Tag Archives: Religion

How Religious Lesbians Are Finding Love

“No gays allowed.”

Since its launch years ago, the dating website ChristianMingle.com has always catered to heterosexuals only, on the basis of religious freedom. “Gay Chrisitan” was an oxymoron.

The website became embroiled in a grueling 3-year legal battle with the state of California for violating the Unruh Civil Rights Act, which protects consumers from discrimination based on sex or sexual orientation. Recently, Christian Mingle finally lost, and was ordered to allow same-sex members to match up.

Catholic Mingle, Adventist Singles Connection and Black Singles also begrudgingly followed suit.

But gay and lesbian Christians would like to go somewhere they are accepted not merely tolerated. They have trouble finding anything deeper than a hook-up on apps such as Tinder and Grindr, but don’t want to invest in websites like Christian Mingle that will never truly cater to their needs.

More and more, queer Christians are turning to a website called Christian Gays.

With over 10,000 members, the website is relatively small but growing quickly, and offers more than just the swipe-and-chat system that has become popular with contemporary date-seekers.

Members can find community and make friends by joining a list serve, hopping into a chat room or communicating on forums. All members who sign up are automatically subscribed to the listserve and to several general forums so that they can begin chatting with like-minded members.

Christians looking for love can meet one-on-one with a Dating Service and Friend Finder, which has matched hundreds of happy couples to date.

The website boasts that its membership “consists of sincere people of all ages, all genders, all faiths, at all stages of life, and all stages of reconciliation of their face and sexuality.”

You don’t have to be out in order to use the website. In fact, many members aren’t out, and look for support and community with other queer Christians in the same situation.

The site also includes educational articles and resources for queer Christians and their family members. The founder says, “We want to provide information to help educate people that there is no conflict with Scripture for a person to be gay and Christian Just as Scripture was misunderstood to promote slavery, so now we have a better understanding about the clobber verses used against us, and we want to share the answers we have found.”

Transgender Christians have also found a home here. There are specific forums and chat rooms designated for transgender members who would like to meet, pray, date and discuss Scripture.

The website has its drawbacks, particularly the outdated design, but has potential for improvement.

New members are welcome, so if you’re looking for someone to share your faith and your heart with, memberships start at $2 a month.

Learn more at ChristianGays.com.

Danielle LoPresti’s ‘Holy’ Proves That Sexuality Enhances Religion

Then there’s you, the holiest thing I could do.

Danielle LoPresti’s much-hyped single Holy has finally been released in visual form. The song takes you inside the mind of someone grappling with both religion and homosexuality. Is it a sin to be gay, or is loving someone the ultimate expression of religious faith?

The song is decades in the making. To write it, LoPresti drew on her own traumatizing experiences in the Catholic Church. Although LoPresti identified with the Church’s teachings, the congregants’ bigoted attitudes  toward homosexuality left her feeling ostracized.

On the song’s website, www.HolyMusicVideo.com, LoPresti discusses her relationship between her sexuality and her church:

This most pure act, choosing someone completely because of who they were on the INSIDE ironically ended up pitting me opposite the most religious people in my community. Here I was loving someone for all the reasons I’d learned that God wanted us to choose our mate, and I was now hated by religious people near and far for it.

LoPresti’s pain became almost unbearable in 2008 when California voted on Proposition 8, a state constitutional amendment that banned gay marriage. Watching her neighbors support the homophobic bill, LoPresti struggled to comprehend how “such vitriolic rhetoric could be cast upon something so honest, so pure.”

LoPresti turned her testimony into the song Holy. The song is dedicated as much to her spouse as it is to every queer person who has been cast out of the church.

The video opens with LoPresti in the role of a well-meaning Christian ministering to several homosexual couples. She insists that although she loves the couples, they are living in sin. Over the course of the video, each couple speaks out about their experiences and why they believe that their sexuality epitomizes God’s love.

Eventually, as her voice scrapes the back of her throat and tears prick her eyes, LoPresti sings:

Then there’s you, the holiest thing I could do
They may not see it but I do
The holiest thing I could do is to love you

Watch the video below.

Mormon Church Now Welcomes Gay People…Sort Of

The Mormon church is taking steps toward LGBT-inclusive policies. Small steps, but steps.

You may have heard of “Pray the gay away,” a nickname for a controversial form of religious conversion therapy that promises, through prayer and punishment, to turn homosexuals into heterosexuals. This form of “therapy” is particularly common among conservative Christian groups.

