Polish LGBT Christians’ Letter to Pope Francis

The Bondings 2,0 report yesterday on a more pastoral tone from the Catholic Primate of Poland, Archbishop Jozef Kowalczyk, included reference to an open letter to Pope Francis from a group of LGBT Christians, Faith and Rainbow.


Here’s the full text of the letter, taken from the group’s own website, which has helpfully published it in the original Polish, and in English. Continue reading

The LGBT Christian “Not All Like That” Video Project

Readers of Queering the Church, and of Queer Church News, will not need to be told that queer Christians exist, know that there is no inherent conflict between faith and their sexuality or gender identity, and that we have a continuously expanding number of straight allies in faith. That’s why my site exists, and is a message I am constantly promoting. Now Dan Savage, creator of the “It Gets Better Video Project” has got the message, and given his backing to video project inspired by It Gets Better, to express Christian support for the LGBT community.

Not All Like That Project: Christians Come Out For LGBT People With Dan Savage’s Support

Dan Savage got so sick of people coming up to him after talks and TV appearances informing him that not all Christians were bigots and against full equality of LGBT people that he came up with a word for them — “NALTS” — for “Not All Like That.”

Part of the gay sex columnist and author’s frustration was that he wanted these Christians, who were so eager to tell him about their enlightened stance, to focus their efforts on telling that to the Christian leaders who were condemning gay people and telling it to LGBT people, especially young Christians, who need to hear that not all Christians are… well, “like that.”

Now some Christians have taken Savage’s challenge — and even adopted his title. Christian blogger John Shore and Wayne Besen, from Truth Wins Out, with the blessing and support of Savage, have launched NALT, The Not All Christians Are Like That Project. Based on the format of the “It Gets Better” campaign, the website launched on September 4th as a platform for Christians who want to send a direct message of welcome and acceptance to the LGBT community.

-continue reading at  Huffington Post

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“Who Are We to Judge?” – Gay Catholics – Episode 3 (Video)

In Episode 3 of this Ignatian Press Youtube series on gay and lesbian people in the Church, Arthur Fitzmaurice and John Paul Godges discuss hopes and goals for gay Catholics in the Church. “That’s what I hope for”, says John Paul Godges, “for lesbian and gay Catholics in the future is open public integration”.

Watch the entire Gay Catholics series on the IN Network:http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=…

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Gay Pride – Uganda!

Across much of Africa, the priority for LGBT activists is far from pushing for equal marriage, but just resisting physical violence criminal sanctions. But even in Uganda, where there is a real thread of legislation that will provide for the death penalty for those convicted, there is progress. For the second consecutive year, there has been a gay pride parade, in Entebbe. Numbers were low – but unlike last year, the police made no attempt to intervene. As one participant noted, these are only baby steps – but babies tend to grow up.

Uganda holds 2nd annual LGBT pride march without arrests

Ugandan LGBTs have marched openly for a second time in Entebbe but police did not intervene despite being given advanced notice about the egnt


LGBTs in Uganda have again marched openly in what is the country’s second only pride event.

On Saturday over a hundred people marched along a beach and through a botanical garden in the city of Entebbe but police stayed away despite organizers giving them advanced notice about the event.

Things did not go so smoothly last year when a pride event was broken up by police, with several activists being detained before being released without charge.

Activist Kelly Mukwano told the Voice of America that the Ugandan LGBT community had been given a new sense of confidence with the success of the event.

‘That success gave us confidence that we can do it,’ Mukwano said, ‘We are getting more confident as time goes by.’

Some marchers thought it would not be long before they could march openly in the nation’s capital.

‘It’s baby steps,’ one marcher said, ‘Today, we are here, miles away from Kampala … Soon we shall be on Kampala Road.’

Uganda’s state owned New Vision news agency is yet to react to the pride event in Entebbe.

Ugandan MPs have been seeking to pass legislation that would see the death penalty for gay sex for repeat offenders and people with HIV but have called for a secret ballot to prevent them from being subjected to overseas travel bans.

via Gay Star News.

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“Tolerance Will Come to Jamaica” – Anglican Priest, Government Minister Agree

As  the movement to marriage equality steams ahead globally, obvious exceptions are Africa and the Caribbean, where far more pressing issues are securing simple tolerance, freedom from violence, and even decriminalization.

But even here, there are signs of progress. In Jamaica, where homosexual acts can lead to a criminal conviction, an Anglican priest and a government minister both agree that change has already begun (and by implication, decriminalization will follow).

