LGBT-affirming religious groups
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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) affirming religious groups (also called gay-affirming) are religious groups that welcome LGBT members and do not consider homosexuality to be a sin. They include entire religious denominations, as well as individual churches and synagogues. 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.
The Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, have traditionally forbidden non-heterosexual and non-vaginal sexual intercourse (both of which have been variously labeled as sodomy), believing and teaching that such behavior is sinful and derived from the behavior of the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah. Today, several denominations within Christianity and Judaism accept gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender members and permit the ordination of openly LGBT candidates for ministry. Examples are the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements in Judaism, the United Church of Christ, United Church of Canada, Episcopal Church in the United States, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (USA), Community of Christ, and the Metropolitan Community Church. Some of these traditions have made provision for same-sex unions or marriage. In Europe, a number of Lutheran, Reformed, United and Old Catholic churches have adopted increasingly accepting policies towards LGBT members.
A number of Christian ministries seek to create officially-sanctioned "Safe-spaces" in a similar vein as gay-straight alliances in various schools. LGBT ministries differ from lay-lead movements for inclusion of LGBT parishioners in that most lay movements do not receive open and official support from clergy. They also differ from LGBT-oriented congregations (such as those of the Metropolitan Community Church) formed explicitly for LGBT parishioners in that the clergy of such congregations are not historically motivated toward opposition to LGBT dignity and equality upon establishment of the denomination.
In episcopal polities, both lay-lead and clergy-led LGBT-inclusion programs are likely to take place at either the diocesan level or, when most denominationally-inclusive, at all levels.
The Qu'ran has no term that describes homosexuality, only terms that describe certain sexual acts. There are no references regarding transgender or transsexualism. Some Muslim countries prohibit same-sex acts and relationships, while others allow sex reassignment surgery for transgender and intersex people, such as Iran.
In 1997, Faisal Alam, a Pakistani American activist, founded the Al-Fatiha Foundation to promote the cause of LGBTQ Muslims. It was registered as a nonprofit organization in the United States until 2011.
LaVeyan Satanism is critical of Abrahamic sexual mores, considering them narrow, restrictive and hypocritical. Satanists are pluralists, accepting bisexuals, lesbians, gays, transgendered people, BDSM, polyamorists, and asexuals. Sex is viewed as an indulgence, but one that should only be freely entered into with consent. The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth only give two instructions regarding sex: "Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal" and "Do not harm little children", though the latter is much broader and encompasses physical and other abuse. This has always been consistent part of CoS policy since its inception in 1966, as Peter H. Gillmore wrote in an essay supporting same sex marriage:
Finally, since certain people try to suggest that our attitude on sexuality is “anything goes” despite our stated base principle of “responsibility to the responsible,” we must reiterate another fundamental dictate: The Church of Satan’s philosophy strictly forbids sexual activity with children as well as with non-human animals.
— Magister Peter H. Gilmore
In that essay he also stated:
The Church of Satan is the first church to fully accept members regardless of sexual orientation and so we champion weddings/civil unions between adult partners whether they be of opposite or the same sex. So long as love is present and the partners wish to commit to a relationship, we support their desire for a legally recognized partnership, and the rights and privileges which come from such a union.
— Magister Peter H. Gilmore
The Raelian Movement looks positively on sexuality including homosexuality. Rael recognized same-sex marriage, and a Raelian press release said that sexual orientation is genetic and likened discrimination against gays to racism. Some Raelian leaders have performed licensed same-sex marriages.
- Bishop Soto tells NACDLGM: 'Homosexuality is Sinful' catholic.org, accessed 29 September 2008
- Help topics Assemblies of God (USA), accessed 6 July 2009
- Imaan FAQ
- "Founding Family: 'Morality' versus Same-Sex Marriage".
- A modern nation is a nation where gays and lesbians are free retrieved 4 August 2013
- A Raelian official licensed to perform legal marriages for same-sex couples in Hawaii retrieved 4 August 2013
- Wicca for Beginners: Fundamentals of Philosophy & Practice, Thea Sabin - 2006
- Women's spirituality, women's lives — Page 127, Judith Ochshorn, Ellen Cole - 1995
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