While some queer Christians willingly attend programs that promise to “correct” them, many are sent unwillingly – families often ship their gay children to conversion camps and therapists.

Due to the long-lasting psychological trauma it causes, conversion therapy for minors has been banned in many states. The American Psychological Association denounced conversion therapy in 2009.

Recently, the Mormon Church launched Mormon and Gay, a website aimed at adherents who experience “same-sex attraction” (SSA). For the first time, through this website, the Mormon Church admits that being homosexual or bisexual isn’t a choice and that sexual orientation cannot be changed. They disavow all forms of conversion therapy.

However, the Church maintains that homosexuality is a sin.

What does this mean for people who “struggle” with SSA? The Church claims that their new anti-conversion therapy  initiative is all about spreading God’s love. In fact, the top of their website reads, “God loveth all.” Elder Dallin H. Oaks says, “What is changing—and what needs to change—is helping Church members respond sensitively and thoughtfully when they encounter same-sex attraction in their own families, among other Church members, or elsewhere.”

Unfortunately, Elder Oaks also says, “There is no change in the Church’s position of what is morally right.”  If you are married to a same-sex partner, the Church doesn’t believe that you can participate in services. And if you’re married to a same-sex partner and have children, then your children cannot be baptized until they’re eighteen and disavow the marriage. Many Mormons choose to have “mixed orientation marriages,” marrying a partner of the opposite sex in order to avoid sin.

We can applaud the Church for finally admitting that sexual orientation cannot be changed. However, the Church still has a long way to go.

How to Come Out to Your Religious Parents

Coming out to your parents can be tough – and it’s especially tough if their strict religious beliefs don’t match up with who you are. But lying to them for the rest of your life just isn’t feasible, and it’s usually better to tell them than to let them find out.

That said, you need to ask yourself a very important question before deciding to make the big reveal:

Will I be okay if everything goes wrong?

If your parents throw you out of the house or stop paying your college tuition, do you have a plan? Do you have an emotional support system if they don’t accept you? Anything can happen, so unfortunately you have to prepare for the worst.

Choose the right time to tell them.

In movies, people often come out to their entire families with a grand toast on Turkey Day – or Turkey Gay – but I don’t recommend that.

Come out to your most open-minded family members first. If you have a cool, nonjudgmental cousin, call her up and see how she reacts; she’ll also be able to support you when you come out to the rest of your family. Afterward, tell your parents in private.

Keep it about love.

For a lot of religious parents, it’s not really the same-sex love that upsets them, it’s the same-sex sexual relations. Conversations about homosexuality often devolve into tirades about “unnatural acts” and “sodomy.”

When you’re coming out to them, focus on the fact that you experience romantic feelings for women. Describe how women make you feel safe, secure and loved in a way that men never have and never will. It might not convince them to be pro-gay activists, but it might keep them from having heart attacks.

Keep the faith.

Make sure your parents know that being a lesbian doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve become an atheist (if you have, that’s a conversation for a later date). If they seem receptive to it, offer your own interpretations of scripture so that they understand a different perspective.

Resources for Christians

Resources for Muslims

Resources for Jews

Give them time.

Your parents might throw you out, and then realize later that they’ve made a huge mistake.

They might accept you at first, but become upset later.

They might be reserved, insisting that you’re going through a phase – or worse, that you’ve never said anything at all.

Unfortunately, for many religious parents, coming to terms with an LGBT child is a process that might take years.

But at the end of the day, they do love you, even if they’re not always good at showing it. And whether they accept you right away or not, you’ll eventually be glad that you told them the truth.

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Lesbian Couple At A Catholic Girls’ College ‘Banned’ From Seeing Each Other As School Denies Allegations

Students and families of same-sex couples are now fearing for the future and current state of their education as private institutions such as St. Aloysius College begin to ban all contact and communication between alleged gay and lesbian couples.

St. Aloysius College is an all female Catholic school that employs traditional values found within the Catholic religion, however other local area students claim the institution has now gone too far.

No evidence has been revealed that a recently reprimanded couple has even demonstrated sexual activity deemed punishable by the Catholic belief system, yet the accused lesbian couple has been forbidden of all contact, both physical and verbal, while attending the local college.

Such discrimination poses a threat to all students wishing to express individuality and support equality amongst all peers and staff. Despite the interruption of a student’s human right to love whomever they choose, an outrageous and inspiring number of signatures was collected in effort to secure the couple’s social rights throughout the community and on campus.

It appears that after a massive lashing out via social media, the school is attempting to deny all punishment out of sheer embarrassment and fear for the reputation of the institution.

