There may be one thing even more difficult than coming out of the closet for many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, said the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop.
And that's coming out as religious.
Yet reclaiming faith is vital to the success of the gay-rights movement, V. Gene Robinson told Utahns this week at a Salt Lake City fundraiser for the nonprofit group Equality Utah.
"We need to lay claim to the fact that we've been able to put our sexuality together with our spirituality in a way that enlivens us and nourishes us," said Robinson, whose landmark 2003 ordination as bishop of the New Hampshire Diocese drew cheers in some quarters and scorn in others throughout the faith community.
"We have let the religious right take the Bible hostage," he said, "and it's time we took it back."
Working from within faith communities is important, Robinson said, because "90 percent, at least, of the oppression that you and I face as LGBT people comes from the Abrahamic faiths -- from Judaism, Islam and Christianity."
Robinson predicted The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- as well as other churches -- will change its position.
"Pretty soon," Robinson said, "even the LDS Church is going to realize that no one under 30 is interested in joining a church that discriminates against us."
Those Mormon families enduring the conflict between what their church teaches and how many of their loved ones live will influence their leaders, he said. "They are going to wake up. They are going to see that the compassion they believe in extends to all of God's children."
He encouraged LGBT people to lives of joy, "fabulousness" and integrity so that no one can deny "the eternal light that is in each one of us.
"No matter the setbacks, the costs, the price we pay," Robinson said, "we are inexorably moving to a vision of the culture and of our religious institutions which is closer to God's [vision]."
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Bp Robinson in Salt Lake City
From the SLC Trib: