On Saturdays I am starting a new series at Gay Married Californian that specifically highlights voices of faith speaking out against bullying and in support of LGBT youth. My goal is to show that the anti-gay bigotry of the Christianist right does NOT define Christianity's response to LGBT people. I am starting with Christian denominations, because in the peculiar marriage of religion and politics in the US, Christianity is the Big Kahuna. However, I will be happy to highlight positive statements from non-Christian faith groups as well. Coming up in the next few weeks, I will have examples from Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, and Baptists, to name a few.
Why am I doing this? Because I know there are straight, religious allies who walk the walk with us. Too often their voices are drowned out by the strident shouts of the haters--I'm hoping to amp them up. LGBT adults and youth of faith, who have been deeply injured by churches need to know that the haters don't speak for everyone or all faith groups. There are many churches that offer radical welcome.
And as a practical matter, whether we are individuals of faith or not, the LGBT community needs to build alliances with religious allies to defeat the opposition. Religion isn't our enemy.
This came to me this weekend, appropriately enough at church. We celebrated our second wedding anniversary last week, in honor of which we donated the Sunday flowers. Our anniversary was further recognized and celebrated by the congregation as we were asked to be the Oblation Bearers and carry the bread and wine to the altar for the choral Eucharist. Numbers of people came up to us afterwards to congratulate us. And it occurred to me (not for the first time) that too many LGBT people are unaware of the explicit support of many communities of faith. I mean, we attend a church that not only welcomes us as a married lesbian couple, but as a mixed marriage of atheist and Christian! Whoa. Pretty radical stuff. Time to get those voices of welcome out there, don't you think?
In any event, I'm going to try to educate everyone and hope to build bridges. If you run across relevant statements or citations that can be identified with particular faith groups, send 'em along and if they are appropriate, I'll queue them up.