Without any information on evidence that the couple was indeed in a same-sex relationship it seems as though the accusations involved a major violation of the students’ privacy.

Someone Fixed That Disturbing Jehovah’s Witnesses Video That Teaches Kids Homophobia (And It’s A Lot Better)

A Jehovah’s Witness cartoon that preached against same-sex parenting has been re-edited to be more accepting.

The original video showed a young child ‘learning a lesson’ from her bigoted mother about same-sex marriage.

It shows a young girl coming to her mother saying she drew her family in school. Her friend Carrie, who has two moms, told the girl that her parents are married.

Her teacher even told her that it doesn’t matter as long as couples love each other and that they’re happy.

While in the original the mother goes on a creepy tirade about telling her daughter how she should preach against homosexuality, the new version keeps to a very clear lesson of love and tolerance.

Trixie Firecracker, the drag performer who edited the video, said she wanted to re-edit the video into a pro-LGBTI message.

So a few days ago, the cult I was brought up in (Jehovah’s Witnesses) released a video instructing children to tell their classmates with same sex parents that their lives were corrupt. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE share this and help to kill their original hateful message. Homophobia is still real, still ongoing, and their original video is instilling it into children’s minds.”



Mormon Teen Forced To Carry Backpack Full Of Stones To Make Her Straight

21-year-old ex-Mormon Alex Cooper, of Salt Lake City, is speak out against her experiences coming out to her parents aged 15.

When Alex Cooper, came out to her Mormon parents in 2009, rather than embrace their gay daughter, they first kicked her out, then decided they were going to “fix” her.

They took her to the home of fellow Mormons Tiana and Johnny Siale in St. George, Utah, where Cooper was subject to eight months of captivity and torture, according to her book, Saving Alex.


Cooper claims that the pair – who did not have any license or training to operate as a therapist – subjected her to cruel and unusual punishments, including beatings, forcing her to stand facing a wall for up to 18 hours a day, and making her wear a backpack full of rocks.

Cooper told CBS outlet KUTV:

It’s like sending you to therapy to change your eye colour… it’s not going to work. What it’s going to do is damage you.”

The teen was forced to stay with the Siales, living in captivity and surviving a suicide attempt.

She says many in the Mormon-dominated local community were aware of the pair’s methods, but did not raise a hand to help her.

Eventually she was allowed to attend a local school – and sought help through the juvenile court system via a Salt Lake City attorney.

Years after securing her right to live openly, Cooper now wants to stamp out the threat of ‘gay cure’ therapy to other teens.


Cooper, who now lives as an out lesbian in Portland, Oregon, and is no longer a practicing Mormon, ultimately chose not to prosecute the Siales.

She has also reconciled with her parents, saying she believes they were only doing what they felt was right, and following the tenets of the Mormon faith.

Cooper told KUTV.

I don’t blame my parents. I am able to share my life with them, and it’s awesome.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which once conducted shock and vomit aversion therapy on homosexual members at Brigham Young University, no longer advocates so-called “reparative therapy.”

However, it still teaches that gay sex is sinful, and in November the church unveiled a policy declaring same-sex couples “apostates” and barring their children from being baptized.

More than 30 young LGBT Mormons reportedly have committed suicide in the wake of the policy.

In response to Cooper’s book, the Mormon church issued a statement saying it “denounces any therapy that subjects an individual to abusive practices,” according to KUTV.

We hope those who experience the complex realities of same-sex attraction find compassion and understanding from family members, professional counselors and church members.”

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LGBT-Friendly Church Is Vandalised, So The Congress Gives It An Awesome Rainbow Make Over

Wedgewood Church in North Carolina is a gay friendly church that welcomes everyone and anyone to pray in their building.

However, the local bigots didn’t take kindly to this fact, and decided to vandalise the church, by spray painting gay slurs such as ‘Fags Are Pedos’ on the doors and crossing out the church’s sign.

But instead of being intimidated, the church decided this was the excuse to do some awesome decorating.

In a show of defiance volunteers painted the church’s entrance with rainbow colours.

Wedgewood Church

Wedgewood Church 02

Wedgewood Church 01

If that wasn’t enough, they are also discussing changing the LGBT Equality sign that was defaced to one which reads: ‘We forgive you.’

Kimberlee Walker, a deacon at Wedgewood Church, told WCNC:

No amount of spray paint is going to stop us.”

Evangelical Pastor Apologises for Preaching Hatred Towards LGBT Community

An evangelical pastor is begging forgiveness for spending much of his life preaching that homosexuality is wrong.

