Maria T. Accardi
Assistant Librarian, Coordinator of Instruction
Indiana University Southeast
November 2, 2010
LGBT = Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender
LGBTQQIA=Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer,
Questioning, Intersex, and Ally
sensitivity or attachment to religious values; a practice of
personal devotion and prayer. (The Penguin English Dictionary)
Spirituality is not easily defined. By its very nature it is personal
and private. Spirituality concerns our human awareness of and
relationship to those aspects of life that are intangible.
Spirituality involves our awareness of being a part of something
greater and more powerful than ourselves, yet something we
cannot touch or see. (Encyclopedia of Women's Health)
A system of thought, feeling, and action that is shared by a group
and that gives the members an object of devotion; a code of
behavior by which individuals may judge the personal and social
consequences of their actions; and a frame of reference by which
individuals may relate to their group and their universe. (The
Not mutually exclusive
Contrary to what some people believe, a person can be both
LGBT and spiritual and religious!
Making Space for LGBTs in Religious
While many faith traditions have actively excluded the LGBT
community, others have created space for their LGBT brothers and
For example, the United Church of Christ campaign:
Some congregations have been created by LGBT people in
response to being excluded from other religious communities.
For example: Metropolitan Community Church: “the world’s first
church group with a primary, positive ministry to gays, lesbians,
bisexual, and transgender persons.”
Reconciling LGBT and
“Read within the context of their own historical and cultural
backgrounds, the Bible texts do not address adult, loving
homosexual relations as we understand them today” –Dignity
“The fact of the matter is that there is no clear condemnation
of people of homosexual orientation living out their lives
fully expressing their orientation, sexually or otherwise,
anywhere in the Scriptures. “– Whosoever.org
Religious Discrimination and
Rev. Patrick S. Cheng, Ph.D., says: “I believe this recent string
of suicides by LGBT young people is, at root, a religious
problem. For me, there is a clear and indisputable link
between these horrible deaths and the rhetoric espoused by
anti-gay Christians who continually condemn lesbian, gay,
bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people as sinners worthy
of divine punishment. Where else do you think the bullies
learn their behavior? No matter how well intentioned, anti-
gay Christians need to understand that their nonstop rhetoric
of sin and punishment creates a toxic environment that views
LGBT people as less than fully human and thus deserving of
socially or religiously sanctioned violence -- including self-
LGBT Christianity: Reformation vs.
Episcopal Church of the USA: Integrity
Presbyterian Church of the USA: More Light
Roman Catholic Church: DignityUSA
United Methodist Church: Affirmation
United Church of Christ: LGBT Ministries
Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists: Rainbow Baptists
Lutherans Concerned/North America
Gay & Lesbian Mormons: Affirmation
World Congress of GLBT Jews
Consists of more than 25 member organizations worldwide.
Vision: an environment where Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and
Transgender (LGBT) Jews worldwide can enjoy free and fulfilling
Orthogays: Resources for Gay and Lesbian Orthodox Jews
Gay Muslims: We kindly advise Muslims struggling with
same-sex attraction, affirming that nobody is sinful for what
they feel inside. As for those people who try to distort the
religion, we refute them soundly with evidence.
Al-Jannah: Community Support for LBGT Muslims
Al-Fatiha: dedicated to Muslims of all cultural and ethnic
backgrounds who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender,
intersex, queer, and questioning or exploring their sexual
orientation and/or gender identity (LGBTIQQ), and their
families, friends and allies.
Gay Buddhist Sangha: “We seek to introduce the teachings
of the Buddha to LGBT folk in such a way that we honor and
respect all beings and where they are in their lives, and help
them to preserve a healthy and positive self-image
particularly about their sexuality.”
LGBT Native American Spirituality
NativeOUT: “Our vision is to create social change in rural
and urban communities that benefit Indigenous Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Two Spirit people.”
Two Spirit Identity: similar to the notion of transgender
LGBT Unitarian Universalists
Unitarian Universalism is a is a theologically diverse religion
in which members support one another in the individual
search for truth and meaning.
Office of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Concerns: The
Office is guided by the vision that someday we will be able to put
ourselves out of business and that oppression against bisexual,
gay, lesbian, and/or transgender people of all ages, abilities,
colors, and genders, whether it be overt or subtle, will be a thing
of the past.
Gay Wicca: GLBT people are welcomed into most Wiccan
circles, and this inclusivity is necessarily for gay spirituality.
LGBT topics and Wicca: Wiccans cite the Charge of the
Goddess, which says "All acts of Love and Pleasure are My
rituals". Therefore all forms and expressions of sexuality, as
long as they are otherwise healthy and consensual, are
Why does spirituality matter? Why does religion matter?
Why do gay Roman Catholics remain Catholic when their
church is not open and affirming of their essential humanity?
Why do some of them become Episcopalians instead?
What can you do to help raise awareness about religious
intolerance toward LGBT persons?
How can faith traditions be more inclusive and welcoming of
the LGBT community?
Whosoever.org: An online magazine for GLBT Christians
Soul Force: works to end the religious and political
oppression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and
Gaychurch.org: World Wide Directory of Gay and Lesbian
Myoutspirit.com : What the Bible Says, and Doesn't Say,