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

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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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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

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

the Web Editors 5-04-2016

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

the Web Editors 5-04-2016

Image via Jason Pier in DC /

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 4-26-2016

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.

Jennifer Bailey 4-22-2016

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His question about God’s love for him caught me by surprise. We never talked about religion. I was, admittedly, the “churchy” one in my group of friends — president of the Junior Usher Board and active in my church youth ministry. Yet even at the age of 17, devoid of theological training, I understood the core inquiry at the root of the question: Could this Christian God that I proclaimed loved us all so much accept Aaron even when so many of this God’s “followers” did not?

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Citing “religious liberty” as a reason for denying one class of citizens bathroom access, equal housing, or services is a human rights violation.

That’s the finding of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, an independent, bipartisan agency that advises the president and Congress on civil rights matters. The commission issued a statement April 18 saying it “strongly condemns recent state laws passed, and proposals being considered, under the guise of so-called ‘religious liberty’ which target members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community for discrimination.”

the Web Editors 4-13-2016

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In a rebuke to other southern state governments that have passed anti-discrimination laws in recent weeks, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed an executive order April 13 to protect LGBT rights in the workplace, reports The Hill. The executive order overturns former Gov. Bobby Jindal’s own executive order that permitted businesses and government agencies to refuse to serve gay and lesbian couples.

the Web Editors 4-13-2016

After significant backlash from both activists and corporations, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) amended a state law that eliminated anti-discrimination protections for gay and transgender rights.


Rev. Cynthia Meyer. Screenshot via religionnews1 /

A United Methodist pastor who recently came out as gay may be a step closer to a church trial, just weeks before the United Methodist Church’s General Conference is expected to take up the question of gay clergy and gay unions.

the Web Editors 4-05-2016

Gov. Phil Bryant. Image via U.S. Department of Agriculture / Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Phil Bryant signed HB 1523 — the so-called “religious freedom” bill — on April 5, reports WREG Memphis.

The new law prevents legal action being taken against individuals and organizations that deny service based on their religious beliefs.