GLAAD's Religion, Faith & Values program works to amplify the voices of LGBT-affirming communities of faith and LGBT people of faith. The program has successfully coordinated press conferences for religious leaders who speak out in support of LGBT issues and has secured national and religious media interest in stories that bring examples of LGBT equality in faith communities to Americans. The program has trained openly LGBT and LGBT-supportive ministers, faith groups and individuals from a wide range of religions to share their stories in their local congregations and throughout mainstream media.
In Focus: Faith, LGBT People, & the Midterm Elections
GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation released "In Focus: Faith, LGBT People, & the Midterm Elections,” a groundbreaking resource guide that empowers journalists to challenge anti-LGBT talking heads who mask bias as a ‘tenet of faith.’ The guide is designed to help the media provide accurate information about LGBT people and faith in the lead up to the 2014 midterm elections.
Mainstream media outlets use far fewer religious sources from Mainline Protestant, Jewish, or other denominations whose messages were predominantly positive and accepting of LGBT people. Far too often, outlets frame stories as "God vs. Gay," inaccurately representing the current climate of acceptance across faith communities today. The newly released guide seeks to correct these disparities in reporting. Read the report at www.glaad.org/vote.
Missing Voices: A study of religious voices in mainstream Media reports about LGBT equality
Missing Voices, a joint project of GLAAD and the University of Missouri Center on Religion & the Professions, analyzes messages presented in national news outlets by religious voices about issues affecting LGBT communities. The research shows a disproportionate reliance on anti-LGBT religious voices commenting on LGBT people and issues, and an underrepresentation of religious voices from traditions that are supportive of LGBT equality. In fact, three out of four religious messages came from people whose religions have formal policies opposing LGBT equality, despite the fact that acceptance of LGBT people is growing across faith traditions.
What Others Are Saying
"Missing Voices serves as a reminder that the relationship between religion and LGBT issues is more complex than it appears in the media. While anti-LGBT religious voices figure prominently in the news, they have a disproportionate presence. We must remember that religious figures do not speak in one voice on LGBT issues, and a growing number of religious leaders and organizations support the LGBT community. Furthermore, LGBT Christians are living reminders that religion and LGBT status need not be diametrically opposed. In short, GLAAD's latest report serves as a reminder that balanced coverage of these issues in the news is vital."
"It was such a pleasure to work with you on Soulforce's strategy at the General Assembly for the Presbyterian Church USA. You are a very effective trainer, a powerful advocate, and a superb advisor. GLAAD’s work with Soulforce made a huge difference in the effectiveness of our message. Keep up the good work!"
Soulforce Board Member and Volunteer
"I hope that these efforts have an impact shifting our nation's culture toward greater acceptance of LGBT people. More importantly if these articles give one person hope that God loves them or if just one person changes his or her mind about ending their life because they feel less isolated, it is worth it all."
Director of Public Relations
The Evangelical Network
LGBT Religion News Summary
The LGBT Religion News Summary is a weekly e-newsletter of the latest news at the intersection of LGBT people and faith. To subscribe, visit our newsletter sign up page. To submit news items for inclusion in the LGBT Religion News Summary, email a link to the news item to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did You Know?
- Catholics support marriage equality at 54%, which is higher than the national average.
- Individual Evangelical Christians are consulted in the media at a higher rate than their presence in the population would warrant (34% of media coverage versus 26% of the U.S. population).
- Over half of Roman Catholics consulted in the media presented negative messages about LGBT issues, despite the fact that 71% of American Catholics support civil marriage equality and 73% of lay Catholics support anti-discrimination laws that would protect LGBT people in the workplace and in public accommodations.
- The mainstream media used far fewer religious voices from Mainline Protestant, Jewish, or other religious sources whose messages were predominantly positive.
- Many faith groups are developing rites and rituals for transgender individuals.
- African-American church leaders increasingly support LGBT equality. According to the latest research, fully one-third of African-American Protestants support marriage equality.
- Faith groups have taken the lead in addressing LGBT youth homelessness.
- The Orthodox Jewish world is slowly backing away from its fierce opposition to LGBT people.
Organizations GLAAD Collaborates With
The following is a sampling of the organizations that GLAAD has supported or collaborated with:
- Al-Fatiha (Muslim)
- Dignity USA (Roman Catholic)
- The Evangelical Network
- The Gay Christian Network
- Integrity USA (Episcopal)
- Jewish Queer Youth
- Keshet (Jewish)
- Lutherans Concerned North America
- More Light Presbyterians
- Muslims for Progressive Values
- Many Voices: A Black Church Movement for Gay & Transgender Justice
- Nehirim (Jewish)
- New Ways Ministry (Catholic)
- Room for All (Reformed Church in America)
Are You Looking for a Welcoming Congregation or Organization in Your Area?
The Institute for Welcoming Resources maintains a list of welcoming Christian congregations, both within the United States and internationally. They also list welcoming campus ministries in the United States and Canada, as well as welcoming seminaries.
If your congregation is already welcoming, you can submit your information to be added to the directory. If your congregation is not yet officially recognized as a welcoming congregation, but would like to become one, you can contact your denominational organization.
If you are looking for a welcoming synagogue, the World Congress of GLBT Jews maintains a list of welcoming synagogues, congregations, and organizations worldwide. Keshet also maintains a list of resources for LGBT Jews.
The Order of St. Hildegard (OSH) is a multi-faith community of religious transgender women striving to live a simple, genuine and compassionate life through focus on a vibrant spiritual life and active service to those in need.
Masjid Al-Nural Isslaah in Washington D.C. is an LGBT friendly mosque. The Inner Circle is a South Africa-based organization that provides support for LGBT Muslims. Listings for other organizations can be found here.
For support within the Hindu community, please check out the Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association, Inc.
If you have suggestions for LGBT affirming faith organizations, please contact us at email@example.com.