Recently, there has been a controversy where a Christian public official named Kim Davis went to jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples who wanted to get married. For weeks I would open up my Facebook page and found many of my gay and lesbian friends offering their opinions of Kim Davis and the homophobia in many conservative Christian churches. This Kim Davis episode reminds me a lot of the 1950s and 1960s of the resistance of segregationist Southerners to the Supreme Court ruling Brown versus the Board of Education, which ruled that the segregation of schools was unconstitutional.
Kim Davis and her supporters give the impression that all Christians are against marriage equality. In reality, a growing number of Christians in all denominations are supporting LGBT rights and marriage equality. As more Christians know an LGBT friend, coworker, or family member, they are much more likely to support LGBT rights.
In 2008, the Evangelical, Mormon, and Catholic Churches successfully lobbied in California for the passage of Proposition 8, which outlawed same sex marriage in that state. An Evangelical friend of mine told me that a week before the elections, his pastor preached a sermon urging his congregation to support the proposition. Though the 3 denominations were the leading proponents of Prop 8, I personally knew Catholics, Mormons and Evangelicals who supported LGBT rights and disagreed with their church’s support of the discriminatory measure.
Seven years have passed and all three denominations are seeing growing support among its members for both LGBT rights and marriage equality. Ever since Pope Francis began his papacy and made his famous “Who am I to judge?” remark, he has made an effort to highlight the contributions of LGBT Catholics and has opened space within the Catholic Church for advocates of LGBT equality to speak out. The Mormon Church has also seen more Mormons advocating for LGBT rights, and the Church itself has supported laws that fight LGBT discrimination in the workplace (though it still is against marriage equality). Though over 70% of older Evangelicals are still against LGBT rights and marriage equality, almost 50% of younger Evangelicals support LGBT rights and marriage equality. The generation gap among Evangelicals can be explained by the fact that the younger generation grew up with gay and lesbian friends and family members, and they witnessed the damage that anti-LGBT church teaching caused to both the LGBT and the Evangelical community.
Here are some youtube videos of LGBT Christians and straight Christian allies expressing their support of LGBT rights and marriage equality.
The purpose of The NALT Christians Project is to give LGBT-affirming Christians a means of sharing their belief that there is nothing anti-biblical or sinful about being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. The NALT Christians Project works to refute the widespread belief that Christianity is synonymous with anti-gay bigotry. They seek to counteract the destructive effects on all young people of the message that God condemns and rejects LGBT people. Here is a youtube video of Dan Savage explaining the NALT Christians Project
A 2013 video by the Evangelical Network about Evangelical Christians who support LGBT rights
A youtube video of LGBT Catholics and their lives in the Roman Catholic Church
Affirmations works for the understanding and acceptance of gays and lesbians as full, equal and worthy persons within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and society, and to help them realize and affirm self-worth.
A transgender member of the Catholic LGBT rights group Dignity talks about what he would want in a dialogue between transgender Catholics and the Church hierarchy.