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RELIGION
 

FAQ: God, Jesus, Bible, Gay People

Being Gay is a Gift From God

Living as an Openly Gay Christian

GLAAD: Religion, Faith, and Values

Queer Christians Fighting for Equality

LGBTQ 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."
-ChristianGay.Com

"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."
-Lynn Lavner

 

 


"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 their error."
-ChristianGay.Com

"The Scriptures 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 minorities. "
-Mel White / Letter to Jerry Falwell

"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."
-Dr. Slayton / Baptist Minister

 

 

Trey Pearson: Christian Rock Star Comes Out
Christian Rocker Trey Pearson Comes out to Fans

Jennifer Knapp: Gay Christian and Unlikely Hero

Christianity Today: Jennifer Knapp Comes Out

YouTube: Jennifer Knapp on Larry King Show

 

"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."
-John Shelby Spong / Episcopalian Bishop

"Our sexual orientation is a given, something we discover about ourselves. Some might say it is a gift from God. How one relates to others (caring or exploiting) is the source of sin."
-Bishop Wood / Episcopalian

"If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise."
-Johann von Goethe

 

 

Desmond Tutu: My God is Not Homophobic

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 LGBTQ 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."

 

Archbishop Tutu, a Nobel Prize winner further remarked, “I can't for the life of me imagine that God will say, I will punish you because you are black, you should have been white; I will punish you because you are a woman, you should have been a man; I will punish you because you are homosexual, you ought to have been heterosexual. I can't for the life of me believe that is how God sees things.”

 

Desmond Tutu: I Would Would Rather Go to Hell

Pope Says of Gays: Who Am I To Judge?

Interview with Bishop Gene Robinson

BBC Article About Bishop Gene Robinson

Christian Rocker Trey Pearson Comes out to Fans

Jennifer Knapp: Lesbian Christian Singer/Songwriter

Rev. Horace Griffin: Racism, Homophobia and the Black Church

Leonard Pitts: Don't Blame the Bible
 

Bishop Gene Robinson

 

Gene Robinson was the first openly gay bishop in the US Episcopal Church. His ordination as a bishop of the New Hampshire diocese in 2003 divided the global Anglican community. In the US, hundreds of parishes broke away from the Episcopal Church (the US branch of Anglicanism) in protest, forming a new Anglican Church in North America. Bishop Gene Robinson became a symbol of the LGBTQ rights movement and an advocate for equal marriage.

 

Gene Robinson was born in 1947 in Lexington, Kentucky. As a schoolboy, he began to realize that he might be different.  He suspected he was gay but said it was not something to be open about. Bishop Robinson says he had relationships with women but admitted that he was also attracted to men.

 

He met Isabella Martin during an internship at the University of Vermont. He says a month into their relationship, he explained his concerns about his sexuality. But, never the less, they married in 1972 and he took a job as a curate in New Jersey before they moved to New Hampshire in 1975. The couple had two daughters, Jamee and Ella. In 1985, after seeking counseling, he and his wife decided they should separate. He went public with his sexuality and they divorced.

 

18 months later, Bishop Robinson began to date Mark Andrew, who subsequently moved to New Hampshire.  They married in 2003.  In 2014, after 25 years together, they divorced. Bishop Robinson retired in 2012.

 

Wikipedia: Gene Robinson

YouTube: First Openly Gay Bishop in Episcopal Church

BBC: Profile of Gene Robinson

 

 

Rabbi Denise Eger

Denise Eger is an American Reform rabbi. In March 2015 she became president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the largest and oldest rabbinical organization in North America.  She is the first openly gay person to hold that position.

 

While studying to become a rabbi during the 1980s in New York City, Denise Eger started a group for gay and lesbian students, holding meetings far from campus. At the time, there were few prospects for out lesbian rabbis, a lesson Eger would learn personally.  No one would hire her. But she found her calling at a synagogue created as a religious refuge for gays, Beth Chayim Chadashim in Los Angeles, the world’s first gay and lesbian synagogue to be recognized by Reform Judaism. It was a road that led her to found Kol Ami, a welcoming and jubilant Jewish community that is open to all.


Since then, the Reform Jewish movement (Eger’s lifelong spiritual home) has undergone a radical transformation on LGBTQ issues and now fully embraces the community.

 

Eger has been honored for her HIV/AIDS work and is a highly regarded expert on Judaism and LGBTQ civil rights. She is a noted author contributing to anthologies such as “Torah Queeries,” “Lesbian Rabbis,” “Twice Blessed,” and “Conflicting Visions: Contemporary Debates in Reform Judaism.” She wrote the piece “Creating Opportunities for the ‘Other’: The Ordination of Women as a Turning Point for LGBTQ Jews”, which appears in the book “The Sacred Calling: Four Decades of Women in the Rabbinate,” published in 2016.

 

Wikipedia: Denise Eger

Queery: Lesbian Rabbi Denise Eger

NY Times: Lesbian Rabbi Becomes President of Reform Group

Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation
How Can You be Gay and Jewish?

Rabbi's View: Gay Marriage Does Not Violate Religious Rules

What Does Judaism Say About LGBTQ People?

List of LGBTQ Jewish Organizations

List of LGBTQ Jewish People

Keshet

 

Data From GLAAD

 

--Catholics support marriage equality at 54%, which is higher than the national average.

