
non-Christian people of faith; to support the holocaust of Hitler's
Third Reich; to oppose medical science; to condemn inter-racial
marriage; to execute women as witches; to excuse the violent racism of
the Ku Klux Klan; to mobilize militias, white supremacy and neo-nazi
movements; and to condone intolerance and discrimination against sexual
-Mel White /
Letter to Jerry Falwell
Gene Robinson: Gay Episcopal
One of the
central figures in the movie For the Bible Tells Me So is
Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, the first-ever openly gay man to
be elected a Bishop of the Episcopalian Church. Robinson's consecration
in 2003 (at which he had to wear a bullet-proof vest due to death
threats) was a historical occasion that caused a rift in the Episcopal
On a more personal level, the consecration was the penultimate moment of
the path on which Robinson had embarked some 20 years earlier when, with
the support of his then-wife, Isabella, Robinson came out of the closet
after years of attempting to live as a straight man and seeking
counseling to rid himself of his "homosexual feelings."
Wikipedia Bio & Info
Gay and Muslim
Life can be
particularly tough for an LGBT person living in a strict Muslim
community. Islamic teachings forbid homosexuality. Many LGBT
persons live in fear, hiding their sexual identity.
Can gays and lesbians be Muslim? Can
Muslims be gay and lesbian?
Of course. Sexuality is who you are, it's
not something you can change and it doesn't have anything to do with
religion. You can't chose sexuality like you can with religion. Even if
one was raised to believe homosexuality was something wrong or even
disgusting, it wouldn't change your preference. This causes a lot of
people to suppress their feelings and hide their true sexuality which
can cause a lot of self-hatred. Some people believe that it is okay to
have homosexual feelings an long as you do not act on them but this just
doesn't work because you can't spend your whole life pretending to be
something you're not. Unfortunately, in some places, people are still
uneducated and traditional and therefore it can cause a lot of problems
for homosexuals, especially if they live in Muslim countries. But
recently, people have become a lot more open and more Muslims are
becoming more open minded about these things. But what would happen to a
gay or lesbian Muslim completely depends on where they live and what
their family is like.
By the tenets of their
faith, it's not possible for Muslim people to be gay or lesbian.
Realistically, of course they can. They should probably look for a
liberal, reformed sect of Islam, if there is one, that accepts
homosexuality, just as many Christian sects do. But, depending on
where they live they may be accepted or they may be put into prison and
killed by their government and/or their family.
Typical blog comments
from Muslim lesbians include the following:
I am a lesbian
and a Muslim living in an Arabic country and I have a girlfriend.
We cannot be public about our relationship because the law prohibits
same sex relationships. If we are discovered, we can go to jail
because of our relationship. My family does not know anything nor
my friends because it is shameful to us. I must still follow the
traditions because we are in a country where everything is forbidden.
being a lesbian Muslim. The fear of rejection and being disowned
by your loved ones and the Muslim community is a nightmare for me. Some
closed-minded Muslims think it's a choice to be gay, when it's not a
choice. I have prayed to Allah for couple of years to cure me but I
realized that Allah made me this way. But I refuse to hurt my
mother’s feelings and blame herself, when she hasn’t done anything
wrong. People send me hate messages and call me a devil. I am not a
devil neither am I a bad Muslim. I pray five a day. I also follow the
five Islamic pillars . My sexuality has nothing to do with being a
lesbian. For those sisters out there who are out, I admire your
honesty. I don’t have the courage most of you have.
I have lived
all my life in an Arab Muslim country and I know firsthand how
oppressive, judgmental and simply uptight Muslims can be when it comes
a lesbian and a Muslim is the the most scary nightmare ever! And I would
never tell any one about it because I don't want to die so young!
are a lot of Muslim lesbians like me and my girlfriend who are scared
about their future but daydream about having a house and cat or dog but
deep down inside we know this is will never come true. So sad. I
pray 5 times a day. I read Quraan and I'm a good person and I love
my god. I think being gay doesn't make me a bad Muslim.
I have been
treated very badly because I stand up for gays or lesbians. The Muslim
community doesn't realize that there are many Muslim gays and lesbians
who feel very scared and lonely and don't know where to turn for help.
Allah, Liberty and Love
by Irshad Manji
Trouble with Islam Today
by Irshad Manji
Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam
by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Unspeakable Love: Gay and lesbian life in the Middle East
by Brian Whitaker
L’Armée du Salut
(Salvation Army) by Abdellah Taia
Homosexuality in Islam
by Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle
Gay Travels in the Muslim World
by Michael Luongo
To Be Gay and Muslim
Al Arabiya News
Al-Bab: Open Door to Arab
Gay Middle East
Guardian: Being a Gay Muslim
Services for Gay Muslims
Irshad Manji: Lesbian Muslim
is a Canadian author, journalist and an advocate of a "reform and
progressive" interpretation of Islam. Manji is director of the
Moral Courage Project at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public
Service at New York University, which aims to teach young leaders to
"challenge political correctness, intellectual conformity and
self-censorship." She is also
founder and president of Project Ijtihad, a charitable organization
promoting a "tradition of critical thinking, debate and dissent" in
Islam, among a "network of reform-minded Muslims and non-Muslim allies."
