"Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?" said Pope Francis, a statement that many other religious leaders would do well to pay attention to.

Some already have.

Check out our sometimes surprising roundup of religious leaders who have made positive statements about LGBT individuals here:

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  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu

    "Desmond Tutu leaves no doubt about his opinions regarding LGTB rights, declaring: 'I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this.' He added: 'I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place.'" <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/26/desmond-tutu-hell-homophobia_n_3661120.html" target="_blank">Read more here</a>

  • Pope Francis

    "'Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?' the pontiff said, speaking in Italian. 'You can't marginalize these people.'" <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/29/pope-francis-gays_n_3669635.html" target="_blank">Read more here</a>

  • Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.)

    "Muslim congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN), the Representative for the 5th district of Minnesota, released a short, but cute, video to celebrate the first day of same-sex marriage in his home state. While strumming a guitar and singing 'This Land Is Your Land,' Ellison congratulates the people of Minnesota for standing up for marriage and making a difference in their state. As he says in the video, 'Tomorrow, marry who you want, marry who you love.'" <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/01/keith-ellison-gay-marriage-minnesota_n_3689559.html" target="_blank">Read more here</a>

  • Rabbi Laura Geller

    "Now I can invoke the power vested in me by the State of California and declare them married in accordance with the laws of the State of California and our Jewish faith. Now we are so much closer to the truth of their experience: a gay or lesbian Jewish wedding, like a Jewish heterosexual wedding, is a Jewish wedding pure and simple, the inheritance of every loving Jewish couple. Eleh Mas'ei, these are the steps on the journey to the promised land." Read more here

  • Sister Simone Campbell

    Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director of the Roman Catholic Social Justice Organization. In a recent interview with Believe Out Loud, she discussed why she supports LGBT rights and modernizing the Roman Catholic Church. “The Catholic hierarchy has done very poorly at engaging the issues of sexuality, period—their own, or anybody else’s,” she said. “I have said that what we need is a real spiritual renewal among our leadership because for me, following the gospel means be not afraid—welcome everyone, hug them, welcome them close, and live and love.” <a href="http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2013/03/19/op-ed-10-pro-lgbt-christian-women-you-should-know?page=0,1" target="_blank">Read more here</a>

  • Dalai Lama

    The February/March, 1994 issue of OUT magazine, which quoted the Dalai Lama as saying: "If someone comes to me and asks whether it is okay or not, I will first ask if you have some religious vows to uphold. Then my next question is, What is your companion's opinion? If you both agree, then I think I would say, if two males or two females voluntarily agree to have mutual satisfaction without further implication of harming others, then it is okay." <a href="http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1977" target="_blank">Read more here</a>

  • Rabbi David Wolpe

    On gay marriage- “I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time,” Rabbi Wolpe said. “I was doing it on my internal timetable in the synagogue, which was to try to bring people along slowly because I knew this would be very difficult for many people. I think it’s the most controversial thing I’ve ever done or will do.” <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/06/us/rabbi-takes-a-stand-for-gay-marriage-and-a-segment-of-the-congregation-rebels.html" target="_blank">Read more here</a>

  • Rev. Jesse Jackson

    At a time of increased attention to the Democratic Party’s platform plank supporting gay marriage, Rev. Jesse Jackson not only said he supports gay marriage, but told Human Events that in his capacity as a minister, he would perform a marriage of gay couples “if I was asked to.” <a href="http://www.humanevents.com/2012/09/03/rev-jackson-has-no-problem-with-performing-same-sex-marriage/" target="_blank">Read more here</a>

  • Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

    “I mean I know plenty of gay couples whose relationships are an example to plenty of other people and that’s something that’s very important, I’m not saying that gay relationships are in some way, you know that the love that there is less than the love there is between straight couples, that would be a completely absurd thing to say." <a href="http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/03/12/archbishop-of-canterbury-says-he-supports-strengthening-gay-relationships-but-not-with-marriage/" target="_blank">Read more here</a>

  • Ani Zonneveld, president of Muslims for Progressive Values

    "We can't move forward as a society, as a faith system, if we subscribe to these old draconian ways of practicing Islam," says Ani Zonneveld, who is the president of Muslims for Progressive Values. A 49-year-old singer-songwriter who lives in Los Angeles, she leads prayers for men and women together and tells gay Muslims, often shunned in other mosques, that their religion welcomes them. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/29/progressive-muslims-launch-gay-friendly-women-led-mosques_n_1368460.html" target="_blank">Read more here</a>

  • Joel Osteen

    "I believe the scripture says that being gay is a sin. But, you know, every time I say that, Chris … people say, well, you are a gay hater and you’re a gay basher," Osteen told Wallace during the interview. "I'm not. I don't - I don't dislike anybody. Gays are some of the nicest, kindest, most loving people in the world. But my faith is based on what I believe the scripture says, and that's the way I read the scripture.” <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/02/joel-osteen-being-gay-is-a-sin-fox-news_n_1471247.html" target="_blank">Read more</a>

  • Pat Robertson

    "Instead of criticizing the trans individuals, Robertson approached the situation in a seemingly level-headed manner. 'I think there are men who are in a woman's body,' he said. 'It's very rare. But it's true -- or women that are in men's bodies -- and that they want a sex change. That is a very permanent thing, believe me, when you have certain body parts amputated and when you have shot up with various kinds of hormones. It's a radical procedure. I don't think there's any sin associated with that. I don't condemn somebody for doing that.'" <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/29/pat-robertson-transgender_n_3672244.html" target="_blank">Read more here</a>

  • The Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, the 26th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.

    Her own record on those issues is that she voted to endorse Robinson and, when asked about blessings services for same-sex couples in Las Vegas, has said she supports the idea of gay partnerships: "I said that a parish wishing to do so would have to get the congregation to agree, to show that it was not an isolated event, divorced from the rest of its activities. The couple would also have to receive counselling, like anyone getting married. "So far only two congregations have done the work, and I believe there have been two blessings in the past three years." <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2006/jun/24/comment.religion" target="_blank">Read more</a>