In post written on Reddit, he writes

I almost feel like I owe a debt to the LGBT community or an apology perhaps. Ya see, I spent years as an evangelical pastor, and as I’m sure we’re all aware, this didn’t afford me a lot of freedom in neither my sexuality, nor the world views I projected.”

His message continues:

I always felt strange, almost wrong, telling teenagers that ‘homosexuality is wrong’ and quoting other things that I was taught to quote to discredit the freedom of sexual expression or gender identification.

A year ago, I left that career path because I couldn’t hide that I can no longer support many of their perspectives. The one thing that has torn at my heart is that I taught and encouraged a younger generation to have a negative worldview of any LGBT individual or organization.

I fight back tears now as I regret that there are some who grew passionate about opposing this wonderful group of individuals. I know that if I stayed quiet, no one would miss a wink of sleep and I don’t think that I am changing anything.

But I want to tell anyone who may read this that I love you for who you are.

When I left the church, everyone turned their back on me, including my now ex-wife, who discovered that I am attracted to men and women equally.

So I don’t really have anyone to say this to. And if only two or three people read this, that’s okay. But I’m on course to genuinely love people and accept all walk of life from here on, and LGBT individuals need more people to turn to the rainbow side.”

I’m Christian But I’m Also a Very Out Lesbian (Video)

Crystal Cheatham was told by her church that she had the voice, an incredible gift of playing the guitar, the ability to lead a band, to write music, and to mentor children. But all that meant nothing to them because she’s a “practicing homosexual.”

Crystal Cheatham 01

Today, I am more than comfortable with my orientation and my faith.

Watch her touching story below


Possible U-Turn in Arkansas and Indiana as Lawmakers Seek Fixes of Religion Acts

Lawmakers in Indiana and Arkansas, the two states in the middle of gay rights protests over laws designed to ‘uphold religious freedom’ are engaging in hurried climbdown today, with both moving to alter legislation that critics say legalises discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

In Indiana, lawmakers are set to introduce new language for the state’s “religious freedom” law Thursday, to clarify that the law does not allow businesses to deny goods or services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

Also read: Sad Fact – Most American States Still Discriminate Against LGBT People

Speaker Brian Bosma told a news conference.

“What was intended as a message of inclusion, inclusion of all religious beliefs, was interpreted as a message of exclusion, especially for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community. Nothing could have been further from the truth but it was clear that the perception had to be addressed.”

The Arkansas Senate took up the challenge late on Wednesday, sending legislation to the House of Representatives that would bring it in line with federal statutes. A House panel is due to take up that law on Thursday.

The Arkansas act was passed this week in the Republican-controlled statehouse and sent back Wednesday to lawmakers by Governor Asa Hutchinson, a Republican. Hutchinson was asked to veto the measure by retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which is based in the state.

Twenty U.S. states and the federal government have RFRAs, which allow individuals to sue the government if they believe their First Amendment religious rights have been violated.

But those in Indiana and Arkansas go further than all but one of the state laws, allowing lawsuits between private parties.

That raised the possibility of businesses such as realtors using the law as a defense if they are sued for refusing to show homes to a member of the LGBT community.


Possible Progress – Cardinals to Debate Marriage

The battle lines are being drawn before a major church meeting on family issues that represents a key test for Pope Francis.

Five high-ranking cardinals have taken one of Francis’ favorite theologians to task over an issue dear to the pope’s heart: Whether Catholics who divorce and remarry without an annulment can receive Communion.

They have written a book, “Remaining in the Truth of Christ,” to rebut German Cardinal Walter Kasper, whom Francis praised in his first Sunday blessing after he was elected pope as “a great theologian” and subsequently entrusted with a keynote speech to set the agenda for the two-year study on marriage, divorce and family life that opens Oct. 5.

Kasper, for a decade the Vatican’s top official dealing with the Orthodox and Jews, delivered his remarks to cardinals earlier this year on the issues to be discussed during the synod. At the pope’s request, he asked whether these divorced and remarried Catholics might be allowed in limited cases to receive the Eucharist after a period of penance.

The outcry that ensued has turned the 81-year-old Kasper into the biggest lightning rod for internal debate that the Catholic Church has seen in years.

Conservatives, including the five cardinal authors, have vehemently opposed Kasper’s suggestion as contrary to Christ’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage.

The second most powerful man in the Vatican has backed their view: Cardinal George Pell, one of Francis’ key advisers, wrote in another new book that debating something that is so peripheral to begin with and so clear in church teaching amounts to “a counterproductive and futile search for short-term consolations.”