Manji is a well-known critic of traditional mainstream
Islam and was described by The New York Times as "Osama bin Laden's
worst nightmare". Manji’s most recent book, Allah, Liberty and Love
was released in June 2011 in the US, Canada and other countries. Manji's
previous book, The Trouble with Islam Today , has been published
in more than 30 languages, including Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Malay and
You Tube: Irshad
Scripture and Homosexuality
hide inside the Bible. That is, they use
the Christian holy book as authority and excuse
for biases that have nothing to do with God.
They did this when women sought to vote and when
African Americans sought freedom. They are doing it
now, as gay men and lesbians seek the right to
battleground in that fight is North Carolina,
where voters go to the polls Tuesday to render a
verdict on Amendment One, which would add to the
state constitution the following stipulation:
“Marriage between one man and one woman is the
only domestic legal union that shall be valid or
recognized in this state.”
Mind you, the
Tarheel State already has a law on the books
banning same-sex marriage. The would-be
constitutional amendment is meant to double down
on exclusion. And if you read the language
carefully, you saw what many observers have seen
— that it can also be interpreted as denying
legal recognition to unmarried heterosexuals. Not that this
holds any sway with those who hide inside the
Bible. “God has defined marriage,” said Family
Research Council President Tony Perkins in a
Sunday sermon quoted in the Charlotte Observer.
“It is not up to us to redefine it.” In a letter
to the editor, an Observer reader put it thusly:
“You either believe [the Bible] or not.”
One wishes those
people could spend a little quality time with
Matthew Vines. Vines is a
Christian, a 22-year-old Harvard undergrad
raised in a conservative evangelical church in
Kansas. He is also gay and says he grew up being
taught that the Bible condemns his sexual
orientation. He took two years off from school
to research and study whether or not that
assertion is true.
The result is
"The Gay Debate: The Bible
and Homosexuality." It’s a video.
And you can find it online on YouTube. The
video is of a speech he gave in March at a
church in Wichita that has become a minor
sensation. Small wonder. Vines’ speech is a
masterwork of scriptural exegesis and a marvel
of patient logic, slicing and dicing with
surgical precision the claim that homophobia is
God ordained. So effective is the video that
after viewing it, Sandra Delemares a Christian
blogger from the United Kingdom who had, for
years, spoken in staunch opposition to same sex
marriage, wrote that it “revolutionised” her
Vines points out,
for instance, that the frequently quoted
condemnation (homosexuality is an “abomination”)
from the Old Testament lawbook of Leviticus has
no application to Christians, who are bound by
the teachings of the New Testament. He explains
that St. Paul’s admonitions about the
“effeminate” and “abusers of themselves with
mankind” stem from modern mis-translations of
ancient Greek terminology. It is fascinating
stuff, and there is not nearly enough space here
to do it justice, but the salient point is this:
Matthew Vines is not some godless heathen
lobbing bombs at Christianity from outside its
walls. No, he lives inside Christianity’s walls,
still holds the faith in which he was raised. So
this is not an outsider’s attack. It is an
One hopes that
plea is heeded. Vines’ speech is long — a little
over an hour — but well worth the time,
particularly for those seeking to reconcile
first-century faith with 21st-century social
concerns. Many in North
Carolina — many around the country — are
swimming against the tide of human freedom and
blaming God for it. Again, this is not a new
thing. We saw it back when God was for
segregation and against women’s suffrage.
How convenient it
must be to lay your own narrowness and smallness
off on God, to accept no responsibility for the
niggardly nature of your own soul. Vines’ video
is a welcome, overdue and eloquent rebuke of the
moral and intellectual laziness of throwing
rocks, then hiding inside Scripture. It is a
reminder, too. You don’t go to
the Bible to hide. You go there to seek.
Leonard Pitts /
Leonard Pitts / Miami Herald: Don't Blame the
Matthew Vines Video: The Gay Debate: The Bible &
Matthew Vines Tumblr Site
Bible Tells Me So
FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME
SO is a new movie about 5 Christian American
families dealing with LGBT issues.
Can the love
between two people ever be an abomination? Is the chasm separating gays
and lesbians and Christianity too wide to cross? Is the Bible an excuse
Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Seattle
International Film Festival, Dan Karslake's provocative, entertaining
documentary brilliantly reconciles homosexuality and Biblical scripture,
and in the process reveals that Church-sanctioned anti-gay bias is based
almost solely upon a significant (and often malicious) misinterpretation
of the Bible. As the film notes, most Christians live their lives today
without feeling obliged to kill anyone who works on the Sabbath or eats
shrimp (as a literal reading of scripture dictates).
