LGBT Religion News Updates for November 2, 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. We appreciate your suggestions, and thank you for forwarding. You may subscribe via

GLAAD’s own Ross Murray, director of the Religion, Faith and Values program, wrote a piece for on the progress being made in embracing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender congregants. Murray supports his argument by citing a recent poll published by the Public Religion Research Institute that found that as many as 71% of Catholics in American support lesbian and gay people.

On October 26, Hindus and Jains across the globe celebrated Diwali. Ankita Rao penned a piece for the Huffington Post arguing that Diwali “becomes an opportunity for people to make a stand for double inclusion -- for people to affirm simultaneously their South Asian Identity and insist on recognition” of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. GLAAD’s  People of Color Media Initiatives Fellow, Amita Swadhin, profiled several LGBT Hindus in her Huffington Post piece, Diwali: a Time to Be Merry and Gay.

The last conference in the More Than a Monologue series, The Care of Souls: Sexual Diversity, Celibacy, and Ministry, was held at Fairfield University on October 29, 2011. The Archbishop of New York, Timothy M. Dolan, and Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, were assured by the presidents of Fordham University and Fairfield University, both historically Jesuit institutions, that the conferences “while sensitive to the experience of the participants, will not be a vehicle for dissent.”

California Baptist University was in the news this week after expelling a transgender student after she had appeared in MTV’s True Life: I’m Passing As Someone I’m Not. Domaine Javier, who transferred to the school to finish her nursing degree, said that she was devastated to learn that she had been expelled. Shorter University, historically affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention, also made headlines this week when administration asked faculty to sign a “personal lifestyle statement.” The statement requires that employees “reject […] all sexual activity not in agreement with the Bible,” specifically making note that “premarital sex, adultery, and homosexuality” are included in this category.

Lastly, GLAAD took the opportunity presented by All Saints' Day to remember the LGBT pioneers from the last year.

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