Catholic schools balance gay-straight alliance clubs with beliefs | National Catholic Reporter

 nullWhether named Gay-Straight Alliance, Inclusivity Club, or something else, Catholic schools in Ontario now allow lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) acceptance student groups because they have to, but many districts are proactively supporting gay-straight alliances, and many students find their school to be a much more empathetic place.

“A lot of people do get the impression of oh, gay club, and they’re like, oh I can’t go because I’m not gay. And it’s like, well, no, that’s the reason it’s ‘gay-straight alliance,’ ” said Katie Butler, a 12th grade student at St. Anne’s Catholic School in the Windsor-Essex district. “It’s a safe space where you can go and talk about things. Where you know you’re going to be accepted in that area. It’s very educational, I’d say.”

Source: Catholic schools balance gay-straight alliance clubs with beliefs | National Catholic Reporter

 Carribean Bishop Speaks Out Against Homophobia

Hatred, violence and exclusion are not Christian. It follows that nor is homophobia. Here is some good news on combating faith based homophobia from a Caribbean bishop:

Bishop Holder for support of LGBT

Anglican Archbishop Dr John Holder (right) addressing the media. He was accompanied by Rev Dr James Tengatenga (centre) and chairman of the communication committee of the Barbados Diocese Sam Wilkinson. (Picture by WILLCOM.) 

ONE OF THE REGION’S most prominent Christian leaders has denounced the actions of members of the faith who ridicule and condemn those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

Archbishop of the West Indies and Anglican Bishop of Barbados Dr John Holder went as far as to label their stance as misreading and misinterpretation of the Bible.

At a press conference yesterday, he held fast to the province’s position that every human being should be treated as a child of God irrespective of their sexual orientation.

And he described as “sad” Christians who ridiculed other human beings and “give the impression that they are children of the devil and not children of God”. (WILLCOMM)

– See more at :  NationNews Barbados 

James Martin, S.J.: We need to build a bridge between LGBT community and the Catholic Church. | America Magazine

The relationship between the L.G.B.T. Catholic community and the Catholic Church in the United States has been at times contentious and combative, and at times warm and welcoming. Much of the tension characterizing this complicated relationship results from a lack of communication and, sadly, a good deal of mistrust, between L.G.B.T. Catholics and the hierarchy. What is needed is a bridge between that community and the church.I invite you to walk with me on that important bridge. To that end, I would like to reflect on both the church’s outreach to the L.G.B.T. community and the L.G.B.T. community’s outreach to the church. Because good bridges take people in both directions.

Source: James Martin, S.J.: We need to build a bridge between LGBT community and the Catholic Church. | America Magazine

Catholic College Supports Gay Basketball Coach and Her Wife

The main thrust of this story is that Azzi is notable as the first major basketball coach to come out as gay.

Gay marriage: Supporters laud Jennifer Azzi for her bravery

Jennifer Azzi built a reputation for taking charge on the basketball court while becoming the greatest point guard in Stanford history.Now she’s leading in a new arena by becoming the only openly gay coach of a Division I men’s or women’s basketball program.

Azzi, 47, announced Thursday night that she is married to Blair Hardiek, her assistant coach at the University of San Francisco.

Hidden in the detail, however, is something else of interest to LGBT Catholics. She and her wife are coaching at a Catholic college – and has the support of the school.
USF athletic director Scott Sidwell said Friday the school supports Azzi, who led the Dons (21-12) to the NCAA tournament last month for the first time since 1997.

“We have a commitment to Jennifer,” he said, referring to a five-year contract extension signed in July. “We’re going to respect the dignity of each person.”

But Sidwell, who took over after Azzi was hired in 2010, declined to answer specific questions about the announcement and about a coach being married to one of her employees. He described the Jesuit school as an inclusive campus “committed to the workplace.”

Source: San Jose Mercury News

Why LGBTI Christians should give thanks for Desmond Tutu this Easter

Last summer I visited my friend Bishop Gene Robinson in Washington. He told me he had recently visited the makeshift memorial set up in a street in Ferguson, Missouri, for Michael Brown, a young, unarmed black man killed by a policeman.

As he stood reflecting on events he saw a cardboard box standing like a pillar. It had been painted black and written in gold letters were the words:‘They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds’.