Through the experiences of five very normal, very Christian, very
American families -- including those of former House Majority Leader
Richard Gephardt and Episcopalian Bishop Gene Robinson -- we discover
how insightful people of faith handle the realization of having a gay
child. Informed by such respected voices as Bishop Desmond Tutu,
Harvard's Peter Gomes, Orthodox Rabbi Steve Greenberg and Reverend Jimmy
Creech, FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO offers healing, clarity and
understanding to anyone caught in the crosshairs of scripture and sexual
Visit Official Movie Website
Of The Movie
Teacher's Anti-Gay Bible Lesson
Selective Use of The Bible in This Campus
Incident Shifts Focus Off
An Open Letter From Leonard Pitts to Donna
Reddick, a Teacher at a High School in Miami...
I'm writing this for Desiree. She's a
student at Miami Sunset Senior High, where you
teach business technology. She sent me an
e-mail recounting an incident that happened on
It seems on three successive days, the morning
announcements, which are televised throughout
the school, featured student-produced segments
on the subject of gay rights. On the first
day came comments from students who took the pro
position. On the second day came remarks
from a counselor who spoke of the need for
students to respect one another. On the
third day came you.
You and a few students, actually. One told
classmates homosexuality was "unacceptable in
the eyesight of God." Another said gays
were "unrighteous." The coup de grace,
though, was you, invoking Sodom and Gomorrah and
telling students homosexuality was "wrong
according to the Bible" because God ordered
humanity to multiply, which gay couples cannot
Desiree was, to put it mildly, upset. In
the e-mail, she accused you of bigotry and
wondered how a gay student could ever again feel
assured of fair treatment in your class. I
tend to agree. She also suggested that you
crossed the line between church and state, an
accusation about which I am more conflicted.
It seems to me there's a difference between
proselytizing for a religion and explaining how
one's faith has influenced one's opinion. You're
entitled to think what you think, no matter how
stupid it might be.
But I'll leave those questions for others to
parse. My biggest frustration lies
elsewhere. Put simply, I've had it up to
here with the moral hypocrisy and intellectual
constipation of Bible literalists.
By which I mean people like you, who dress their
homophobia up in Scripture, insisting with
sanctimonious sincerity that it's not homophobia
at all, but just a pious determination to live
according to what the Bible says. And
never mind the Bible also says it is
"disgraceful" for a woman to speak out in church
(I Corinthians 14:34-36) and that if she has any
questions, she should wait till she gets home
and ask her husband. Never mind the Bible
says the penalty for going to work on Sunday
(Exodus 35:1-3) is death. Never mind the
Bible says the man who rapes a virgin should buy
her from her father (Deuteronomy 22:28-29) and
I'm going to speculate you don't observe or
support those commands. Which says to me
yours is a literalism of convenience, a
literalism that is literal only so long as it
allows you to condemn what you'd be condemning
anyway and takes no skin off your personal
You resemble many of your and my
co-religionists, whose faith so often expresses
itself in an obsessive focus on one or two
hot-button issues -- and seemingly nowhere else.
They're so panicked at the thought that somebody
might accidentally treat gay people like people.
Meantime, people are ignorant in Appalachia,
strung out in Miami, starving in Niger, sex
slaves in India, mass murdered in Darfur.
Where is the Christian outrage about that?
Just once, I'd like to read a headline that said
a Christian group was boycotting to feed the
hungry. Or marching to house the homeless.
Or pushing Congress to provide the poor with
healthcare worthy of the name.
Instead, they fixate on keeping the gays in
their place. Which makes me question their
priorities. And their compassion.
And their faith.
If you love me, feed my sheep. For the
record, Ms. Reddick, the Bible says that, too.
Leonard Pitts, Pulitzer Prize winning
columnist, The Miami Herald)
Christianity and LGBT Issues
Jack Rogers is the author of the book, "Jesus, the Bible and
Homosexuality: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church." The book
provides a Presbyterian USA
perspective. Jack Rogers is a former
PC USA General Assembly
Moderator who changed
his views on gay issues
and is now a strong
advocate for full
inclusion in the life
of the church
John Shelby Spong is an Episcopal Bishop
who is also an LGBT ally. He offers a fresh perspective on
Christianity and homosexuality. He has written several books of
interest, including, "A New Christianity for a New World," and "Why
Christianity Must Change or Die."
Gay Friendly Churches,
Temples, and Mosques
Most of the
oppression against gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning
people (such as
comes from the church or religious organizations. This is a very
difficult situation for religious LGBTQ people who find themselves
either continuing their spiritual life with churches that preach against
their inclusion or having no home at all to nurture their spiritual
Gays seeking fellowship with their higher power don't have to journey
alone. There are several religious organizations and churches within
major denominations that are dedicated to fostering a welcoming
environment for all people, including queers. Find an organization that
best fits your religious needs.
