LGBT Religion News Roundup - December 1, 2010

December 1, 2010
In response to the UN's vote to remove sexual orientation from the list of those protected from summary executions, Archbishop Desmond Tutu came out of retirement to speak out on behalf of LGBT people.  Bishop Christopher Senyonjo of Uganda and dozens of LGBT advocates received a death threat from a tabloid in Uganda.  Senyonjo is now in the United States to shine the light on US Evangelicals exporting anti-gay hate to Uganda, which forces some Ugandan LGBT people to seek asylum. A United Methodist Kenyan LGBT ally, Rev. Makakha, is also in the US speaking out to mobilize US support for LGBT people.   

Bishop Christopher Senjoynjo of Uganda

It is no surprise that Religion News Service includes LGBT stories among the top religion stories of 2010.  The stories keep coming as a Presbyterian minister says, "I want the congregation to know God loves them," and the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News published a “big, gay Thanksgiving prayer.”  Arcus Foundation sponsored a Detroit premiere of "Embracing Inclusion in Communities of Faith" and "Come As You Are,” two DVDs that help communicate LGBT concerns in a faith context.  Follow-up articles on Bishop Robinson’s retirement helped assure people that  he isn't being "run off."  His optimism  continues to be an inspiration even as Anglican conservatives reject a global unity plan because it doesn’t completely reject LGBT people and their supporters. Bishop Robinson may even have more time to commit after he retires.    Evangelicals in Georgia are still engaged with mega-church Bishop Jim Swiley, a fourth generation evangelical minister who came out as gay.  And they are speaking out about applying Christian values to stop the bullying of gay youth.    But anti-LGBT conservatives are in full swing as  NOM and FRC protest getting a "hate group" label from the Southern Poverty Law Center.  NOM spent $948,000 in Iowa to oust judges who supported marriage equality.  LezGetReal  is urging protests of Apple for approving an app that will help Catholics and Evangelicals promote LGBT discrimination.  Six groups in the Conservative Political Action Conference  boycotted a major conference because GOProud was invited.   While the Equally Blessed coalition of pro-LGBT Catholics is starting to get traction in the Miami Herald, the Pope cracked open the door to a theology of 'lesser evils’ when it comes to condoms and a theologian in Ireland claims that much of the clergy is gay.  But opposition is still fierce.  The US Council of Bishops is in the middle of a major effort to block civil unions in Illinois.  A Catholic school deleted a student editorial on LGBT issues, and defecting Anglicans are being brought into the Catholic hierarchy.   Mormons continue to make news as some confusion arose out of changes in the official stance on gay people.   They removed recommendations of “reparative therapy” and decided “same-sex attraction” is not a sin, but they still condemn relationships.  In response, pro-LGBT Mormons in Arizona held a vigil for LGBT suicide victims.  Internationally, in Germany gay pastors are now allowed to live with their partners; the state church in Finland sanctioned prayer for marriages for gay and lesbian couples; MPs in Australia will back a marriage equality motion; and South African  gay Catholics pray for acceptance.