Gene was moved by the resiliency of these words. He told me as a gay person most of what he knows and understands about his own community’s fight for equality comes from what he has learned from the black civil rights movement even though he is fully aware that his ‘white privilege’ works to protect him from the full knowledge of the extent to which he is rewarded for the color of his skin.

He researched the origin of the words on the cardboard box and discovered they come from Dinos Christianopolous, a living Greek poet, who had been marginalized by the Greek literary community throughout his life because of his sexuality. He had written way back in the 1970’s: ‘You did anything to bury me. But you forgot I was a seed.’

Source: – Gay Star News

A Christian Case For LGBT+ Acceptance

Many Christians have been taught that it is impossible to be both LGBT+ and a follower of Jesus. A majority of Christian denominations globally oppose LGBT+ rights in both the Church and society, and they do it on the basis of their Christian faith. But is this a legitimate reason for opposing the rights of LGBT+ people to be treated as equals in world? Over the past few years, there has been a resurgence of LGBT+ Christian voices offering various perspectives on Christian theology and doctrine that open up the doors of the Church to fully embrace and include sexual and gender minorities.

As a Christian theologian, seminarian, and openly queer individual, I have spent countless hours over the past five years studying scripture and the Christian tradition trying to understand what God desires for those of us who were not born heterosexual. Last year, after much study and prayer, I came out in an article in TIME Magazine as queer for the first time, because I was convinced that my Christian faith and interpretation of the Bible led me to fully embrace sexual and gender minorities as equal, beautiful children of God.

Source: A Christian Case For LGBT+ Acceptance

LGBT Irish-Americans Finally Fully Welcomed to NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade

When the St. Patrick’s Day Parade kicks off in New York City tomorrow, it will finally be an inclusive celebration of Irish heritage with all LGBT marchers fully welcomed for the first time. The Lavender & Green Alliance has been invited to march by parade organizers, reported the Washington Blade. The Alliance, which since 2000 has hosted an alternative event in Queens called the St. Pat’s For All Parade, was celebrating the welcome, said founder and chair Brendan Fay. He told the Blade the parade will be

Source: LGBT Irish-Americans Finally Fully Welcomed to NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade | Bondings 2.0

Same-sex nikaahs & gay imams: how LGBTQ Muslims are reconciling faith and sexuality


Mostly, being Muslim isn’t easy. Mostly, neither is being gay. If you’re both, the odds are seriously stacked against you. But the good news is that a couple of committed groups are trying to reconcile the faith and sexuality of queer Muslims. And suddenly there are gay imams, gay mosques and gay retreats on the horizon.

One such retreat for gay Muslim men and women is being held in Philadelphia this May.

Sponsored by the Muslim Alliance for Gender and Sexual Diversity, it will be held at a private space in the suburbs of Philadelphia. And due to privacy concerns, the location will only be disclosed to those who register in advance. The Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity works to support, empower and connect LGBTQ Muslims.


The LGBT Politics of Christian College Campuses

In the past, many conservative Christian colleges condemned both same-sex attraction and same-sex intimacy. But now that gay marriage is legalized, and as the country undergoes broad cultural shifts, that’s changing. Some of these same schools are now attempting to separate sexual identity from sexual behavior in their policies and campus customs. However awkwardly, they’re trying to welcome gay students while preserving rules against same-sex “behavior.”

Depending on the theological and political climate of the school, colleges have different ways of dealing with this new reality. A few have fully opened their communities to LGBT students and faculty, lifting all restrictions against same-sex dating or same-sex marriage. This fall, two conservative Christian colleges, Eastern Mennonite University and Goshen College, added sexual orientation to their nondiscrimination policies. Ultimately, this move forced both of them to withdraw from the nation’s most prominent membership organization of evangelical universities.

Source:  The Atlantic

Gay Author Turns Down Catholic School Which Tried to Silence His Identity

An Australian Catholic high school has asked an an author who had been invited to the school to refrain from speaking about his latest novel, which contains a gay character, after the writer came out as a gay man.

De La Salle College, a high school located in the Sydney suburb of Revesby, had invited William Kostakis to speak about his new book, The Sidekicks, in March and in June. But Kostakis withdrew from the engagements after being asked in a staff member’s email to him, that he be silent about his new book, The Sidekicks, which has a gay character in it.

Source: Bondings 2.0