Association of Welcoming & Affirming
Welcomes and affirms all persons without regard to sexual orientation or
gender identity, and who have joined together to advocate for the full
inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons within
Baptist communities of faith.
Gay Buddhist Fellowship
Supports Buddhist practices in the gay community and brings together the
diverse Buddhist traditions to address the spiritual concerns of gay
Works for respect and justice for all gay, lesbian, bisexual, and
transgender persons in the Catholic Church and the world through
education, advocacy and support.
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Gay, Lesbian, and Affirming
Organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and affirming
members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) with a prophetic
voice calling for the full inclusion of LGBT persons in the Church.
Fostering the full inclusion of LGBT persons in the Episcopal Church,
using integrity as the leading grass roots voice.
Encourages and affirms lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
Christians in their faith.
World Congress of Gay, Lesbian,
Bisexual, and Transgender Jews: Keshet Ga’avah
The worldwide voice of LGBT Jews seeking to support, inspire, and
strengthen local groups; foster a sense of community among diverse
individuals and organizations; and achieve equality and security for
LGBT Jews worldwide.
embody, inspire, and support the acceptance and full participation of
people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, their families,
friends and allies, within the Lutheran communion and its ecumenical and
Metropolitan Community Church
Metropolitan Community Church
Founded in and reaching beyond the gay and lesbian communities and
seeking the integration of spirituality and sexuality.
Dedicated to Muslims who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender,
intersex, questioning, those exploring their sexual orientation or
gender identity, and their allies, families and friends.
More Light Presbyterians
Following the risen Christ, and seeking to make the Church a true
community of hospitality, the mission of More Light Presbyterians is to
work for the full participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender people of faith in the life, ministry and witness of the
Presbyterian Church (USA).
Quaker (Religious Society of Friends)
Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Concerns
A North American Quaker faith community that affirms God in all people;
learning that radical inclusion and radical love bring further light to
Quaker testimony and life.
Seventh-day Adventist Kinship
Devoted to the spiritual, emotional, social and physical well-being of
current and former Seventh-day Adventists who are lesbian, gay, bisexual
Office of the Unitarian Universalist Association dedicated to fighting
oppression against bisexual, gay, lesbian, and/or transgender people.
United Church of Christ
The UCC Coalition for Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns
Provides support and sanctuary to all our lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender sisters and brothers, their families and friends; advocates
for their full inclusion in church and society; and brings Christ's
affirming message of love and justice for all people.
Affirmation: United Methodists for
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Concerns
Pursues full inclusion in the Church through respect, love, justice and
mercy for all.
Association of Unity Churches
Teaches the practical application in everyday life of the principles of
Truth taught and exemplified by Jesus Christ, leading to health,
prosperity, happiness, and peace of mind.
Gay Life by Ramon Johnson)
Gay and Jewish: Twice
In the book, Twice Blessed: On Being Lesbian or Gay and
Jewish, the homosexual and Jewish populations and
cultures are compared and contrasted. This is a very
readable collection of twenty-five essays written by lesbian
and gay Jews of vastly differing backgrounds, and
experiences. It was collected and edited by Christie Balka
and Andy Rose and published in 1989. This 260-page book is
arranged into five sections, each taking a particular
direction in understanding what it means to be both
homosexual and Jewish, and why individuals can often feel
estranged from both groups. There are introductions to each
section written by the editors.
Amazon: Twice Blessed
World Congress of LGBT Jews
Gay and Jewish
Institute for Judaism and Sexual
Keshet: Affirming LGBT People in
Hehirim: LGBT Jewish Culture and
How Can You be Gay and
List of LGBT Jewish
Federation, San Francisco
Links of Love: Being LGBT and Jewish
Community: LGBT Jewish Response to Bullying
Wikipedia: LGBT Topics and Judaism
of LGBT Jews
Say Amen: Documentary
About Gay Orthodox Jewish Man
Keep Not Silent:
Documentary About Orthodox Lesbians
Mel White and Soul Force
The Reverend Dr.
Mel White is a former ghostwriter for fellow evangelicals, including
Billy Graham, Pat Robertson, Jim Bakker, and Jerry Falwell.
He founded the LGBT activist organization, Soul Force. Inspired by
the nonviolence movements of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., White
developed a program based on their principles to address the suffering
of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. In 1997, he was
awarded the ACLU's National Civil Liberties Award for his efforts to
apply the "soul force" principles of Gandhi and King to the struggle for
justice for sexual minorities.
He is the author of over 16 books, including
Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and
Christian in America, published in 1994, and
Religion Gone Bad: The Hidden Dangers
of the Christian Right, published in 2006.
