The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, more commonly referred to as the Mormon Church, has often had an antagonistic relationship with the LGBT community and its supporters. Back in 2008, the church was one of the strongest supporters of Proposition 8, which repealed marriage equality in California.
At the heart of most Pride parades in America, you will see religious congregations marching. Jews, Christians, Pagans, Buddhists, and others share in the spirit of the original Stonewall uprising of '69 by proclaiming that they have a right to be who they really are meant to be, which, in our case, is both LGBT and religious. Unfortunately, like many of my sisters and brothers who identify as both LGBT and religious, I find that sometimes I am asked to choose between my identities.
The incidents [of violent preaching] drew outrage and condemnation from gay rights supporters. But they also left many Christians uncomfortable – even those who call themselves conservative. "I think these men expressed something that many Baptist preachers think," the Rev. Robin Lunn said. "We need to stand up and denounce this powerfully."
When religious protesters gather to rally against same-sex marriage or endorse a conservative candidate, it follows a familiar script. "Christian" becomes shorthand for conservative, anti-abortion, anti-gay beliefs. But as cultural views around homosexuality have shifted, there has also been an increase in voices on the religious left (yes, they exist), who are stepping forward to challenge the religious right.
Brickman is quick to point out that the pro-marriage equaliyt coalition are not trying to rebut any argument put forth by the Catholic Church. She doesn't want this to devolve into a rote rendition of Religious Right vs. Godless Left. After all, she says, among the 300 coalition members in Minnesotans United, more than one-fourth are faith-based organizations.
Jim Smith is a former Roman Catholic priest who left his post with the church 10 years ago. He's an ex-priest for several reasons, he says, but one of his main concerns was the church's stance against marriage equality and other LGBT issues.
But Smith remains a Catholic - though he says being a Catholic who actively campaigns for marriage equality can be difficult these days.
Just this week, more pro-LGBT Roman Catholics have found ways in which to speak up and affirm their faithful support for LGBT equality. Both of these examples demonstrate the stark difference between the Roman Catholic hierarchy and the pew-sitting Roman Catholic men and women who work for justice and the common good.
Sister Jeannine Gramick is a Roman Catholic religious sister and a co-founder of the activist organization New Ways Ministry, a Catholic social justice center working for justice and reconciliation of lesbian and gay people with the institutional Catholic Church. After a review of her public activities on behalf of the Church that concluded in a finding of grave doctrinal error, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) declared in 1999 that she should no longer be engaged in pastoral work with lesbian and gay persons.
Bob Jones University is the latest of evangelical and fundamentalist colleges and universities to have its students and alumni form an unofficial LGBT organization. After quietly planning for months, BJUnity announced the launch of BJUnity.org and its organization to support LGBT and straight affirming alumni and students of fundamentalist Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina.