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Equality in Faith April 16, 2017

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This bi-monthly presentation of stories and information is generated by EqualityNC's faith outreach program. We hope you will share by forwarding to friends, family, congregants and others to help us raise visibility of North Carolina's growing LGBTQ-affirming faith community.
EQUALITY  IN  FAITH

Sharing stories from within North Carolina's
LGBTQ-affirming faith communities 

Sunday, April 16, 2017
Trinity UCC Pastor Nathan King (left to right), Don Gale and Joann Scilici.
Proudly flying the transgender flag



"Trinity UCC has been a beacon, a shining light, for the LGBT community in the Concord-Kannapolis area for some time."

Don Gale
PFLAG Concord-Kannapolis

Three weeks before Transgender Visibility Day, a church in Concord,
N.C. used a ladder, a drill, some screws and a large beautiful flag to do their part.

Looking across North Carolina’s LGBTQ-affirming faith communities, it is evident that Comma Church, or Trinity United Church of Christ in Concord, is and has been doing much more than just their part when it comes to their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.
 
Pastor Nathan King, with the help of a trans member at Trinity and a local PFLAG representative, anchored the flag holder to the church’s brick front exterior and put the flag in place.
 
Don Gale serves with PFLAG Concord-Kannapolis, which donated the 5-foot by 3-foot flag. He says Trinity UCC has been a light source for the area’s LGBTQ community.
 
"Trinity UCC has been a beacon, a shining light, for the LGBT community in the Concord-Kannapolis area for some time,” said Gale.
 
While Gale cites Trinity UCC as being as a light source for LGBTQ equality for some time, so has its pastor.
 
King says his LGBTQ affirming journey began in Sanford in the early 90s, where his pastor there was an advocate for LGBTQ equality. Then in the late 90s, Jimmy Creech of Raleigh was placed on trial by the Methodist United Church for blessing a gay union. King, a UCC pastor in Asheboro at the time, recalls writing an op-ed in the Courier Tribune outlining how the UCC had been open and accepting since its 1983 resolution on affirmation.
 
When he arrived at Trinity in 2001, he informed the church that he was involved in the issue of an open lesbian being ordained by the Western NC Association of the UCC – and that he fully supported her ordination. The person was ordained four years later in 2005.
 
In 2014, King was a plaintiff in a landmark legal victory for marriage equality in North Carolina when a federal judge struck down North Carolina’s Amendment One that sought to outlaw marriage equality. The October 2014 ruling in UCC vs. Cooper was the first instance of a national Christian denomination challenging a state's marriage statutes.

 

To continue reading, see TRINITY below.

Read: "Stop Switching: Transphobia and Pastoral Counseling" from E-Journal of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors
Religious Demographics and Data
Majority of N.C. Faith Communications Support
Nondiscrimination Protections for LGBTQ Individuals


White Mainline Protestant: 70 percent support
Catholic: 76 percent support
Black Protestant: 61 percent support
Unaffiliated: 73 percent support
White evangelical Protestant: 54 percent support
All North Carolinians: 64 percent support

Source: Public Religion Research Institute
Social division on LGBTQ equality as
observed by one Charlotte music minister

 
“Music is one of the most effective tools for conveying spiritual truths.”
M. Anne Burnette Hook 
Adam Ward of Charlotte epitomizes the journey of many LGBTQ-affirming spiritual leaders who often work in social environments where religious belief is in conflict with the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. 
Ward, who has served as music minister at Providence First United Methodist Church for almost 10 years, worships within a religious body that has struggled for years with reconciling Methodist church doctrine with the lives of LGBTQ individuals. 

The official United Methodist Church’s Book of Discipline states that the “practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching” and many United Methodist Church pastors and leaders for years have been working to change the church’s position. 

Ward’s own church, Providence United Methodist Church in Charlotte, is indicative of the dilemma many Methodist churches face. Their congregations are welcoming to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals but the Methodist churches’ governing body forbids open gay, lesbian or transgender persons from being ordained. In addition, a pastor still could face the revocation of their ordination credentials if they perform a marriage beyond the confines of  “one woman and one man.” 