“Every opponent of Christianity wants the church to capitulate on this issue. We should speak clearly, because the sooner the wounded, the lukewarm and the outsiders realize that substantial doctrinal and pastoral changes are impossible, the more the hostile disappointment (which must follow the reassertion of doctrine) will be anticipated and dissipated.”

Cardinal George Pell

Francis, however, seems to think otherwise. He praised Kasper’s speech, calling it “profound theology” that did him much good and represented a true love for the church.

Church insiders say Francis is none too pleased by the war of words that has ensued, such that he instructed one of the book authors – Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, the Vatican’s top doctrinal chief – not to promote it.

The unusually raw and public debate has crystalized the growing discomfort among conservatives to some of Francis’ words and deeds, and sets the stage for a likely heated discussion on family issues.

Church teaching holds that Catholics who don’t have their first marriage annulled – or declared null by a church tribunal – before remarrying can’t participate fully in the church’s sacraments because they are essentially living in sin and committing adultery. Such annulments are often impossible to get or can take years to process, leaving untold numbers of Catholics unable to receive Communion.

Francis has asserted church doctrine on the matter but has called for a more merciful, pastoral approach. He reportedly told an Argentine woman earlier this year that she was free to receive Communion even though her husband’s first marriage was never annulled.

Knowing the issue is divisive, though, he has convened the whole church to discuss it.

The new book asserts there really is no better solution – and no grounds to argue for it since Catholic doctrine is clear. Aside from Mueller, the authors include another high-ranking Vatican official: Cardinal Raymond Burke, the American head of the Vatican’s supreme court.

“These are not a series of rules made up by the church; they constitute divine law, and the church cannot change them,” the book says. Kasper’s assertions, reading of history and suggestions for debate “reinforce misleading understandings of both fidelity and mercy.”

Cardinal Raymond Burke

Kasper has agreed there can be no change to church doctrine and no sweeping, across-the-board allowances. But he has said the matter must be looked at on a case-by-case basis, that mercy is God’s greatest attribute and the key to Christian existence, and that God always gives faithful Catholics a new chance if they repent.

It is rare for cardinals to publicly and pointedly accuse one another of being wrong, and rarer still for a cardinal to question the pope, as Burke has done.

Regarding the purported phone call to the Argentine woman, Burke told the EWTN Catholic channel:

“I wouldn’t for a moment impute that Pope Francis intended to give a signal about church doctrine by calling someone on the phone. This is just absurd.”

Cardinal Raymond Burke

Burke has also questioned Francis’ first encyclical on the excesses of capitalism and obliquely criticized Francis’ decision to not focus on abortion.

Francis last year removed Burke, a key figure in the U.S. culture wars over abortion and gay marriage, as a member of the powerful Congregation for Bishops. A leading Vatican insider has reported that his days at the Vatican high court are numbered.

The books are published in English by Ignatius Press.

Religions Are Now More Accepting of Gays and Lesbians, Study Shows

Although intolerance definitely still remains (sometimes in a large, unmoving bway) the tide is turning for gay and lesbian acceptance.

For the first time in history we’re now seeing the majority of people in the West be in favour of gay marriage while many more people also believe that LGBTQ folk should be afforded the same rights that the heterosexual and cisgender population have long enjoyed. Where the strongest amount of resilience comes from, though, is in the religious sector. Holding onto anti-gay beliefs like a stroppy baby with a rattle, some religious denominations are against LGBTQ identities but surprisingly, the number of religious groups that think this is decreasing.

The proof comes from Duke University who have recently compiled a study based on data taken between 2006 and 2012. Interviewing representatives from 1,331 American churches, mosques, temples, synagogues (amongst other places of worship), Duke University deemed that although just 37.4% of those they spoke to were accepting of gays and lesbians in 2006, in 2012 that figure rose considerably to 48%. And that’s not just being taken at face value either as the dominations literally became more welcoming, with 17.7% of volunteers being gay or lesbian in 2006 and 26.4% of them being gay or lesbian in 2012.

Also interesting to note is which dominations noted an increase in acceptance. Black Protestant churches, white liberal churches and non-Christian congregations all saw rises while unmoved by the huge leaps and bounds that the LGBT rights movement has made, Catholic acceptance of gays and lesbians actually decreased, which is unfortunate. However that said, the current Catholic pope has said previously that that the church can’t ‘interfere’ with gay people and that civil unions are ‘tolerable’ so as he’s fairly new to the job, there’s hope for that decrease in acceptance to turn its way around.