Mel White Home Page
Wikipedia: Mel White
Griffin has a Bachelor of Arts in Religion
degree from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga.; a Master of Divinity from
Boston University School of Theology in Boston, Mass.; and a Ph.D. in
Philosophy from Vanderbilt University Graduate Department of Religion in
As a graduate student concentrating in
gender and sexuality issues, he developed a slide presentation
addressing black pastoral issues and the AIDS epidemic. Called "Couldn't
Hear Nobody Pray," the presentation became a teaching tool for black
pastors at conferences and in black faith communities. As a result of
his AIDS work, Griffin was invited to serve as a board member
(1994-1996) of Nashville Cares, an AIDS agency for the Greater Nashville
In 1996, Griffin joined the religious
studies faculty at the University of Missouri-Columbia as Assistant
Professor of African-American Religions. He taught courses on
African-American religions, religion and human sexuality and religion
and homosexuality. In 1999, Griffin resigned, in part, because the
university president and administrators refused to include sexual
orientation in the university's non-discrimination policy. Later that year, he accepted a position as
Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology at Seabury-Western Theological
Seminary in Evanston, Ill., where he taught courses such as Pastoral
Care and Congregations, Sexuality and Pastoral Care, and Cross Cultural
Pastoral Care. He also directed the Chicago Collegiate Seminarians
Program, a Lilly funded grant for college students considering ordained
Griffin has published numerous articles
and essays in peer journals and anthologies, including "Revisioning
Christian Ethical Discourse on Homosexuality: A Challenge for the 21st
Century" in the Journal of Pastoral Care, and "Toward a True
Black Liberation Theology: Affirming Homoeroticism, Black Lesbian and
Gay Christians and their Relationships" in Loving the Body: Black
Religious Studies and the Erotic. His most recent work, "Black
Machoism and Its Discontents" will be published in 2008 in Face to
Face: A Discussion of Critical Issues in Pastoral Theology. His first book, Their Own Receive Them
Not: African American Lesbians and Gays in Black Churches (Pilgrim
Press 2006) was awarded the 2006 Lambda Literary Award in LGBT studies
in the spring of 2007. This groundbreaking work also received a
Stonewall Award nomination. The LGBT African American Roundtable
convened a panel of scholars and clergy offering a critical examination
of the book at its 2007 annual meeting. In its second printing, Their
Own Receive Them Not is a useful text currently being studied and
discussed in college and seminary classrooms and black faith
Black Justice Coalition: Profile of Horace Griffin
Living Out Loud: Horace Griffin, Racism, Homophobia & the Black Church
Bilerico Project: Horace Griffin
Comments From Clergy
Question: In your opinion,
does God regard homosexuality as a sin?
Baptist: Dr. Stayton - Absolutely not! There is nothing in the
Bible or in my own theology that would lead me to believe that God
regards homosexuality as sin. God is interested in our relationships
with ourselves, others, the things in our lives, and with God. There is
nothing in the mind of God that could be against a loving, sexual
relationship, freely entered into, without coercion, among sincere
adults whether gay, bisexual or straight.
Episcopalian: Bishop John Shelby Spong - Some argue that since
homosexual behavior is "unnatural," it is contrary to the order of
creation. Behind this pronouncement are stereotypic definitions of
masculinity and femininity that reflect the rigid gender categories of
patriarchal society. There is nothing unnatural about any shared love,
even between two of the same gender, if that experience calls both
partners into a fuller state of being. Contemporary research is
uncovering new facts that are producing a rising conviction that
homosexuality, far from being a sickness, sin, perversion or unnatural
act, is a healthy natural, and affirming of human sexuality for some
people. Findings indicate that homosexuality is a given fact in the
nature of a significant portion of people, and that it is unchangeable.
Our prejudice rejects
people or things outside our understanding. But the God of creation
speaks and declares, "I have looked out on everything I have made and
'behold it (is) very good'."(Gen.1:31) The work of God in Christ says
that we are loved, valued, redeemed, and counted as precious no matter
how we might be valued by a prejudiced world.
Episcopalian: Bishop Wood - No. Our sexual orientation is a given,
something we discover about ourselves. Some might say "a gift from
God." How one relates to others (caring or exploiting) is the source
Judaism: Rabbi Lazar - First of all, I do not know what God thinks.
In my opinion, homosexuality is not a sin, but an alternate lifestyle.
In my opinion, homosexuality by itself is not immoral. When sex is used
to corrupt, for prurient and/or exploitative purposes or selfish reasons
or to hurt someone else, this is immoral.
Judaism: Rabbi Marder - The God I worship endorses loving,
committed, monogamous relationships, regardless of the gender of those
Judaism: Rabbi Wilson
- No, not so long as the behavior is not obsessive, responsible and
safe, non-abusive, and the manifestation of a loving, respectful
Presbyterian: Dr. Edwards - God does not regard homosexuality as a
sin any more than heterosexuality. Sin is a lack of respect or love for
God; it is a lack of love or respect for other persons. Whether gay or
straight, therefore, one may sin against God or others. But God forgives
us when we sin and strengthens us in resisting sin. We are led by God's
forgiving love to become more respectful and loving toward God and
others, even those we don't "like."
