In 2010 Tyler Clementi took his own life after being publicly outed on the Internet by his college roommate. His oldest brother James, who is also gay, is now an activist hoping to shape a world that's more accepting and inclusive of LGBTQ people.
As a gay Christian, I have only faced true discrimination for one of these identities. Here's a hint: It's not Christianity. When I tell someone I'm Christian, they don't come up with a series of offensive questions and remarks. I have never felt threatened or in danger when praying or practicing my Christian beliefs. Christianity is not an oppressed identity.
We may find it frustrating, but the relationship status between the Bible and sexual wisdom reads, "It's complicated."
Now, with more and more ex-gay ministries losing not only potential clients and political leverage but the monies that reparative therapies generate, there is a gradual shift from "curing" homosexual orientations to promoting abstinence from sex altogether.
Poet John Donne famously recognized the similarity of sexual and religious ecstasy. Born Catholic, he became an Anglican priest and the Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral, as well as a poet both bawdy and religious.
I sit at my desk again now to answer the question, "Why would I pursue ordination after all the pain my Church has put me and my family through?"
Opponents of marriage equality claim that Jesus confers his own stamp of approval on marriage between a man and a woman, and in so doing rules out the possibility of faithful, loving same-sex partnerships among his followers. There are multiple problems with this claim.
A first step in helping to heal the antagonistic separation between non-affirming and affirming Christians and congregations, is for all to open their eyes to the ways that LGBT Christians are already blessing -- and possibly even renewing -- the Church as a whole.
Hiding sensuality behind health, instead of celebrating it, devalues the erotic lives of women and men. More than that, our political embarrassment about sex has leveraged the power of the wealthy to control the intimate lives of others.
For reasons that I can only attribute to the grace of God, my poor, black, queer, disabled self began to experience God as an aching, yearning Presence that longed for ME through those messages
In the early 2000s, I was working hard to keep lesbian and gay persons out of the ministry of my denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA). I did this in part because I thought the biblical case against gay relationships was straightforward. I was wrong.
People who are gay come to churches as indivisible beings. Like the seamless garment of Jesus, they cannot be split into parts that can be included and other parts that can be excluded.
The I'm Sorry Campaign is the most Christ-like thing I've ever done. In all of the mission trips, service projects, and volunteer organizations that I've been a part of I've never felt closer to God than this campaign.
Defensively, the five Catholic male Supreme Court justices in the majority took some time to insist that their ruling is narrow. Don't believe it. The decision is a radical departure from prior law with monumental implications.
After the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, conservative religionists tried seizing the opportunity to exclude people from their midst whose non-heterosexuality troubles them. The president of my own alma mater was one of them.
As a Taoist monk, I find the notion of the Earth as a superorganism to make perfect sense; I also find the notion of evolution as a propulsive, all-encompassing, and all-pervasive force to be completely congruent with the ancient Chinese concept of Tao.