--Individual Evangelical Christians are consulted in the media at a higher rate than their presence in the population would warrant (34% of media coverage versus 26% of the U.S. population).

--Over half of Roman Catholics consulted in the media presented negative messages about LGBTQ issues, despite the fact that 71% of American Catholics support civil marriage equality and 73% of lay Catholics support anti-discrimination laws that would protect LGBTQ people in the workplace and in public accommodations.

--The mainstream media used far fewer religious voices from Mainline Protestant, Jewish, or other religious sources whose messages were predominantly positive.

--Many faith groups are developing rites and rituals for transgender individuals.

--African-American church leaders increasingly support LGBTQ equality. According to the latest research, fully one-third of African-American Protestants support marriage equality.

--Faith groups have taken the lead in addressing LGBTQ youth homelessness.

--The Orthodox Jewish world is slowly backing away from its fierce opposition to LGBTQ people.

 

 

Troy Perry

 

Rev. Troy Perry is the founder of Metropolitan Community Church, a Christian denomination with a special affirming ministry with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities, in Los Angeles in 1968.

Perry felt called to offer a place for gay people to worship God freely. Perry put an advertisement in The Advocate magazine announcing a worship service designed for gays in Los Angeles. Twelve people turned up on October 6, 1968 for the first service, and "Nine were my friends who came to console me and to laugh, and three came as a result of the ad." After six weeks of services in his living room, the congregation shifted to a women's club, an auditorium, a church, and finally to a theater that could hold 600 within several months. In 1971, their own building was dedicated with over a thousand members in attendance.

Being outspoken has caused several MCC buildings to be targeted for arson, including the original location in Los Angeles. Perry's theology has been described as conservative, but social action was a high priority from the beginning of the establishment of the denomination. Perry performed the first public same sex unions in the United States as early as 1968 and ordained women as pastors as early as 1972. MCC has more than 200 congregations in 33 countries.

Ethnic and Religious Perspectives

African American/Black
Hispanic/Latino

Arab/Muslim/Middle East

Asian/Pacific

Indian/Hindu

Jewish/Israeli

Native/Two Spirit
Diversity/Intercultural

 

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.

 

Methodist Church Appoints Trans Deacon

Queer Theology

The Christian Closet

Holler If You Hear Me: Black and Gay in the Church

Christian Gays

TED Talk: What the Bible Says About Homosexuality

Loving All God's Children Equally

Street Preachers at Pride Events

Catholics Should Accept and Love All LGBTQ People

 

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 of sin.

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 involved.

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 relationship.

 


 

For the Bible Tells Me So

Whosoever Ministry
Gay Church

Created Gay: Christian, Jewish and Muslim Info

Erratic Impact: Queer Religion
Gay Religion

Living as an Openly Gay Christian

Queer Christians Fighting for Equality

 

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."

Presbyterian / Rev. 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 (not 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?"

 

 
 

To Be Gay and Muslim
Coming Out in the Muslim Community

I Am a Muslim Who Happens to Be Gay

Irshad Manji: Lesbian and Muslim

Guardian: Being a Gay Muslim

Services for Gay Muslims

LGBTQ Muslims

 

Unitarian Universalist / 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.

 

Oprah: I Can Be Christian and Support Gay Rights

FAQ: God, Jesus, Bible, Gay People

How God Helped Me Accept My Gay Son

Being Gay is a Gift From God

Living as an Openly Gay Christian

What Does Judaism Say About LGBTQ People?

Presbyterian Minister: What To Do With This New Day

Ramadan Reflections: We Must Seek Justice Wherever We Are

TED Talk: What the Bible Says About Homosexuality

 
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.

United Methodist / 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 lifestyle 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.

 

Brandon Kneefel: Being Gay is Not a Sin

Matthew Vines: The Bible and Homosexuality

What Does Judaism Say About LGBTQ People?

33 Moments in 2016 That Proved Religion Can Be a Force for Good

Evangelical Church Welcomes LGBTQ Members


LGBTQ Affirming Organizations and Congregations

 

--Al-Fatiha (Muslim)

--Dignity USA (Roman Catholic)

--Evangelical Network (Evangelical)

--Gay Christian Network

--Integrity USA (Episcopal)

--Jewish Queer Youth

--Keshet Ga’avah: World Congress of LGBTQ Jews (Jewish)

--Lutherans Concerned North America (Lutherans)

--More Light Presbyterians (Presbyterian)

--Muslims for Progressive Values

--Many Voices: Black Church Movement for Gay & Transgender Justice

--Nehirim (Jewish)

--New Ways Ministry (Catholic)

--Room for All (Reformed Church in America)

--Rainbow Baptists (Baptist)

--Evangelicals Concerned (Evangelical)
--Metropolitan Community Church (Independent)

--Affirmation: United Methodists for LGBTQ Concerns (Methodists)

--Reconciling Pentecostals (Pentecostal)

--Unitarian Universalism
--UCC Coalition for LGBTQ Concerns (United Church of Christ)

--Association of Unity Churches (Unity)

--Friends for LGBTQ Concerns (Quaker Religious Society of Friends)
--Seventh-Day Adventist Kinship (Seventh-Day Adventist)
--Soulforce

 


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