PHOTOS: The Reformation Project’s 6th annual LGBTQ Inclusion Conference holds service in Orlando

By : Jaime Donelson
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ORLANDO | LGBTQ Christians, theologians and allies all gathered to worship and learn about LGBTQ inclusion in the church held by The Reformation Project. The event — the sixth annual LGBTQ Inclusion Conference — was held at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Orlando Oct. 18-20.

The Reformation Project is a Bible-based, nonprofit Christian grassroots organization that works to promote the inclusion of LGBTQ people and other marginalized groups in the church. The organization focuses on reforming the church’s teachings on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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Bakery appeals to UK Supreme Court in gay-rights cake case

By : wire report
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LONDON (AP) _ A bakery owned by a Christian family asked Britain’s Supreme Court on Tuesday to overturn a ruling that it discriminated against a gay customer for refusing to make a cake supporting same-sex marriage.

Ashers Baking Co. in Northern Ireland refused in 2014 to make a cake iced with the “Sesame Street” characters Bert and Ernie and the slogan “Support Gay Marriage.”

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Queerly Beloved: Let’s Not Forget, This Started with a Riot

By : Rev. Jakob Hero-Shaw
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As the Tampa Pride celebration approaches, I am readying my family and my congregation for the festivities. Like many other LGBTQ-affirming organizations in the Tampa Bay area, my church is currently collecting our materials for the booth, gathering up beads to throw and buying new matching t-shirts for our contingent to wear in the parade.

I am honored to be one of the grand marshals for Tampa Pride this year. As a clergy person, the significance of holding a public role in Pride is not lost on me. I know that for some, seeing a religious leader at Pride is validating and empowering, but I know that for others it can be triggering and upsetting. As a faith leader, all I can do is offer love and compassion to everyone I encounter, especially at Pride.

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Anti-gay supporters rally for Moore, worrying LGBTQ community

By : Wire Report
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – A smiling Roy Moore stood shoulder to shoulder with his fiercest religious allies.

Flanked by a huge sign for Moore’s Senate campaign, one supporter railed against the “LGBT mafia” and “homosexualist gay terrorism.” Another warned that “homosexual sodomy” destroys those who participate in it and the nations that allow it. And still another described same-sex marriage as “a mirage” because “it’s phony and fake.”

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Hillsborough County math teacher alledgedly bans cross necklaces from classroom

By : Staff Report
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The Liberty Counsel filed a complaint against a Riverview High School math teacher April 19.

The letter to Jeff Eakins, Hillsborough schools superintendent, stated that Lora Jane Riedas “has prohibited at least three children from wearing Christian cross necklaces in her classroom, claiming on occasion that they are ‘gang symbols.'”

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Katy Perry ‘wasn’t allowed to interact with gay people’ as a child

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, courtesy of The National Gay Media Association
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Katy Perry opened up about her conservative, Christian upbringing in a recent interview with Vogue.

Perry, 32, grew up with evangelical Pentecostal pastors as parents. She admits her family would picket Madonna and Marilyn Manson concerts and watch Bill O’Reilly. They also didn’t celebrate Halloween.

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Christian rocker Trey Pearson releases first music video since coming out

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Christian rocker Trey Pearson has released his first solo single since coming out as gay in May.

“Silver Horizon” shows Pearson, 35, attending a church service where a teen boy begins singing his song. Another boy gets up from the pews and the couple kiss in front of the altar. At first, parishioners are shocked before everyone applauds. As a side story, Pearson is also shown in his own same-sex relationship at home.

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‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ accused of ‘pro-gay propaganda’

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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“The LEGO Batman Movie” is being accused of “pro-gay propaganda” by right-wing Christian bloggers.

In the film, Bruce Wayne adopts Dick Grayson, who becomes Robin. Dick seems to believe that he has been adopted by two dads because he doesn’t know that Bruce Wayne and Batman are the same person. Eventually, it’s revealed Dick knew Batman’s true identity all along but for some Christian writers, the joke was all part of a pro-gay agenda.

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4 churches drop lawsuit challenging Massachusetts’ transgender law

By : Wire Report
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BOSTON (AP) – Four churches have withdrawn a federal lawsuit that claimed a state law prohibiting discrimination against transgender people in public restrooms violated their constitutional right to religious freedom.

The conservative Christian group Alliance Defending Freedom sued in October on behalf of the churches, saying they would be forced to open changing rooms, shower facilities and restrooms based on perceived gender identity and not on biological sex. It said that because the new law also prohibits covered entities from making statements intended to discriminate, it would force churches and pastors to refrain from religious expression regarding sexuality that conflicts with the government’s view.

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Christian groups using “Jesus & Beer” to get LGBT people to talk religion

By : Wire Report
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WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — Angela Caddell started struggling with her Christianity 14 years ago when she came out as gay. But a gathering at a bar to talk faith over a cold beer once a month is helping her feel more connected to her religion.

“If you’re an atheist you are welcome. …. I’m a lesbian, I’m totally welcome,” said the 32-year-old from nearby Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, at a recent gathering.

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The Other Side of Life: Conversion therapy

By : Jason LeClerc
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Jason Leclerc

Long before I became aware of consciousness – an occurrence part way through my 11th grade year, perched between The Scarlet Letter and Leaves of Grass – I was merely aware. Around the age of three, I discovered that I was male and that the possession of an extra appendage made me fundamentally and anatomically different from mothers and sisters.

I knew, even then, that it made me powerful. Shortly after that, around the age of five, I realized that the love that was showered upon me was a special gift – an entitlement bestowed – from God. I knew that I was loved by Jesus and by others who carried Jesus in their hearts. I knew that I was Christian. At the age of seven, a first grader mesmerized by a charming and optimistically charismatic Ronald Reagan, I knew that I was a Republican. Certainly, I’ve learned (and continue to learn) much more about myself as I’ve acquired more life experiences: I am white, I am American, I am gay. I respect hard work and call out for personal responsibility. I believe incentives matter and that respect for all life is fundamental to village life.

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Equal Time: Looking back, staring forward

By : Nadine Smith
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NadineCapWas the young man who fired a semi-automatic rifle into a crowd of more than 300 people at an Orlando gay bar an ISIS terrorist? Was he a closeted gay man lashing out explosively in the ultimate act of self-hatred? Was it both?

These were the questions I fielded from reporters in the days and weeks following the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.

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