Ryan Hammill 06-28-2016

Image via Martin Witchger/League of Conservation Voters

"The shooting in Orlando shows how much we still need to work on and overcome in terms of violence and bigotry against LGBT people," Witchger, who traveled from Washington, D.C., to join the ceremony, said. "But how beautiful and moving it is to have Stonewall as the first national park unit to honor the LGBT rights movement."

Image via REUTERS/Tiziana Fabi/Pool/RNS

While Francis’ comments on the plane were not officially sanctioned by the Catholic Church, they are another indication that the new boss ain’t the same as the old boss.

Elizabeth M. Edman 06-21-2016

Image via REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage/RNS

As our country asks how to protect itself from the terror of more mass shootings, elected leaders who call themselves Christian might look to the LGBTQ community for inspiration. Queer people have a weapon in our arsenal that no gun will ever defeat.

We dance.

Image via REUTERS / Adrees Latif / RNS

Tragedies like the June 12 Orlando shooting seem to happen like clockwork, with the U.S. now averaging one mass shooting every day. And in cases where the shooter has a Muslim-sounding name, terms like “terrorist,” “extremist,” “radical,” joined with “Islam” quickly appear.

President Obama took a swipe at the use of such terms earlier this week. In response to Donald Trump’s accusation that he has an ulterior motive in avoiding the term “radical Islam,” the president said the term was “a political distraction.”

Image via REUTERS/Mark Blinch/RNS

As one of a tiny number of openly gay imams in the world, Daayiee Abdullah has felt the sting of rebuke from fellow Muslims. No good Muslim can be gay, they say. And traditional schools of Islamic law consider homosexuality a grave sin.

But Abdullah, a Washington, D.C. lawyer who studied Islam in the Middle East, says that mainstream Islamic teaching on gays must change.

Image via Miguel Discart/Flickr

The LGBTQ community continues to fight to be recognizably human, and attacks like the one here in Orlando remind us why that fight is so important and still so necessary.

At the vigil downtown on June 13, an evangelical Hispanic preacher spoke. He said, “Not all evangelicals hate you. Some of us love you and we welcome you in our congregations!” And when he prayed, many prayed with him.

Image via Fredrick Nzwili / RNS

An Anglican priest has joined two gay men and two lesbians in a suit against the state over discriminatory laws that they see as encroaching on the rights and freedoms of sexual minorities in the East African country.

The Rev. Mark Odhiambo and the other plaintiffs charge that gays and lesbians in Kenya are routinely attacked, raped, evicted from their homes, and arbitrarily arrested. Odhiambo is a curate, or assistant to the parish priest, in Maseno South, a diocese on the shores of Lake Victoria.

A memorial outside The Stonewall Inn. Image via REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/RNS

Growing up in the seventies, I never questioned my parents’ love for their adopted homeland.

And yet as immigrants from Argentina, there were things they did not love: rock and roll music, and teenagers having sex.

the Web Editors 06-13-2016
Albert H. Teich / Shutterstock

Even considering his infamous call to shut down Muslim immigration after the San Bernardino shooting, and the time he called Mexican immigrants rapists, Trump may have just delivered the most xenophobic speech of his campaign.

Mark I. Pinsky 06-13-2016

A woman prays in Seoul, South Korea. Image via REUTERS / Kim Hong-Ji / RNS

We may be at the center of a metropolitan area 2 million strong, but this is still a small town. So the shooting deaths of 50 people early June 12 at a dance club is sending shock waves well beyond Central Florida’s gay community.

My friend, Joel Hunter, pastor of Northland, the area’s largest evangelical church, was one of the first from the religious community to react to the shootings.

Image via  /

Was it Jesus who said, “No greater love has anyone than this, to sit through a school board meeting?”

No, actually that was me. I whispered it to my wife as we sat together for several hours at a recent meeting of our local school board. On the agenda that evening was the adoption of  a proposed district-wide gender expansive policy to protect transgendered and gender non-conforming students and bring the district in line with the U.S. Department of Education's directive on Title IX and recent legal precedent.

Yonat Shimron 06-13-2016

Image via REUTERS / Steve Nesius / RNS

One year after the Supreme Court ruled that gays can legally marry across the country, and at a time when most polls show a majority of Americans support LGBT equality, the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., shocked many Americans who had begun to take gay rights for granted.

Not only did the shootings at the Pulse nightclub occur during Pride month, when LGBT people and supporters across the U.S. celebrate the gains they have made toward equality, they also took place at a gay club — historically a safe gathering place for LGBT people, especially back when no other establishments would welcome them.

Archbishop Blase Cupich. Image via Goat_Girl /

Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich has decried the apparent targeting of gays and lesbians in the Orlando nightclub massacre and called for greater efforts on gun control, the first senior U.S. Catholic churchman to identify a likely reason the victims were singled out and raise the controversial issue of access to weapons.

Image via REUTERS/Russell Cheyne/RNS

The Scottish Episcopal Church may become the first major church in the United Kingdom to allow its clergy to conduct same-sex weddings in churches.

The General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church, meeting in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, passed on first reading a change to its canon law definition of marriage June 10.

Rich Preheim 06-09-2016

The Rev. Isaac Villegas officiates at a wedding. Image via Dan Scheirer / RNS

A year ago, the Mennonite Church USA was one of many Christian groups struggling with dissension over the place of gays and lesbians in the church. Today, it’s not just struggling, but falling apart.

The divisions reached the highest level of leadership after a member of the denomination’s Executive Board resigned last month after officiating at the wedding of two lesbians, a violation of church rules.

Catherine Woodiwiss 06-08-2016

Image via Trey Pearson.

It’s hard when you’re the one who has had to go through it. And that’s tough — it’s tough when you can pour your heart out to someone and they’re angry or not willing to listen to what you have to say. My hope is they’ll be willing to have a conversation, with compassion and love, even when they don’t understand.

Tara "T.C." Morrow. Image via Steven D. Martin / RNS

Tara “T.C.” Morrow did not receive the two-thirds vote needed for approval, reported the UMConnection, the conference’s newspaper. The conference’s Board of Ordained Ministry had recommended that Morrow be commissioned as a provisional deacon. Deacons in the United Methodist Church are ordained clergy.

Brandon Ambrosino 06-02-2016

Counseling a gay person to deny his same-sex attraction, to marry a woman, to raise children with her; and then to condemn him when he discovers years later what a futile plan that was — this is not the kingdom of God. What it is is the kingdom of a particular interpretation of the Bible, the kingdom of a theological system turned in on itself, of religious people who, like the older brother in Jesus' story of the Prodigal, refuse to believe that God could be so extravagant with grace.

Meghan Florian 06-01-2016

Image via REUTERS/Bruno Domingos/RNS

The Virginia Mennonite Conference suspended a pastor’s ministerial credentials May 25 because he officiated at a same-sex wedding.

The Rev. Isaac Villegas of the Chapel Hill (N.C.) Mennonite Fellowship and my pastor, is “at variance” with the conference, which belongs to the Mennonite Church USA. The denomination, with some 100,000 members, holds that marriage is “a covenant between one man and one woman for life.”

Jesse James DeConto 05-31-2016

Adam Plant receives his master's hood. Image via Red Cardinal Studio / Wake Forest University School of Divinity / RNS

Like other graduates of Wake Forest University’s School of Divinity, Adam Plant walked onstage earlier this month to accept a diploma and a hug from Dean Gail O’Day.

Unlike them, his journey to the Master of Divinity degree took a significant detour.