LGBT

Meghan Florian 6-01-2016

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.”

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.

the Web Editors 5-25-2016

Texas state capitol. Image via  / Shutterstock.com

Eleven states have sued in response to the Obama administration’s May 13 directive to provide transgender students with bathrooms matching their gender identity, reports The Washington Post.

The lawsuit was filed May 25 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Desmond Tutu with Mpho Tutu. Image via REUTERS/Fredrik Sandberg/TT/RNS

The daughter of Nobel laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu of South Africa has given up her clergy credentials after marrying a Dutch woman.

The Rev. Mpho Tutu told the local media that since her church did not recognize her wedding, she could no longer serve in the country.

Image via Mike DuBose / UMNS / RNS

While many evangelical church bodies have reiterated their “no” to homosexuality — and most mainline Protestant traditions have said “yes” — the United Methodist Church, which concluded its quadrennial meeting last week, remains as divided and muddled as ever.

Image via Emily McFarlan Miller / RNS

The debate — over how to debate the rules — became so convoluted that at one point Missouri delegate Margie Briggs called for prayer and said:

“I believe we are confusing God at this point.”

Image via Mike DuBose / UMNS / RNS

The Rev. Jerry Kulah has nothing but gratitude for the United Methodist Church.

In 1833, American Methodists sent their first missionary to his country, Liberia, which was founded for freed American slaves. Melville B. Cox died four months after he arrived in Africa, but the missionary’s legacy lives on in the United Methodist Church’s fastest-growing region, and in his words to his own church back in North Carolina: “Let a thousand fall before Africa be given up.”

Monsignor Tony Anatrella. Image via Peter Potrowl / Wikimedia Commons / RNS

For years, seminaries and monasteries around France sent students and novices to Monsignor Tony Anatrella, a prominent French priest and therapist who has written disparagingly of gays, if their superiors decided the young men were struggling with homosexuality.

Image via Emily McFarlan Miller / RNS

Amid protest, song, and fears of a denominational breakup, United Methodists at their quadrennial General Conference decided yet again not to decide anything regarding LGBT rights.

But in a groundbreaking move, the delegates from the U.S. and abroad voted 428-405 on May 18 to allow the church’s Council of Bishops to appoint a commission to discuss whether to accept same-sex marriage or ordain LGBT clergy.

Caroline Barnett 5-18-2016

Image by JP Keenan/Sojourners. Photos courtesy faithfullylgbt.com.

For LGBTQ people of faith, Twitter is becoming a vital space for a diversity of stories to emerge. And these stories — whether of the pastor down the street or of the people sitting in the pews — allow those of us lucky enough to see them a glimpse into the lives of everyday superheroes.

The United Methodist Church is struggling to maintain unity amid deep divisions over Scripture and sexuality, the presiding bishop of America’s second-largest Protestant denomination acknowledged.

Julie Rodgers 5-16-2016

Image via /Shutterstock.com

Russell Moore wrote an article May 13 about the Obama administration’s move to protect trans students in public schools across the country. While I disagree with Moore on many topics, I respect him as a compassionate leader and I’ve appreciated the ways he’s challenged the Southern Baptist Convention to seek justice for many who have been marginalized. This article was uncharacteristically culture war-y and fear-based, though. It contributes to the narratives that lead to the kind of bullying and discrimination that the Obama administration is seeking to end.Russell Moore wrote an article May 13 about the Obama administration’s move to protect trans students in public schools across the country. While I disagree with Moore on many topics, I respect him as a compassionate leader and I’ve appreciated the ways he’s challenged the Southern Baptist Convention to seek justice for many who have been marginalized. This article was uncharacteristically culture war-y and fear-based, though. It contributes to the narratives that lead to the kind of bullying and discrimination that the Obama administration is seeking to end.

the Web Editors 5-13-2016
U.S. Mission Geneva / Eric Bridiers / Flickr

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Image via U.S. Mission Geneva / Eric Bridiers / Flickr

This new guidance from the Obama administration seeks to limit discrimination, harassment, and violence transgender students face, and restricts anything the school might do to question a transgender student's identity.

Bishop Elaine Stanovksy (left) receives Communion from activists Sue Laurie (right) and Julie Bruno. Image via Mike DuBose / UMNS / RNS

Delegates to the United Methodist Church General Conference shot down a strategy that would have allowed them to discuss contentious legislation in small groups.

the Web Editors 5-12-2016

Christian leaders across denominations are lifting their voices in affirmation of their LGBTQI colleagues.

the Web Editors 5-09-2016

Image via Elvert Barnes/Flickr

"Dear church, our prayers are with you, with all of us, in the coming days. May we all be surprised by the Spirit who continues to breathe new life in unexpected ways."

the Web Editors 5-09-2016

Image via  / Shutterstock.com

Facing a Justice Department deadline to throw out the “bathroom bill,” Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina has instead filed suit against the federal government, reports NBC News.

Portland, Ore. Image via REUTERS/Richard Clement/RNS

The United Methodist Church General Conference convenes once every four years to make policy decisions and set the direction for the denomination.

Beginning May 10, 864 delegates, half of them clergy, will converge on the Oregon Convention Center in Portland for 10 days for the General Conference. More than 40 percent of those delegates will come from outside the U.S.

Gordon College. Image via Mark Spooner / Gordon College / RNS

A Gordon College philosophy professor is suing her employer for allegedly breaching her free speech rights and retaliating after she publicly criticized the Christian school for its policy of not hiring sexually active gays and lesbians.

Image via RNS.

“It’s time,” said the Rev. A. Wendy Witt during Sunday services at First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple.

Time to open the doors of the church to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, that is.

First United Methodist is one of the more than 750 congregations within the United Methodist Church that form the Reconciling Ministries Network, dedicated to including LGBT people in a denomination that bars them from ordination and does not allow its ministers to officiate same-sex weddings.

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