Such confliction is evident in the Book of Disciplines’s statement of fiscal responsibilities which reads: “The General Council on Finance and Administration shall be responsible for ensuring that no board, agency, committee, commission, or council shall give United Methodist funds to any gay caucus or group, or otherwise use such funds to promote the acceptance of homosexuality or violate the expressed commitment of The United Methodist Church ‘not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends.’” 

When acceptance of “homosexuality” on one hand is seen as somewhat of an offense and on the other hand congregants are admonished for rejecting or condemning “homosexuality,” the case being made by many Methodist leaders is that such confliction can offer no clarity – moral or spiritual. 

Yet Methodist churches are no different than those Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, Church of Christ, Quaker, Pentecostal or other churches where the pastors of congregations minister to both those who are fully affirming of LGBTQ persons and those who are sometimes referred to as accepting but not affirming. Those pastors can and do observe both ends of the spectrum – those that are fully LGBTQ affirming and some who may be viewed as neither welcoming or accepting. 

Ward, also a principal accompanist for One Voice – the Gay, Lesbian and Gay-Affirmative Chorus of Charlotte – understands that dichotomy well. 

When the city of Charlotte in February 2016 voted to adopt a nondiscrimination ordinance that offered protection from discrimination in the municipal workplace and public accommodation spaces, it was Sen. Dan Bishop of Charlotte (then a state representative) who became a public voice for efforts to oppose Charlotte’s ordinance via the state’s Legislature. One Charlotte Observer article headline labeled Bishop the “Leader of House Bill 2.” 

Bishop attends Providence United Methodist Church along with Ward. Bishop also sings in one of the church’s choirs directed by Ward. 

While Bishop made headline-grabbing comments – like reportedly comparing LGBTQ activists to the Taliban in an email – he reserved some of the more caustic comments for transgender individuals. In one Charlotte Observer article, he described a transgender person’s desire to use the restroom corresponding with his or her gender as “a cross-dresser’s liberty to express his gender nonconformity.” 

 
When Ward read some of the comments that had been attributed to Bishop, he said he at first wasn’t sure how to process it. “I didn’t know quite what to do with it,” said the UNC-Greensboro graduate.  “I was a little surprised. A little disappointed. A little disillusioned. And not so much about Dan but the whole (HB2) thing” 
 
HB2, described as one of the most anti-LGBTQ measures in the nation, proved to be one of the most controversial issues the state has faced. Conservative religious factions promoted the measure under the gross misrepresentation of “bathroom safety” – stigmatizing transgender people as a threat to children in bathrooms. It also stripped away the ability of cities and towns to pass similar nondiscrimination measures for their LGBTQ citizens. 

But it was criticized roundly within the media and small and large businesses across North Carolina and the nation protested the measure as counter to the inclusive workplace values they seek to promote. The measure has reportedly cost the state millions of dollars in lost revenue and resulted in the defeat of former Republican Gov. Pat McCory – the first time a sitting Republican governor had been denied a second term. 
 
Newspapers, television newscast, public conversation and private conversation were awash in derogatory statements that misrepresented the issue and cruelly mischaracterized transgender individuals. Leaders of anti-gay religious groups joined a number of Republican lawmakers in the bevy of misrepresentation and derogation.  
But also standing in front news cameras and before public microphones were representatives from North Carolina’s LGBTQ affirming churches and denominations, who made an unprecedented united stance against LGBTQ discrimination. 
 
But Ward’s fellow churchgoer and choir member wasn’t a member of that chorus of LGBTQ affirming voices opposed to HB2. Just the opposite. 
 
“I was surprised by some of the statements he has made, particularly about transgender individuals,” Ward said. 
 
Ward said he can understand Bishop’s misunderstanding of gender identity but not the derogation that permeated much of the HB2 support narrative. 
 
“I have to say that the T part of LGBTQ has been a part that confused me the most,” Ward said. “It hasn’t been a part of my experience. It was something that didn’t process in my mind. After all this with HB2 came to the forefront, we had a member of One Voice who is transgender. I also know a transgender youth and I saw that young man in this fight as one of the marginalized. 
 
“What I have learned is that the T part are genuine people trying to be who they are, struggling to be who they are in a world that doesn’t understand. For someone to say that HB2 is about perverts, that is so far from the truth. They (transgender individuals) are the ones who just want to feel safe. 
 
