While sorting through the mounds of religious rubbish that littered the US of A during the 2012 election cycle, I found a few underreported gems. The end-of-year reports compiled by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and Believe Out Loud chronicle advances made in religious circles towards LGBT equality would have been deemed wish lists even a year ago. Following are seven hopeful highlights: 1. The Episcopal Church made history when they passed resolutions barring discrimination in lay employment and the ordination process on the basis of gender. Also, they adopted a provisional liturgical rite to bless same-sex couples that went into effect in December. Most other mainline denominations are moving forward toward full inclusion of LGBT people. 2. United Methodist Church Bishop Melvin Talbert and other African American clergy defy the prevailing narrative that black churches are anti-gay by voicing their support the LBGT civil rights. All signs indicate this support will continue to grow in 2013.
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