LGBT-affirming Christian denominations

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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) affirming Christian denominations are Christian denominations that do not consider homosexuality or transgenderism to be sins. They include entire religious denominations, as well as individual churches and congregations. Some are composed mainly of non-LGBT members and also have specific programs to welcome LGBT people, while others are composed mainly of LGBT members.

Additionally, some denominations which are not LGBT-affirming have member-organized groups which are not officially sanctioned by the denomination. There are also ecumenical or para-church programmes that are explicitly outreaches to LGBT people, but do not identify with any particular faith tradition or denomination.

History[edit]

While Christianity has traditionally forbidden sodomy, believing it to be parallel to homosexuality, some believe in the Hebrew text and history that the word sodomy literally means "male temple prostitute", and not a translation for homosexual. Thus, homosexuality is not thought of as an act of sin in a growing population of churches today, namely the religion of Christianity.[1][2] Today some Christian denominations are accepting of homosexuality and transgenderism and inclusive of homosexual and transgender people, such as the United Church of Christ and the Metropolitan Community Church.

One of the first churches established for gays was the Liberal Catholic Church, in Sydney, Australia in 1916. In 1946, Archbishop George Hyde of the Eucharistic Catholic Communion (a small denomination not in union with the Roman Catholic Church) celebrated mass for gay men in Atlanta. In 1956, the Church of ONE Brotherhood was founded in Los Angeles by a gay-rights activist.[3] In 1962, a Congregationalist pastor began an overt pastoral ministry to gay people in New York City. The first gay and transgender-specific denomination, as opposed to individual congregations, was the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1968.[3]

Some congregations are merely non-discriminatory and LGBT-affirming while others are specifically oriented toward gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons.[3] Some local congregations, especially those designated as "Welcoming churches" in the Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, Methodist, Episcopal, and Brethren/Mennonite denominations, may consist of a majority of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender members.[3]

While Unitarian Universalism is no longer explicitly a Christian religion, it does have Judeo-Christian roots. Both the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Canadian Unitarian Council have officially affirmed LGBT people and have openly advocated for gay rights.

Denominations[edit]

North America[edit]

MCCNY, a church in New York City.
Grace Gospel Chapel, in Seattle.

Europe[edit]

Central and South America[edit]

Denomination-sanctioned programmes[edit]

The following denominations have LGBT-welcoming or affirming programmes, though not all churches within the denomination are necessarily members of the LGBT programme.

Unofficial programmes[edit]

Programmes not affiliated with any particular denomination[edit]

  • Gay Christian Network (GCN) is a "nonprofit ministry supporting Christians worldwide who happen to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT)". GCN is an ecumenical ministry, welcoming Christians from a wide variety of backgrounds. GCN was founded in 2001 by Justin Lee, and has sought to "build a supportive community to support fellow gay Christians in their Christian walks."
  • Freedom2b is an Australian based organisation that assists LGBTI people from Christian backgrounds on their journey to reconciling their faith, sexuality and gender identity.
  • Institute for Welcoming Resources (a programme of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force)
  • Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (UK)
  • Accepting Evangelicals – Evangelical parishes accepting LGBT people www.acceptingevangelicals.org
  • Evangelical Fellowship for Lesbian and Gay Christians (UK)
  • European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups
  • Evangelicals Concerned: Gay and Transgender Christians
  • Sybils: UK group for transgender Christians
  • Nuntiare et Recreare: Russian multi-denominational organization
  • LGBT Christians (Russian: ЛГБТ-христиане Украины): Ukrainian multi-denominational organization
  • Believe Out Loud - an online network that empowers Christians to work for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bishop Soto tells NACDLGM: 'Homosexuality is Sinful' catholic.org, accessed 29 September 2008
  2. ^ Help topics Assemblies of God (USA), accessed 6 July 2009
  3. ^ a b c d Gay and Lesbian Churches and Synagogues, GLBTQ
  4. ^ "Italian Lutherans say Yes to the blessing of homosexual couples". European Protestant News Network. 2011-05-16. Retrieved 30 September 2011. 
  5. ^ http://www.changingattitude.org.uk
  6. ^ Nazarene Ally Website

External links[edit]

Christian[edit]