Holfelder - No, I do not think that God regards homosexuality as a
sin. I believe that one's sexual preference is first and foremost a
matter of biology (creation) and only secondarily a matter of choice
(responsibility). Since I also believe that all God creates is good, I
conclude that human sexuality (no a matter of choice for anyone) is
good, whether that sexual expression be heterosexual or homosexual.
Roman Catholic: Sister Ford - Two truths are especially relevant in
thinking this through. First we have a theological point. God, the one
who has made all of creation, loves and cherishes all creatures without
exception. Second, modern psychology shows us that homosexual
orientation is set by age five or six. Most psychologists agree that it
is not a matter of choice; whether orientation is inborn as some think,
or acquired very early, as others say. How then could an all-loving God
possibly violate Divine nature and regard homosexuals as "sinners?"
Dr. Schulz - I do not believe that God regards homosexuality as a
sin. In the first place, of course, I do not believe in an
anthropomorphic god who defines or delineates sinful behavior. But even
if I did, I cannot believe that such a God would reject any of His/Her
children on the basis of their affectional orientations. If He/She did,
such a God would not be one to whom I would want to pay homage.
United Church of Christ: Dr. Lebacqz - What god DOES regard as a sin
is oppression, injustice, disrespect for persons. This sin, then, is
homophobia, gay-bashing, discriminatory legislation toward lesbians and
gays, refusal to include lesbian/gay/bisexual people into our churches
and communities. To force ANY people, whether for reasons of race, age,
or sexual orientation, into a "ghetto" - this is a sin.
United Church of
Christ: Dr. Nelson - I am convinced that our sexuality and our
sexual orientations, whatever they may be, are a gift from God. Sexual
sin does not reside in our orientations, but rather in expressing our
sexuality in ways that harm, oppress, or use others for our own selfish
gratification. When we express ourselves sexually in ways that are
loving and just, faithful and responsible, then I am convinced that God
celebrates our sexuality, whatever our orientation may be.
Bishop Wheatley - Of course not! The preponderance of evidence now
available identifies homosexuality to be as natural a sexual orientation
for the majority of persons. Homosexuality is an authentic condition of
being with which some persons are endowed (a gift of God, if you
please), not an optional sexual life-style which they have willfully,
whimsically or sinfully chosen. Certainly one's sexuality - heterosexual
or homosexual - may be acted out in behaviors that are sinful: brutal,
exploitative, selfish, superficial. But just as surely, one's homosexual
orientation as well as another's heterosexual orientation may be acted
out in ways that are beautiful: tender, considerate, mutual,
responsible, loyal, profound.
Dr. Ibrahim Abdurrahman Farajaje - Provost of Starr King School for
the Ministry, Professor of Cultural Studies and Islamic Studies, and
Sufi. Taught the first divinity school class in the US on
African-American faith communities and HIV prevention.
Irshad Manji - Muslim and founder and director of the Moral Courage
Project at New York University's School of Public Service.
Bishop Gene Robinson - Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New
Rev. Ouyang Wen Feng - Founded a gay-friendly church outside Kuala
Lumpur and is thought to be the country's only openly gay pastor.
Although he now lives in the U.S., he frequently returns to Malaysia to
call for gay rights, despite the country outlawing homosexuality.
Imam Daayiee Abdullah - Imam and religious director of Masjid An-Nur
Al-Isslaah, and the co-director of Muslims for Progressive Values.
Bishop Mary Douglas Glasspool - Serves as the Assistant Bishop of The
Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum - Serves as the spiritual leader of
Congregation Beit Simshat Torah, the largest LGBT synagogue in the
Rev. Troy Perry - Founded the LGBT denomination of Metropolitan
Community Churches (MCC) in 1968.
Larry Yang - On the Spirit Rock Teachers' Council and a core teacher
at the new East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, CA.
Pastor Manny Santiago - Pastor of University Baptist Church in
Rev. Scott Anderson - First openly gay PCUSA minister ordained after
the church voted to allow individual presbyteries to set their own
ordination guidelines around sexual orientation
Rev. John Shelby Spong - Episcopal Bishop of New Jersey. Strong LGBT
Rev. Pat Bumgardner - Currently the Senior Pastor of Metropolitan
Community Church of New York.
Rabbi Steven Greenberg - First openly gay Orthodox rabbi, is Director
of Orthodox Programs for Nehirim, the organization for GLBT Jewish
culture and spirituality.
Bishop Yvette Flunder - Founded the United Church of Christ Church,
City of Refuge and presiding Bishop of The Fellowship.
Archbishop Carl Bean - Founded the Unity Fellowship Church Movement, a
primarily African American and LGBT denomination.
Rev. Malcolm Boyd - Episcopalian Priest and author of "Are You Running
With Me Jesus?"
Justin Lee - Founder and Executive Director of the Gay Christian
William R. Johnson - First Openly Gay person ordained in a mainline
denomination (United Church of Christ) and founder of the UCC Coalition
for LGBT Concerns and Maranatha Riversiders for LGBT Concerns at the
Riverside Church, NYC.
