LGBT Religion News Updates for December 14, 2011

GLAAD’s Religion, Faith & Values program works to elevate LGBT-affirming voices of faith in mainstream, regional, and community media. To find out more, visit www.glaad.org/faith. For additional religion and faith updates, be sure to check out our blog. Thank you for forwarding. You may subscribe via our new online registration form. We welcome suggestions at faith@glaad.org.

Last Thursday, Buddhists around the world celebrated Bodhi Day, which commemorates the Enlightenment of the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. Jack Cooper, in his article A Transgender Buddhist's Note of Gratitude published in the Huffington Post, reflected upon his journey to accept who he is through mindful meditation. Cooper asserts that although he had yet to reach Enlightenment, he "remembers that the Buddha taught that it is available to all beings."

The New Jersey Star-Ledger ran two articles this week highlighting Newark's black church community. Gays in Newark: Our Stories, Our Lives profiled Jae Quinlan, the minister of Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church, and a former seminarian, in addition to several other community leaders. A related article, N.J.'s Black Churches Open Doors to Gay Congregants, But Not Right to Marry, points out that there is a gradual shift of acceptance for gay and lesbian congregants within the black church. While many faith leaders are still struggling with the notion of marriage equality, Rev. Reginald T. Jackson, pastor of St. Matthew AME Church in Orange is hopeful that black churches are moving towards becoming more tolerant. "I think that anyone who is gay or lesbian should be welcome in all of our churches," said Jackson.

This week two stories highlighted Episcopal efforts to use LGBT inclusion as a tool in evangelism. LGBT ally and recently installed Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, The Right Rev. Mariann Budde, is working to revitalize and grow The Episcopal Church in Washington DC. Additionally, Episcopal students at Yale are studying how to leverage the welcoming position of many Episcopal congregations to expand outreach.

Finally, the religion, faith and values newsletter for the week of 12.07.11 incorrectly placed the Cathedral of Hope under the category of Unitarian Universalist. It should have been listed under United Church of Christ.

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