A movement is afoot in state legislatures across the country to disenfranchise LGBTQ Americans.
I refer of course to the steps being taken by state legislatures around the country to give religious cover to those who continue to find satisfaction in asserting their superiority to others by invoking whatever God they happen to be worshipping.
In the interest of building a bridge of respect, compassion and even solidarity, here are a few common messages Christians need to rethink when they're talking about the LGBT community.
Perhaps rather than holding a press conference on the right for religious people to discriminate we might have one on a shared commitment to improve the health and wellbeing of all our people. Now that would be a news conference I would want to attend.
As the hype around the TLC show My Husband's Not Gay begins to wane, I find it a shame that there has been little attention paid to the perspectives of straight women who have experienced being in a mixed-orientation marriage, where one spouse is gay and the other is straight.
Fifteen years ago, the Religious Declaration on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing was published in a full page ad in the New York Times, surrounded by the names of more than 800 of the country's leading religious leaders.
But there is no biblical mandate to deny LGBTQ Idahoans equality under the law. Adding the Words will not require religious organizations to change their theology or practice. It will prevent people from denying housing, employment, or services to people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
When kids come home from school feeling unwanted, they should be able to come home feeling accepted for who they are. This tragedy should not have happened, but because it has, parents should be more aware of their kids' feelings.
I feel too many women -- poets or not -- are asked to explain themselves, their bodies, their desires. I want to present a world which is already stripped down; its foundation is that it does what it wants. I would like that of my life in many ways.
I've recently come to realize that that scared child is still very present inside me, and he's been responsible for many of the fear-based choices I've made in my life. He's also very responsible for the fears that I still allow to prevent me from living my adult gay life to the fullest, without concern about parental disappointment and eternal damnation.
There is a lot of hurt on all sides that boils to the surface when we learn of the suicide of a teen who was desperate for clarity, for acceptance, for love, and for inner peace. But instead of doing the challenging work of finding entry points for discussion that can lead to understanding and eventually acceptance and healing, so often we're reinforcing this "us vs. them" dichotomy.
I spent nearly 20 years disgusted with pesky, relentless, unwanted attractions to other men. I turned to church and Jesus to make me "normal" in hopes that I would like women more. It took me years to recognize just how much harm I done in suppressing and demonizing my desires for other men.
It was the early '90s. Southern Indiana. My entire world revolved around Jesus, and I was hiding the darkest secret. "I'm gay." I remember scribbling those words into my cheap, paperback journal.
Hank recently recounted his story in Kevin Allison's popular stage show and podcast RISK. He candidly talks about his childhood struggle for acceptance in his family and church, which I found hilarious, sad and surprising. Even if you aren't gay or Asian, there are universal truths about family and the holidays that everyone can relate to.
I wonder if we can get something a little more complex and interesting from reflecting on the whole incident beyond simply reaffirming our own preexisting propensity to either condemn or congratulate.
I truly believe if American Christians stayed more focused on the message and teachings of Jesus, many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people would not have the annual angst of searching for home for the holidays.