Christianity in itself poses enough difficulties, but to be a gay Christian adds more complications. For many centuries, homosexuality was frowned upon and persecuted. It was not tolerated until recent modern times. Until today, it is not unusual for fundamentalists to discriminate against gays. Even Christians show disdain to gay Christians because of their belief that homosexuality is against God's will.
Though there are gay Christians who want to worship God and join in a fellowship, it is very difficult to find Christian communities that support gays. It is not widespread as your typical organization because churches need the blessing of its mother organization before coming out in the open to accept gays or membership. Many churches may allow you to come in and worship if you are gay, but they will still try to convince you to change your ways and be straight.
It is good to know that there are groups that provide support to gays who have this unfulfilled need. These are Christians who have learned to accept the LGBT community. These groups do not just let gays attend a service, they also accept gays for who they are.
Find an Affirming Church
A church that accepts gay Christians for membership is called a gay-affirming church. To be clear, these are churches that do not have the intention to turn gays into straight individuals. They are taken in as equals and as brothers and sisters through Christ. This means that a trans-gender can be a member without giving up being a trans-gender. And since they are accepted, they can openly maintain relationships with the same sex without fear of persecution or ex-communication from the church.
An affirming church fulfills the spiritual needs of gays. They host bible studies and they congregate in the same manner that churches do. Affirming churches are not just present in the United States. You will find many of these in Asia and Europe. Today, many churches are coming out in the open and announce that gays are welcome in their congregations.
Gay Christian Support
- New Ways Ministry – this website provide a substantial list of churches that have made a public display of welcoming people from the LBGT community. These churches allow same sex relationships and have members who embrace the same concept. If you know of an affirming church that is not listed here, you can contact the website administrators and ask them to add the church. Better yet, inform the head of the church and let him contact this organization for inclusion.
- Living Out – this website provides critical resources for gays who are looking for spiritual support. It has a list of events where gays can participate. The website also provides answers to philosophical questions about being gay and other dilemmas that come with being gay. The events hosted center on the current issues that gays are facing in the Christian community. It offers solace to those who have been shunned and it provides motivation to gays who feel let down by society for being what they are.
- Queer Theology – this is a website by an organization of the same name that provides answers on how to find gay-friendly churches. It provides a list of churches deemed safe for gays. The list contains phone numbers, addresses, and the actual names of the churches. Gays who are looking for a church in their area can use this list to find a church that will accept them for membership. The churches in this list are all affirming and openly accepts homosexual members.
- PFLAG – this organization has a massive list of churches that affirm gays. The list does not end with Christian churches. The website offers information on other religions accepting gays and where to find them. Should you be a Christian who has decided to shift faith to another, like being a Muslim or Buddhist, you can still go to this website and find churches of your new faith that accept gays.
- Disciples Alliance – this group is dedicated to finding churches that support gays. It is a coalition of many churches that share the same belief about accepting LGBT. The organization offers ministry programs and hosts events to advance this belief.
Being a gay Christian is tough. Although it is great to be a part of an affirming church, sometimes it makes a person feel better if he is a part of a group that extends its support beyond church services on Sundays. Groups like this are beneficial because a gay Christian can expect help and support from its members anytime. Like any help groups, this serves as the perfect avenue to express one's sentiments and feelings and expect the other member to empathize. It becomes a good and reliable source of motivation.
Gay Christian Marriages
- Rainbow Baptists – this is a church that also provide an extended support system for gay Christians. It provides news, updates, events and a huge list of other ecumenical organizations that have a network for gay Christians.
- Living Out – this organization provides guidance to brothers and sisters on how they can stay true to Christian teachings while they are attracted to the opposite sex.
- Gay Christians – this is an organization that provides meaningful articles that could be of help to a struggling gay Christian.
- The Reformation Project – this is an organization that is advancing the interest of same sex couples based on biblical principles. Gay Christians can participate in conferences and be empowered about their sexuality.
