Queerly Beloved: Unlearning the Lies We’ve Been Told

By : Rev. Jakob Hero Shaw
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Years ago, in one of my seminary classes, someone posed the question, “Why do we trust people with our bodies who we wouldn’t trust with the keys to our car?” This was in a class on queer theology (yes, you find classes like that in seminaries, at least in the seminaries that are worth attending.)

The question was not an attack on queer life and it was not a critique of the sexual freedoms so many people in LGBTQ spaces enjoy. Instead, it questioned where in our lives we assign value and how we choose to protect our bodies, our possessions and our hearts.

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Mama Bearings: Leap of Faith?

By : Sylvie Griffiths
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PQ: I fully understand that the world might not love my child because he identifies as a transgender male. It is sad, enraging and a terrible truth.

I’ve had an “it’s complicated” relationship status with organized religion since I was a child. My mother converted to Judaism, the religion my father’s family raised him within, and on Friday nights and many holidays, took us to synagogue. We were far from orthodox and we celebrated Christmas with my maternal grandparents annually. I also frequently attended Catholic church when spending Saturday nights at my best friend’s home growing up. Overall, I would say I’ve flirted with religion but never fully committed.

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United Methodists edge toward breakup over LGBTQ policies

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) | There’s at least one area of agreement among conservative, centrist and liberal leaders in the United Methodist Church: America’s largest mainline Protestant denomination is on a path toward likely breakup over differences on same-sex marriage and ordination of LGBTQ pastors.

The differences have simmered for years, and came to a head in February at a conference in St. Louis where delegates voted 438-384 for a proposal called the Traditional Plan, which strengthens bans on LGBTQ-inclusive practices. A majority of U.S.-based delegates opposed that plan and favored LGBTQ-friendly options, but they were outvoted by U.S. conservatives teamed with most of the delegates from Methodist strongholds in Africa and the Philippines.

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VIDEO: Buttigieg supporters drown out anti-LGBTQ heckler

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Presidential candidate and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg calmly dismissed anti-LGBTQ hecklers with the help of his supporters during his first visit to Iowa April 16.

The initial heckler confronted Buttigieg at a town hall in Fort Dodge, the AP reports, after Buttigieg discussed marriage equality. “You betray your baptism!” the protester said before being escorted from the gathering.

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Buttigieg on Pence: ‘I’m not critical of his faith; I’m critical of bad policies’

By : Chris Johnson Of The Washington Blade, Courtesy Of The National LGBT Media Association
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In response to Mike Pence over what has developed into a spat over his anti-LGBT record, Pete Buttigieg shot back at the vice president April 11 for asserting his Christian faith was under attack, saying the issue is not his religion, but “bad policies.”

During an interview on “The Ellen Show” set for broadcast on April 12, host Ellen Degeneres asked Buttigieg about recent comments from Pence in which he said the openly gay 2020 hopeful was attacking his Christian faith and should “knows better.”

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‘Sunday School’ exhibit examines religion, social climate

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | John Gascot—Tampa Bay WAVE Award winner for Favorite Local Artist—has announced “Sunday School,” a new exhibit opening April 5 that explores his views on religion.

“As a gay Latino man, I don’t have much positive to say about organized religion or the current administration,” Gascot says. “Creating these pieces has been a fun productive way to let out some of that steam.”

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St. Petersburg LGBTQ-affirming church vandalized

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Allendale United Methodist Church (UMC) shared Sept. 24 that the LGBTQ-affirming church had been vandalized.

“Allendale was again the target of vandalism,” UMC shared via social media. “LGBTQ people are more likely to be targets of hate crimes than any other minority group. We will leave the spray paint up, surrounded by signs of love, to make visible the often invisible harm that the LGBTQ community receives every day.”

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House panel approves ‘religious freedom’ anti-LGBTQ adoption amendment

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) introduced a “religious freedom” anti-LGBTQ adoption amendment. Photo via public domain.

A House committee approved on Wednesday as part of major appropriations legislation an amendment seen to allow taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to deny placement into LGBTQ families over religious objections.

The amendment, introduced by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), would bar the federal government and state or localities from denying funds to adoption agencies that have “declined or will decline to provide, facilitate or refer for a child welfare service that conflicts with, or under circumstances that conflict with, the provider’s sincerely held religious beliefs of convictions.”

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07.12.18 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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I’m not a very religious person. Actually, I’m not religious in the traditional sense at all. Organized religion and I have not seen eye to eye for some time. That’s not a secret to those who know me well, but sometimes I find it harder to admit that to people than to say that I am a gay man.

In a previous article of mine, I described in detail a story of how I felt manipulated by “the church,” which was the beginning of the end for me. I then attended a very religious college, which to a young and outspoken liberal just seemed like a propaganda machine and torture device.

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04.05.18 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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It’s often argued that one shouldn’t discuss religion or politics,

so I’d like to talk about both.

When I was in high school, I learned through friends in my Southern Baptist youth group that the deacons of my small-town, smaller-minded church were trying to pray my gay away. Spoiler alert: it didn’t work.

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Mississippi law endorses anti-LGBT bias, attorneys argue

By : wire report
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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A Mississippi law unconstitutionally endorses specific religious beliefs that could lead to discrimination against people who support same-sex marriage, gay rights advocates said Tuesday in written arguments to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The high court has not said whether it will consider a dispute over the law that lets government workers and private business people cite their own religious beliefs to deny services to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people.

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Transgender people search for acceptance in church

By : Wire Report
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – For many transgender people, faith communities are a place of judgment and rejection. For Marilyn Lloyd, they are a place of possibility.

Lloyd, 62, and a transgender woman, found God at North Congregational United Church of Christ in Columbus. God and the church filled a void in Lloyd’s life she didn’t know was there, and now she hopes to help others fill the same void.

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