Rev. Robin Reiter - Founder and director of Sacred Abundance Ministries.
Rev. August Gold - Founder of the Spiritual Center (NYC), Author,
speaker, life coach.
Jimmy Creech - Defrocked by the United Methodist Church and lost his
ordination for performing same-sex commitment ceremonies. He is the
author of Adam's Gift: A Memoir of a Pastor's Calling to Defy The
Church's Persecution of Lesbians and Gays.
Minister Mychaeltodd - Executive Director of Fig Leaf.
Rev. Dr. Jo Hudson - Senior Pastor at Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, TX.
Bayard Rustin - Quaker activist who not only mentored Dr. King in the
principles of non-violent, non cooperation, but also helped found the
Southern Church Leadership Conference. Rustin was the chief organizer of
the '63 March on Washington, as well as of the first Freedom Rides in
1947. Because Rustin was openly gay, he had to remain behind the scenes
in the Civil Rights movement, as his sexuality was the target of attacks
by anti Civil Rights antagonists.
Candace Chellew-Hodge - Founder of Whosoever: An Online Magazine for
Christians that was founded in 1996. The magazine was the first of its
kind on the internet has continued to be a resource for the LGBT
community since then at whosoever.org. She is also the author of
Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian
Christians published in 2008.
Rabbi Denise Eger - Serves at Congregation Kol Ami and long time LGBT
Rev. Peter J. Gomes - Longtime pastor of The Memorial Church at
Harvard. He came out in 1991, saying "I am a Christian who happens as
well to be gay. Those realities, which are irreconcilable to some, are
reconciled in me by a loving God."
Pastor Dennis A. Meredith - Pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Church,
Pastor Darlene C. A. Franklin - Pastor of Agape Spirit Life Ministries
in Detroit. She is a leader in social justice and a pioneer in spiritual
equality for the LGBT Community.
Rev. Roger E. Hayes - Senior Pastor of Church Of The Holy Spirit
Fellowship located in Winston Salem, NC.
Rev. Elder Jim Mitulski - Pastor of MCC New York City, came to MCC San
Francisco. Under Jim's leadership for 15 years, the church entered a
period of sustained growth during the devastating years of the AIDS
epidemic and shifted from being a place to meet on Sundays into an
integrated part of the San Francisco queer community.
Dr. Herukhuti - Founder of Black Funk: The Center for Culture,
Sexuality, and Spirituality; author of Conjuring Black Funk: Notes on
Culture, Sexuality, and Spirituality; and practitioner of traditional
African and African Diasporic spirituality.
Archbishop Michael Seneco - Presiding bishop of the North American Old
Catholic Church- a progressive Catholic denomination with ministries in
Rev. Dr. Katrina D. Foster - Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
(ELCA) pastor. In 2007 she came out of the floor of her denomination's
national assembly, after which the bishops put forth a resolution
allowing them to abstain from disciplining lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender pastors with families and not face disciplinary action
themselves for not bringing charges against these pastors.
Rabbi Andrea Myers - Author of the book, "The Choosing-A Rabbi's
Journey from Silent Nights to High Holy Days", an activist and mother.
Jay Michaelson - Author, writer, scholar, and actvist whose work
focuses on the intersections of religion, spirituality, sexuality, and
law. His newest book, "God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality"
shows that the Bible supports equal rights.
Rev. Dr. Neil Thomas - Currently the Senior Pastor of Metropolitan
Community Church of Los Angeles.
Rev. Cannon Susan Russell - Associate Pastor at All Saints Pasadena,
CA, past president of Integrity, HRC Religion and Faith Council.
Rev. Bradley Schmeling - Pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church, ELCA,
Atlanta GA. Led the way for full inclusion of LGBT clergy in the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
Rev. Dr. Nancy L. Wilson - Moderator of Metropolitan Community
Rev. Michael S. Piazza - Senior Pastor of Virginia-Highland Church in
Atlanta, President of Hope for Peace & Justice, Co-Executive Director,
Center for Progressive Renewal.
Rev. Michael Hydes - Pastor of New Light Metropolitan Community Church
in Hagerstown, MD.
Rev. Jeff R. Johnson - One of the first openly gay seminarians in the
Lutheran church (ELCA) and a founder of a Lutheran movement to
extraordinarily ordain publicly identified LGBT people. Ordained in
1990, Pastor Johnson currently serves University Lutheran Chapel of
Bishop George R. Lucey, FCM - Presiding Bishop of the American
National Catholic Church. The denomination has parishes and ministries
across the U.S.
Rabbi Tracee Rosen - Joined Temple Gan Elohim in September 2010.
Before coming to Phoenix, she was the senior rabbi of Congregation Kol
Ami, a Reform and Conservative congregation in Utah, from 2003-2010.
