Being Christian is Not a Barrier to Accepting LGBT People

In light of Chick-Fil-A COO Dan Cathy’s statement that his opposition to marriage equality is rooted in his belief in the “biblical definition of the family unit,” GLAAD would like to point to the many Christians who understand that the “biblical” definition of family is not limited to husband, wife, and children, and who support marriage equality for all couples, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Many Christian denominations welcome LGBT families. Just last month, the Episcopal Church voted to allow priests to conduct blessing ceremonies for gay and lesbian couples, which may be part of a wedding ceremony depending on state law. While the Presbyterian (PCUSA), Methodist (UMC), and Lutheran (ELCA) churches in the United States do not yet officially support marriage equality, Presbyterians and Lutherans welcome LGBT pastors to ordination and LGBT individuals and families are welcomed into their churches. Individual pastors and parishioners from each tradition are supportive and have created welcoming and affirming ministries that have had a huge impact. Even Roman Catholics, whose Church Hierarchy has spoken out repeatedly against equality for LGBT people, are overwhelmingly supportive of both LGBT inclusion and of marriage equality.

It is also not at all uncommon for individuals to disagree with the official policy of the denomination to which they belong. Many of those people are working toward change from the inside, within organizations such as Affirmation (Mormon), the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, DignityUSA (Roman Catholic), IntegrityUSA (Episcopal), More Light Presbyterians, New Ways Ministry (Roman Catholic), and Reconciling Works (Lutheran).

GLAAD urges the media to remember that religion does not dictate beliefs about an individual’s acceptance of LGBT people. There are many in the LGBT community who are themselves religious people and who find no conflict between their sexual orientation and their faith. For more information and resources, please check out GLAAD’s Religion, Faith, and Values Program.

To find out more about actions against Chick-Fil-A, or to promote your own, visit the GLAAD Chick-fil-a action page.