Today, there are many churches that openly allow gay marriage. However, gay couples should also plan meticulously and decide where to get it done. Currently, there are only five states in the US that allow gay marriage. These states are Massachusetts, Vermont, Iowa, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. These states have programs where gay couples can receive counselling before getting married. These states also have representatives who facilitate the marriage. However, getting married through the government does not mean that your marriage was sanctified by the church. Pretty much, your marriage is considered legal but not sanctified in the eyes of God.
There are other countries apart from the US where gay marriage is allowed. Examples of these are Norway, Sweden, and Belgium. The issue with this is that these countries may not accept non-residents. The only course of action left if you are a US citizen is to go these states and get married there.
Gay Christian Groups and Organizations
- Is Same Sex a Civil Right – this article answers this question. The argument here is based on the foundation that marriage is a civil right. And therefore, no one should be denied to get married, including homosexuals.
- The Biblical View on Same Sex Marriage – this article posits and argument that the bible is really unclear whether same sex marriage is banned. Apparently, the stories of Sodom and Gomorrah have different contexts than the ones that we have been told.
- Compatible Partners – this is a dating website dedicated to helping out Christian gays find someone they can share their life with. The site provides compatibility tests and it tries to match one person to the other in terms of their interests. The organization also provides niche-based dating services for gay Asians, Hispanics, Indians, and more.
- Best Gay Christian Dating Sites – this article provides an advice as to where a Christian gay can look for a love interest online. It lists five dating organizations for Christian gays that are seemingly the best at what they do.
Gay Christians should not limit themselves to getting support only to churches. There exists many organizations with the sole purpose of providing religious services to gay Christians. These organizations gather together for worship and they make efforts to educate the masses about Christian programs for the LGBT.
These organizations are typically present online. They understand that the internet is the fastest way to getting themselves known. The founders of these organizations also understand how difficult it is to come out and be open about being gay and Christian at the same time. Today, the internet has become a tool for gay Christians to get support and yet protect their identities.
- Affirming Pentecostal Church International (APCI) – this is a church that is of Pentecostal doctrine and it has been around since 2010. The church has grown since then and has established several congregations around the world. It is an affirming church that can be found in Brazil Columbia, Ecuador, United Kingdom, United States, and some parts of Asia and Africa.
- Alliance of Baptists – this organization was founded in 1987. It was founded to keep a liberal stance. Since then, many other churches have left their own groups and joined this one. Today, other Baptist congregations have joined like the American Baptist Church, Disciples of Christ, and United Church of Christ.
- Gay Buddhists – this is an organization of Buddhists that accept gays openly in their churches. It offers a forum where people of the same faith come together and discuss the spiritual well-being and concerns of gay men around the world. The organization has offices in San Francisco.
- Dignity USA – this group is focused on educating people about equality, respect, and justice for every one of different sexual orientations. It mainly operates in the Catholic community.
- AWAB – the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists is comprised of a large number of churches that are willing to go on record that they are an affirming church. It is comprised of churches that accept members regardless of gender identity.
- Emergence International – this group is made of Christian Scientist denominations. It is mainly focused on supporting members of the LGBT community facing discrimination and homophobia. The group accepts membership not only from gays but also from their families, relatives, and friends. You are welcome for as long as you support the same advocacy.
- Responding to a "Gay Christian" in the Family – this is an article that provides advice on what to do if somebody in a Christian family says he is gay. It provides the family a support material on how to deal with the issue appropriately.
- God and the Gay Christian – this offers a modern insight about how the scriptures treat homosexuality. In it, the author says that being gay is not a sin and that the bible does not condemn gays for as long as the relationship is mutual and that the sex is consensual.
- Openly Gay, Openly Christian – this is a book written by Samuel Kader. It discusses how the bible supports being gay.
- Notable Gay Christians – this article introduces the reader to a list of notable people who used to be against Christian gays but changed their minds. Most of these individuals used to be fundamentalists but has now accepted a modern take on homosexuality and Christianity.
- Is God Anti-Gay – this book elaborates on what the bible says about homosexuality and other questions that surround it.
- This Is My Body: Hearing the Theology of Transgender Christians – this is a collection of stories by trans-genders and their experiences in various churches. It discusses their pains and persecutions and how they overcome it.