“Dan Bishop has always been kind to me and has always been very involved in the music ministry,” Ward said. “That’s why I have to separate the person and the politics. I’m there to minister to him. When he comes through the doors of the church, as far as I am concerned, he is here to be fed and I am there to feed him spiritually. And I’m going to love him.” 

 
With religious and social demographics in flux, Ward’s experience is testament that pastors and other church ministers across North Carolina still are serving choirs and congregations divided along the line of LGBTQ equality. 
 
FEATURED READING
Changing Our Mind: A Call from America's Leading Evangelical Ethics Scholar for Full Acceptance of LGBT Christians in the Church, 2nd edition. by David P. Gushee; Brian D. McLaren (Foreword); Phyllis Tickle (Preface)
Call Number: (RH) Stacks BR115.H6 G87 2015
Canton, Michigan : Read The Spirit Books, an imprint of David Crumm Media, LLC, [2015].

Watch Dr. Gushee at EqualityNC faith dialogue in Durham.
"I never felt so alone"

Finding stigma and misunderstanding in those

who are supposed to help you figure it all out
















Mason Segers, a math and biology double major at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, recently spoke about his experience at Transgender Visibility Day.
 

Mason Segers, a young transgender man living in Hickory, tells a story that is familiar to many – but it also contains an element that is alarming in its nature and compounded by a degree of invisibility.

Mason, like so many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young persons, has experienced a form of trauma that can wreak havoc on young lives. It is the pain and torture of finding their young lives cut off from all support systems  – parents, friends, peers and their church family.

Mason first came out as lesbian as a young teen after having begun processing his gender identity in middle school. What followed was not a young person finding a support system around him that fostered his well-being but instead the crushing experience of being rejected by family, friends and his family’s church. It’s the religious factor that ties a lot of those forms of rejection and the resulting emotional, psychological and spiritual harms together.

Mason’s story, and the experience of many LGBTQ youth, provide insight into how powerful and yet subtle those negative religious attitudes can be in the lives of young people.

He describes how several years ago when he was in middle school and beginning to process his gender identity, the Chick-Fil-A restaurant chain had taken a stance against marriage equality (a position the company later abandoned). He recalls how a family member had stated that they should go to the local Chick-Fil-A restaurant and pray, read Bible verses to let every know gay marriage was wrong.

It sent a strong message to Mason – “gay is wrong” – and he would continue to hear that message from those around him, his friends, family, church and even with the mental health provider system.

Researchers have only begun to delve into the effects of such trauma. The National Alliance on Mental Health reports that someone who faces rejection after coming out to their families were more than 8 times more likely to have attempted suicide than someone who was accepted by their family after revealing their sexual orientation.

In a report 2015 report entitled “Religious Conflict, Sexual Identity, and Suicidal Behaviors among LGBT Young Adults” researchers J.J. Gibbs and J. Goldbach cited a correlation between rejection grounded in religious teaching and increased trauma on the young person. It’s the first known study to explore how religious identity conflict impacts suicidal behaviors among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) young adults.

“The last aim of this study was to investigate how religious upbringing impacts suicide and internalized homophobia,” the report states. “In our study, those who experienced a religious upbringing and are currently experiencing religious conflict were most at risk of considering suicide.”

The fact that such a study was the first its kind in 2015 is a statement itself, considering how LGBTQ stigma and hostility has been rooted in religious teaching for many years, particularly since the rise of the conservative religious political movement. It also suggests why the mental health provider system, in the view of many, exhibits a degree of incompetency when working with LGBTQ youth and families in which negative attitudes are grounded in in religious teaching.

In a 2008 report entitled “Educating Mental Health Professionals About Gay and Lesbian Issues”, researcher Bianna Cody Murphy concluded: “Despite the large number of clients with gay and lesbian concerns, many mental health professionals remain biased and unqualified to serve them. Mental health professionals are poorly prepared to deal with sexuality in general and with gay and lesbian issues specifically.”

Mason says he has experienced such bias.

“I first came out as lesbian,” he said. “That’s when things went down south. I was almost kicked out of my house. I was afraid for my life that day.

A suicide attempt would follow while he was in middle school. “You know what, I’m done,” Mason recalls telling himself. “I can’t do this.”