Prior to that, she served as one of the rabbis at Valley Beth Shalom in
Encino, California with Rabbis Harold Schulweis and Ed Feinstein. She
was ordained in the second graduating class of the Ziegler School of
Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, CA,
where she received numerous awards for academic excellence. She also
holds a bachelor’s degree in Jewish Studies and an MBA from Washington
University in St. Louis, Missouri. Prior to rabbinical school, she was a
banker, working for one of the top banking corporations in the country.
Rabbi Tracee, along wuith her life partner, and their daughter, recently
relocated from Salt Lake City to be closer to family.
Christopher Senjonyo - Bishop in Uganda.
Rev Mervyn Kingston - Minister in Ireland
Archbishop Desmond Tutu - From South Africa. Strong LGBT ally.
Cantor Shira Nafshi - Serves as the Cantor for Temple Beth Jacob in
Concord, NH. Her partner, Rabbi Robin Nafshi, serves as the Rabbi for
the same congregation.
Bishop Jeffrey Montoya - Openly gay bishop in the Universal Anglican
Church. He is a past board member of DignityUSA and the Religious
Activities Director of Milwaukee PrideFest.
Rev. Gene Dyszlewski - Acting head of Marriage Equality RI and a UCC
minister in the state of Rhode Island. As a straight ally, he is a
strong political force in the state.
Rev. Shari K. Brink - Throughout her career, religious and
not-for-profit leader Reverend Shari K. Brink has been committed to
bringing people together from diverse racial, socio-economic and
religious backgrounds. As a founding co-president of Room for All, a
small not-for-profit organization that educates and advocates for the
full inclusion of LGBT people within the church, she challenges the
church to rise above issues of gender identity and sexual orientation.
Reverend Brink was appointed as Executive Minister of historic Marble
Collegiate Church last summer, where she provides strategic leadership
to one of New York City's most diverse congregations. “Nothing brings me
more joy than a congregation in which everyone knows they belong and has
an opportunity to use their gifts and skills, strengths and experiences
for the greater good,” said Reverend Brink. She also leads the LGBT
people in Faith, Tradition & Service (GIFTS) fellowship, which is
celebrating its 20-year history and finding new vitality in the
continuing movement toward LGBT equality.
The Pope, The Bible, and
Lord knows why the
Pope truly hates gays! The debate over homosexuality and religion has
been a heated discussion for some time now. The issue of homosexuality
has split churches like the
while at the same time uniting others such as the
Metropolitan Community Church,
with a predominantly gay membership.
Does God condemn gays? Is homosexuality a sin? Or is being gay truly
"insidious" in the eyes of God, as the late Pope John Paul II described
in his book "Memory and Identity"?
Homosexuality Is a Sin!
The late John Paul II and therefore the Vatican's stance on gays is
clear: homosexuality is a sin and gay marriage "attempts to pit human
rights against the family and against man." In the late Pope's
philosophical work on the nature of good and evil, "Memory and
Identity," gay marriages are considered an integral part of "a new
ideology of evil" plaguing our world today.
After all, the Bible itself sites passages condemning homosexual
"You shall not lie with a male as with a woman: it is an abomination"
"If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed
an abomination: they shall be put to death: their blood is upon them"
"God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural
intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up
natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one
another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own
persons the due penalty for their error" (Rom 1:26-27).
"Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do
not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes,
sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers - none of
these will inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor 6:9-10).
The condemnation of the law applies for those "who kill their father or
mother, for murderers, fornicators, sodomites, slave traders, liars,
perjurers" ( 1 Tim 1:9-10).
God Loves Gays Too!
Many religious supporters disagree that homosexuality is a sin in the
eyes of God, including those that fought for the inauguration of the
Episcopal Church's first
Openly Gay Bishop V. Gene Robinson,
a decision that divided the church but promoted a more progressive
Some religious scholars believe that the intent of references to
homosexuality in the Bible may not relate to same-sex relations at all.
Walter Wink, Professor of Biblical Interpretation at Auburn Theological
Seminary describes in his presentation on Homosexuality and the Bible:
"Some passages that have been advanced as pertinent to the issue of
homosexuality are, in fact, irrelevant. One is the attempted gang rape
in Sodom (Gen. 19:1-29), since that was a case of ostensibly
heterosexual males intent on humiliating strangers by treating them
"like women," thus demasculinizing them. (This is also the case in a
similar account in Judges 19-21.) Their brutal behavior has nothing to
do with the problem of whether genuine love expressed between consenting
adults of the same sex is legitimate or not. Likewise Deut. 23:17-18
must be pruned from the list, since it most likely refers to a
heterosexual prostitute involved in Canaanite fertility rites that have
infiltrated Jewish worship; the King James Version inaccurately labeled
him a 'sodomite.'"
In the end only the Lord can tell us which side the scale should tip.
Until then the controversy over gays and religion will continue.
Gay Life by Ramon Johnson)
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