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Washington National Cathedral (Episcopal Church in the United States) at D.C. Gay Pride (2014)
In 2003, Gene Robinson was the first non-celibate openly gay person ordained as a bishop in documented Christian history.
In 2003, Gene Robinson was the first non-celibate openly gay person ordained as a bishop in documented Christian history.
The LGBT flag at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Houston indicates that the church welcomes LGBT-identifying people.
The LGBT flag at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Houston indicates that the church welcomes LGBT-identifying people.

Various Christian denominations do not consider homosexuality or transgender identity to be sins. These include entire denominations, as well as individual churches and congregations. Some are composed mainly of non-LGBT members and also have specific programs to welcome LGBT people, while others are composed mainly of LGBT members. Additionally, some denominations which are not LGBT-affirming include LGBT member-organized groups which are not officially sanctioned by the denominations themselves. There are also ecumenical or parachurch programmes that explicitly outreach to LGBT people but don't identify with any particular church, tradition, or denomination.

History

Main articles: Christianity and sexual orientation, History of Christianity and homosexuality, and The Bible and homosexuality

Further information: Christianity and homosexuality, Christianity and transgender people, and LGBT clergy in Christianity

The history of Christianity and homosexuality has been much debated.[1] The Hebrew Bible and its traditional interpretations in Judaism and Christianity have historically affirmed and endorsed a patriarchal and heteronormative approach towards human sexuality,[2][3] favouring exclusively penetrative vaginal intercourse between men and women within the boundaries of marriage over all other forms of human sexual activity,[2][3] including autoeroticism, masturbation, oral sex, non-penetrative and non-heterosexual sexual intercourse (all of which have been labeled as "sodomy" at various times),[4] believing and teaching that such behaviors are forbidden because they're considered sinful,[2][3] and further compared to or derived from the behavior of the alleged residents of Sodom and Gomorrah.[2][5][6][7][8] However, the status of LGBT people in early Christianity is debated.[1][9][10][11][12]

Today, various Christian denominations are accepting of homosexuality and transgender identity and inclusive of homosexual and transgender people, such as the United Church of Christ and the Metropolitan Community Church. Formed in 1991, The Evangelical Network is a network of evangelical churches, ministries and Christian Workers that are a part of the LGBT community. The Evangelical Network holds an annual conference and provides education, ministerial support, and networking capabilities.[13]

In 1946, Archbishop George Hyde of the Eucharistic Catholic Communion (a small denomination not in union with the Roman Catholic Church) celebrated mass for gay men in Atlanta. In 1956, the Church of ONE Brotherhood was founded in Los Angeles by a gay-rights activist.[14] In 1962, a Congregationalist pastor began an overt pastoral ministry to gay people in New York City. The first gay and transgender-specific denomination, as opposed to individual congregations, was the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1968.[14]

Some congregations are merely non-discriminatory and LGBT-affirming while others are specifically oriented toward gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons.[14] Some local congregations, especially those designated as "Welcoming churches" in the Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, Methodist, Episcopal, and Brethren/Mennonite denominations, may consist of a majority of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender members.[14]

While Unitarian Universalism is no longer explicitly a Christian religion, it does have Judeo-Christian roots. Both the Unitarian Universalist Association[15] and the Canadian Unitarian Council[16] have officially affirmed LGBT people and have openly advocated for gay rights.

Denominations

Africa and Asia

North America

Anglican

United Church of Christ's motto which expresses its support for LGBT rights
United Church of Christ's motto which expresses its support for LGBT rights
Church of the Pilgrims in Washington, D.C. indicating its support for LGBT rights
Church of the Pilgrims in Washington, D.C. indicating its support for LGBT rights
Metropolitan Community Church, a LGBT-affirming Christian church in New York City
Metropolitan Community Church, a LGBT-affirming Christian church in New York City
Grace Gospel Chapel, in Seattle
Grace Gospel Chapel, in Seattle

Baptist

Catholic

Lutheran

Methodist

Pentecostal

Reformed

Other

Europe

Latin America

Australia

New Zealand

Individual churches and congregations

Denomination-sanctioned programmes

The following denominations have LGBT-welcoming or affirming programmes, though not all churches within the denomination are necessarily members of the LGBT programme.[citation needed]

Unofficial programmes

Programmes not affiliated with any particular denomination

See also

References

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