In many places around the country, June is celebrated as Gay Pride Month, a time for LGBT people to celebrate their identity and many accomplishments. As senior minister of First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, the oldest Protestant church in the city, I also think the celebration of Gay Pride is the perfect time for faith communities to reassess the kind of welcome (or lack of it) they are extending to people of differing sexual orientations. Notwithstanding a few notable exceptions, faith communities have been slow to demonstrate support toward LGBT people. In too many cases, these individuals have been condemned, ostracized, and shamed for who they are. Shame is never a good thing, but religiously motivated shame is the most reprehensible of all.
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