LGBT Religion News Updates for December 1, 2011

GLAAD’s Religion, Faith & Values program works to elevate LGBT-affirming voices of faith in mainstream, regional, and community media. To find out more, visit For additional religion and faith updates, be sure to check out our blog. Thank you for forwarding. You may subscribe via our new online registration form. We welcome suggestions at

It’s once again that time of year when the hoards of Salvation Army bell-ringers take over every available doorway with their bright red kettles. There is no doubt that the bell-ringers are an iconic piece of the holiday shopping season, yet LGBT shoppers often feel conflicted about donating to the Salvation Army. Bil Browning of the Bilerico Project ran an article highlighting the Christian charity’s history of political lobbying across the globe. Browning piece, and a similar brief essay that ran in the Huffington Post, suggests that instead of donating to the Salvation Army, the LGBT community and their allies should think about donating to more gay-friendly organizations this holiday season.

Today is World AIDS Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic. CNN profiled Pastor Brenda Byrth of Bibleway Holiness Church in their piece, “Pastor Fights HIV Stigma in Southern Town.” The average of diagnosed AIDS cases in the rural south is higher than any other part of the country, due to a combination of stigmatization, and a lack of education and funding. When asked about her call to hold HIV/AIDS meetings, Byrth replied that Jesus said, “Come as you are.” The Religion, Faith & Values newsletter will feature a dedicated section of responses to World AIDS Day in next week’s issue.

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