Furthermore, it’s important to note that Duke’s study only covered those who identify as gay and lesbian. How these denominations might feel about those who identify as bisexual, transgender or non-cisgendered is another question entirely. So there’s definitely a missed opportunity there but at least the statistics that we do have are (mostly) positive.

Vicky Beeching – ‘Coming out as a lesbian has been overwhelmingly positive’

Vicky Beeching has choosen this week to came out as gay publicly for the first time.

In several interviews yesterday, Vicky talked about her background – growing up in the Pentecostal church, then the evangelical wing of the Church of England, and dealing with her feelings and attraction to women from a very early age.

“Realising that I was attracted to [women] was a horrible feeling. I was so embarrassed and ashamed. It became more and more of a struggle because I couldn’t tell anyone.

I increasingly began to feel like I was living behind an invisible wall. The inner secrecy of holding that inside was divorcing me from reality – I was living in my own head. Anybody I was in a friendship with, or anything I was doing in the church, was accompanied by an internal mantra: ‘What if they knew?’ It felt like all of my relationships were built on this ice that would break if I stepped out on to it.”

Vicky Beeching

At 23, her songwriting took her to Nashville, and for six years, she lived in the ‘fire-and-brimstone’ heart of conservative America, recording albums and touring the country’s vast churches. She also entered into a contract with Christian music branch of EMI, who had a “morality clause”, in which “any behaviour deemed to be immoral” would be a breach of contract.

Then life changed. Vicky was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease called linear scleroderma morphea, which led extensive chemotherapy.

“I looked at my arm with the chemotherapy needle poking out, I looked at my life, and thought, ‘I have to come to terms with who I am.”

Vicky Beeching

In recovery, Beeching went to visit Ruth Hunt, chief executive of Stonewall, who put her in touch with some out lesbians: the BBC newsreader Jane Hill, sports presenter Clare Balding and her wife, Alice Arnold, the former Radio 4 newsreader. “They said, ‘Be yourself and everything will follow.” Which led her to come out publicly.

“Publishing an interview with the Independent has been incredibly nerve-wracking for me. I’m nervous about the ways in which social media will respond. And how my conservative community and friends will respond.

But my hope is that there will be positivity as well as negativity from people of faith, and that it might encourage other Christians who feel unable to speak up about their sexuality to find the courage and freedom to do so.

We need to break the silence around the taboo of sexuality in the church and enable one another to speak about it more openly. I’m hopeful we’ll see a shift toward this direction.”

Vicky Beeching


Bishop Creates Gay-inclusive Congregation

Bishop Allyson Nelson Abrams stepped down from her role at Detroit’s Zion Progress Baptist Church in October 2013, after she announced she was married to a woman – Diana Williams. The announcement actually deeply dividing her conservative parishioners.

“I know how important it is for congregations to stay together… I didn’t want to split the church any further over this issue.”

Bishop Allyson Nelson Abrams

Saddened by her decision, Bishop Allyson Nelson Abrams has now found a more accepting home, becoming the pastor at the gay inclusive Empowerment Liberation Cathedral in Silver Spring, part of the Metropolitan Community Church.

She told USA Today of gaining national attention:

“I wasn’t sure what was going to happen… I was amazed at how many people wrote me, and still write me. I didn’t realize how many people the church has wounded, they talked about their negative experiences.”

Bishop Allyson Nelson Abrams

Resolving to form a new gay-inclusive congregation to help those in need, she was able to secure a partnership with an Episcopal church, to share their space in Maryland. Over 100 people currently attend.

The church also has an internet outreach presence, with regular worship and Bible study on YouTube for those not able to attend.

“It’s an amazing fit. I want to be able to bring healing to those who have been hurt, just love them, and bring them back to God’s presence.”

Bishop Allyson Nelson Abrams

Dalai Lama says gay marriage is ‘OK’

In a rare interview, the Dalai Lama has said that he thinks same-sex marriage is “OK”, and voiced his disapproval at the bullying of LGBT people. Speaking to Larry King, in an interview which will air on 10 March, the Tibetan spiritual leader said he thought that it was “OK” for same-sex couples to marry, but went on to say that it was “an individual’s business”.

On whether same-sex marriage should be universally accepted, he said: ”That’s up to the country’s law,” he told King.

“I think [it’s] OK! I think that’s an individual’s business. If two people… really feel that way, it’s more practical, satisfaction, and both sides fully agree, then OK!”

Dalai Lama