LGBT

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 05-18-2016

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 05-16-2016

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 05-13-2016
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 05-12-2016

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

the Web Editors 05-09-2016

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 05-09-2016

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.

Catherine Woodiwiss 05-04-2016

Image via /Shutterstock.com

new PAC has popped up in Colorado with a simple platform: “Bruh, can you not?”

The PAC, started by Denver-based Kyle Huelsman and Jack Teter, seeks to help get more qualified women, LGBT people, and people of color in office — by convincing straight white men not to run.

The site is tongue-in-cheek, promising “interventions for the misguided bros in your life who looked in the mirror this morning and thought ‘yeah, it’s gotta be me.’”

“We challenge brogressives and others to reject any notion that they are uniquely qualified or positioned to seek political office in districts that don’t need them. As well-represented white dudes, we feel it is our obligation to know when to shut up and Not,” says their statement at canyounot.org.

But the Can You Not PAC — started “by white men, for white men” — is fully serious.

the Web Editors 05-04-2016

The department is giving North Carolina until May 9 to confirm that the state "will not comply with or implement HB2."

the Web Editors 05-04-2016

Image via Jason Pier in DC / flickr.com

President Obama will designate Stonewall Inn and some of the surrounding Greenwich Village neighborhood as a national monument, the first to memorialize the struggle for gay liberation, reports The New York Times.

In his second inaugural address, Obama lifted up the gay rights activism at Stonewall along with the women’s suffrage convention at Seneca Falls and the civil rights march in Selma.

Jim Daly (left), Ted Trimpa (center), and Gabe Lyons. Image via Josh Barrett / Q / RNS

In the early 1990s, the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family raised the ire of LGBT groups by backing Colorado’s Amendment 2, a measure — ultimately struck down by the Supreme Court — that would have allowed local governments to discriminate against gays.

A quarter-century later, that episode was history as Focus President Jim Daly and gay activist Ted Trimpa sat down together to celebrate their friendship and more recent collaboration on sex trafficking laws at an evangelical conference in Denver called Q, which stands for questions.

Image via Deborah Jian Lee/RNS.

A new, national church book club has picked Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women and Queer Christians Are Reclaiming Evangelicalism by Chicago-based journalist Deborah Jian Lee as the featured title.

One Book, One Church is an effort organized by Lee and Urban Village Church, a congregation with four locations in Chicago whose mission is to “create Jesus-loving, inclusive communities that ignite the city.” Urban Village is a member of the Reconciling Ministries Network, a United Methodist group that welcomes LGBT members.

the Web Editors 04-26-2016

U.S. Embassy worker Xulhaz Mannan was murdered April 21 in Dhaka, Bangladesh's capital, according to the U.S. State Department.

Local reports say Mannan and another man were hacked to death. There is some suspicion this violence was provoked by Mannan's LGBT activism.

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