From “No You Can’t” to “I Do”: My Journey to Gay, Married and Christian

I once voted against same-sex marriage, and now I’m married to a man.

That’s the short version of my long and tumultuous history with reparative therapy, church doctrine, and my slowly changing attitude toward LGBT civil rights. It’s a transformation that many gay Christians can identify with, and why, up until recently, the secular community has led the charge in the movement for LGBT equality.

Source: Faith forward, at Patheos

Does religion breed homophobia? – The Jesuit Institute South Africa

“Sadly it is religion, including our own, which targets, mostly verbally, and also often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people,” Bishop Robert Lynch of St Petersburg, Florida, said on his blog after the mass shooting of 49 people in a gay bar in Orlando.

We have to face the fact that gay-bashing is often encouraged, perpetrated and justified by believers. In the aftermath of the heinous crime committed at Pulse nightclub, many so-called religious people took to social media suggesting that this was a punishment from God. I was shocked to read these reactions from “Christians”. Sadly, most of the US bishops who issued statements about the killing could not even bring themselves to mention the word “gay” in their statements when, quite clearly, this was more than just terrorism. It was also an abominable homophobic attack.

Read full reflection by Russell Pollitt S.J. at  The Jesuit Institute South Africa

Eight Stages of Coming Out and Reconciling Our Sexual Identity – ABBI

The process of coming out and resolving our sexuality is rarely simple. It is a process and a journey. There is no timetable either. I have worked with teens who have reached the final step of celebration and people in their 60’s who have just arrived at stage 7.  The factors that thwart the process or cause people to get stuck are family, geography, culture or religion.  These additional influences, depending on how important they are in the individual’s life, can hold them back for years, even decades.

Read full analysis at – ABBI

Cardinal Marx: Church should see positive aspects of homosexual relationships : News Headlines | Catholic Culture

Cardinal Marx recalled that during last year’s meeting of the Synod of Bishops, he had provoked a strong reaction by saying that a faithful and loving relationship between homosexuals has some of the same positive benefits as a marital relationship. When he made that remark, the cardinal reported, “some were shocked, but I think it’s normal. You cannot say that a relationship between a man and a man, and they are faithful, that is nothing, that has no worth.”

Source:  Catholic Culture

Pope Calls for Church to Apologize to LGBT People and Others Who Have Been Marginalized | Bondings 2.0

No pope has said more welcoming words to LGBT people than Pope Francis’ recommendation today that the Church–indeed all Christians–should apologize for the harm religious traditions have caused to LGBT people.  The pope’s statement was simple, yet powerful, and it fell from his lips so easily.  The simplicity of his language will provide an immense blessing of healing and reconciliation to LGBT people and Catholics who support them, who have been waiting decades to hear such a simple, honest statement from the Vatican.

[You can read the pope’s statement by clicking here.]

Francis: Christians must apologize to gay people for marginalizing them | National Catholic Reporter

The Catholic church and other Christian communities must apologize to gay people and to many groups they have let down or offended throughout history, Pope Francis has said.

In a press conference Sunday on the flight back to Rome after his weekend trip to Armenia, the pontiff said bluntly: “The church must say it’s sorry for not having comported itself well many times, many times.”

“I believe that the church not only must say it’s sorry … to this person that is gay that it has offended,” said the pope. “But it must say it’s sorry to the poor, also, to mistreated women, to children forced to work.”

“When I say the church: Christians,” Francis clarified. “The church is healthy. We are the sinners.”

The pope was responding to a question about remarks German Cardinal Reinhard Marx made last week that the Catholic church should apologize to the gay community for marginalizing them.

“I will repeat the same thing I said on the first trip,” Francis said today, referencing the press conference he held on a return flight from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2013. “I will also repeat what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: that [gay people] should not be discriminated against, that they have to be respected, pastorally accompanied.”

“The matter is a person that has that condition [and] that has good will because they search for God,” said the pontiff.

“Who are we to judge them?” he asked, reframing his famous phrase from 2013 into the plural. “We must accompany well — what the Catechism says. The Catechism is clear.”

Source: | National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis: Catholic Church should apologize to gay people and others it has marginalized – LA Times

Pope Francis says gays — and all the other people the church has marginalized, such as the poor and the exploited — deserve an apology.Francis was asked Sunday en route home from Armenia if he agreed with one of his top advisors, German Cardinal Reinhard Marx, who told a conference in Dublin in the days after the deadly Orlando gay club attack that the church owes an apology to gays for having marginalized them.

Francis responded with a variation of his famous “Who am I to judge?” comment and a repetition of church teaching that gays must not be discriminated against but treated with respect.

He said some politicized behaviors of the homosexual community can be condemned for being “a bit offensive for others.” But he said: “Someone who has this condition, who has good will and is searching for God, who are we to judge?”

Source:  – LA Times