ANTI-GAY HYPOCRISY: Jamaica destined to become tolerant of homosexuality, says clergyman

 Fr Sean Major - Campell

Tolerance for homosexuality will eventually become a reality for Jamaica, according to one Anglican priest who says it already exists in many circles, including the Church.The Reverend Father Sean Major-Campbell believes, however, that hypocrisy on the matter has been the preferred route of Jamaican society for centuries.”I do not believe there was any Jamaican who would believe 30 – or even 20 – years ago that it would become the norm for so many Jamaican men to expose their underwear and posterior,” he said. “However, you are in style and good company if your boxers are fully on show in a conveniently homophobic society.”Major-Campbells comments have come on the heels of statements made by Pope Francis during a recent press conference on the issue of homosexuality within the Catholic Church. Some commentators say that the pontiffs comments struck a conciliatory chord on the attitude towards gays.

Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding says there has been an evolution in Jamaicans’ attitudes towards homosexuality over the years.

“Polls show that a fairly substantial portion of the population believes that we should be tolerant towards persons, regardless of sexual orientation. Certainly, the position taken by me and the Government is one which rejects totally any acts of violence against any of our citizens based on them being a member of some minority group.”

Golding added: “Some people really feel that homosexuality and a homosexual lifestyle are intrinsically immoral. My own view on the matter is that what people do as adults in the privacy of their home is really a matter for them and shouldn’t really be subject to any kind of state interference.”

via  – Jamaica Gleaner –  July 31, 2013.

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Reclaiming Christianity from the Religious Right

There have been several recent reports of a petition to CNN, demanding that it no longer give Family Research Council chief Tony Perkins the credibility of exposure on its air time for his anti-gay views. What I did not originally appreciate, is that this petition did not originate from an LGBT group, or from marriage equality activists – but from a group of Christians, angry that people like Perkins, who misrepresent their prejudices as based on Christian obligation, are giving Christianity a bad name.

Christian Group Obtains 33K+ Signatures Asking CNN To Stop Hosting ‘Anti-Gay’ Tony Perkins

A Christian group has obtained more than 33,000 signatures for a petition demanding that CNN cease putting Family Research Council chief Tony Perkins on its airwaves with his “anti-gay” views.

The group, Faithful America, describes itself as a “community dedicated to reclaiming Christianity from the religious right,” refusing to “sit by quietly while Jesus’ message of good news is hijacked to serve a hateful political agenda.” As such, one of their causes is to put an end to the cable news outlet’s use of Perkins as a “voice for Christian causes.”

“Even as church bells rang out to celebrate a victory for equality,” the petition reads, “CNN once again turned to a hate-group leader to speak on behalf of America’s Christians. Tony Perkins doesn’t speak for us, and CNN needs to stop giving him a platform to spread anti-gay hate.”

The group laments that “CNN host Wolf Blitzer failed to challenge Perkins’ lies” in a segment about the Supreme Court’s overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act. “[N]or did [Blitzer’s] segment feature any Christian leaders with a different point of view — despite polls showing that a majority of Christians actually oppose [DOMA].”

The plea concludes: “With America moving decisively towards full equality, it’s time for CNN to stop portraying Christians as voices of anti-gay hate.”

Originally the petition sought 15,000 signatures, but it has more than doubled that amount, garnering more than 33,600 signers since its posting nearly three weeks ago. Though CNN’s use of Perkins has led to this particular petition, the FRC head has also appeared on Fox News and MSNBC in the past.

No word on whether CNN will respond to the petition’s specific request.

via  Mediaite.

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LGBT Support on a Christian College Campus

One indication of how dramatically religious based hostility to LGBT people and opposition to same – sex relationships is being undermined, is the rapid expansion of LGBT support groups on college campuses, including Catholic and other Christian institutions. Here’s one example from a conservative, evangelical campus:

Fuller Theological Seminary’s Acceptance Of LGBT Group, OneTable, Creates Ripples

Samantha Curley, Chelsea McInturff, Glen Stassen, Marissa Nunes, Nick Palacios

In this Wednesday, June 12, 2013 photo, straight and gay members of OneTable, from left, Samantha Curley, Chelsea McInturff, faculty adviser Glen Stassen, Marissa Nunes and Nick Palacios walk on the campus of the Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. bisexual and transgendered students earlier this year. Attempts to sta

Nick Palacios struggled to get his conservative Pentecostal parents to accept him as a gay evangelical Christian for nearly a decade before his family found a common ground through faith.

Now, as an openly gay seminarian, the 29-year-old hopes to carve out a similar acceptance for other gays in the broader evangelical community through his role as president of the nation’s first LGBT student club sanctioned by a major evangelical seminary. The group, called OneTable, formed last fall at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, one of the world’s largest multi-denominational seminaries, and has attracted about three dozen students.

“It quickly became apparent to me that I was going to be OK and that I wasn’t going to have to forsake my faith for my sexuality,” Palacios said of his struggle for acceptance.

“I really hope that people will see Fuller and OneTable as a model of what the body of the church is supposed to do in this situation.”

Fuller’s stance has created ripples in the larger world of Christian colleges and seminaries, where a growing number of gay evangelical students are asserting their dual identities with underground clubs and nascent political activism. Last year, for example, a group called the Biola Queer Underground was quashed by Biola University, a small, conservative Christian school in nearby Orange County.

-continue reading at Huffington Post

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The Wild Reed: A Catholic Presence at Gay Pride

Every year at this time, Michael Bayly at features a post on “A Catholic Presence at Gay Pride”, in his own city of Minneapolis – St Paul. This year, the celebration for Twin Cities queer Catholics will have been particularly sweet, after their twin successes in off last year’s attempt to entrench marriage discrimination in the state constitution, later capped by the success of equal marriage legislation. Bayly and his Catholic colleagues, both LGBT and straight allies, were heavily involved in both efforts, and reaped the rewards of many years of hard work towards full LGBT inclusion and equality in church.

Catholics for marriage equality, MN

Here’s the introduction to this year’s report. (Read the full post at The Wild Reed – then dip into recent history, and see the earlier versions, for 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)

I spent most of last weekend (June 29-30) in Minneapolis’ Loring Park at the Twin Cities Pride festival. I helped staff the CPCSM/Catholics for Marriage Equality MN booth and participated in Sunday’s parade down Hennepin Avenue in the heart of Minneapolis.

Giving the recent advances in marriage equality at both the state and federal levels, our theme this year was “Catholics Celebrating Marriage Equality!” We altered our banner to reflect this theme and gave out hundreds of stickers bearing this message (above left). These stickers were very popular.

Above and below: As well as giving out our “Catholics Celebrating Marriage Equality” stickers, we also invited visitors to our booth to complete a questionnaire so as to help us discern our future direction and focus as an organization. Questions included:

• What do you think is the most pressing area of concern for LGBT people in the Roman Catholic Church?

• How would you describe your relationship to the Church?

• Where do you currently find affirmation and spiritual nourishment?

-continue reading at The Wild Reed

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New Ways Ministry Welcomes Supreme Court Decisions on Marriage Equality

The following is a statement of Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director, New Ways Ministry on the Supreme Court’s decisions about marriage equality:

The Supreme Court’s decisions today that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and that marriage equality should be revived in California feel like “justice rolling down like a river,” in the words of the prophet Amos. While Catholic bishops will not welcome these decisions, the people in the pews of Catholic parishes across the country are ecstatic that these major injustices against their lesbian and gay friends and family members are now dissolved.  We thank the Court for these decisions, and we give thanks to God for answering our many prayers seeking justice.

Catholic lay people across the U.S. and in California have worked hard to support their deeply held Catholic belief that equal treatment by our government’s laws should be extended to lesbian and gay couples who want to marry.  Catholics hold this belief because of their faith, not in spite of it.  Our Catholic social justice tradition motivates us to work for strong families and expansive social protections, and these can only be achieved when all families are treated fairly and equally under the law.

These Supreme Court decisions are definitely not the final word on marriage equality in our nation.  Much work remains to be done.  And Catholics will be part of that work in state and national campaigns to facilitate marriage equality and to end other injustices against LGBT people such as discriminatory immigration policies.   Catholics will stand with those of other faiths to show that religious people do not support discrimination.

Catholics also have work to do within our own church.  We are ashamed and dismayed that our bishops are often the most vocal opponents of marriage equality.  Their statements often reveal a stunning ignorance of lesbian and gay lives and a lack of compassion that is unbecoming of faith leaders.  Catholics pray that today’s Supreme Court decisions will open our bishops’ eyes so that they will at least meet and dialogue with lesbian and gay Catholics and their families.  If the bishops do this, they will witness firsthand how the Gospel of justice and love which they preach is practiced by those they consider the least in their flocks.

New Ways Ministry is a 36-year old national Catholic ministry of justice and reconciliation for LGBT people and the Catholic Church.  For more information visit http://www.NewWaysMinistry.org.

via  Bondings 2.0.

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