He was hospitalized in a psychiatric unit in Raleigh. Instead of finding safety and understanding among the professionals around him, he says he found a glaring misunderstanding. Worse, no one seemed to be willing to help him navigate the intersection of his gender identity and the negative religious attitudes at play in his social environment.

“That was when I felt the most alone in the world. I felt like absolutely no one understood me,” he said.

So Mason trudged along, trying to navigate the traumatic emotional, psychological and spiritual trauma himself. It was difficult to say the least, He says his grades were all over the place, good marks at time and other times failing.

He was on the roller coaster so many LGBTQ youth find themselves. There was the loss of close friends, loss of family, loss of church – all while many made to feel that it was somehow all Mason’s fault – while he knew that his gender identity was not a “behavior” as so many around him were implying. He recalls being told at ad church once that he could wear boys clothes if he chose, but he was a girl because God doesn’t make mistakes.

His faith suffered as well. He recalls how one close friend told him that a person could not be transgender and Christian at the same time.

“Eventually, I got further away from God,” says Mason. “I got further away from Christianity. I didn’t even want to make the effort to wake up and go to church. If someone spoke about God around me, it was like, OK are we done now.

“I believed in God. I knew he was there. I don’t really want to have much to do with this guy. He’s making people hate on another group of people.”

After a second suicide attempt in high school, he found himself being hospitalized in another psychiatric unit, this time in Durham.

“It definitely wasn’t any better,” Mason said. “My mom would go into a long rant about how being gay was wrong and the bible said this or that. The counselor would say, “that’s interesting. I had never thought about it that way.’ Then he looked at me and said “why do want to be LGBT?’

“And I’m thinking, really! You are asking me! I didn’t think it was a choice.”

Mason is surely testament to the strength of the human spirit in so many young LGBTQ persons who find themselves rejected and made to feel alone within almost every support system around them, including their church and even mental health professionals. The statistics unfortunately demonstrate how many of those youth do not find safe passage.

Now in his second year at Lenoir-Rhyne University, a private Lutheran-affiliated university in Hickory, he is a double major in math and biology. He also has recently begun some music studies and is teaching himself how to play piano. His studies are on track with his goal of becoming a veterinarian.

He has also begun surrounding himself with others in the local LGBTQ community and has begun getting involved in some local advocacy efforts. He spoke publicly about his experience at a local event for Transgender Visibility Day. He also is working with a Gay Straight Alliance group at the university.

Two weeks ago, he came out as transgender to the Acapella Choir on at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

“Before I could even say anything, everyone all starting clapping,” he said. “Everyone was completely accepting of it. That is the way it should be. I should not have to be afraid, no one in the LGBTQ community should have to be afraid to be themselves."

Youth, Interrupted is a three-part documentary series that intimately tells their stories, and also includes profiles and portraits of other cis and trans people affected by the ongoing political battle.
 
TRINITY – from top of page

The suit, filed in April 2014 by the UCC and a coalition of clergy, same-sex couples and religious denominations, asserted the state's marriage laws violate the First Amendment rights of clergy and the principle of "free exercise of religion." Under Amendment One, which passed in late 2012, same-sex couples could not legally marry in North Carolina, and clergy could be charged with a crime for officiating a marriage ceremony without determining whether the couple involved has a valid marriage license.
 
Eight months later the U.S. Supreme Court on June 26, 2015 would weigh in with the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling that said the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
 
After Amendment One was struck down and the following Obergefell opinion rendered, King said he was speaking to a group of people and offered a word of caution about the path forward in post marriage equality society.
 
“I said yeah, we have marriage equality,” he said.  “And now things are going to get really tough.”
 
Since he spoke those words, North Carolina has witnessed a number of discriminatory measures adopted by a Republican-controlled General Assembly. SB2 allowed magistrates to opt out of performing marriage ceremonies on religious grounds; HB2 used falsehoods and misinformation to perpetuate a dangerous and hostile narrative against transgender individuals and banned any state municipality from adopting LGBTQ nondiscrimination ordinances; the most recent HB142 repealed HB2 but left in place the ban on nondiscrimination protections or lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.
 
On April 11, three Republican legislators in North Carolina proposed a bill that would have sought to make marriage equality illegal again in North Carolina and actually stated Christian religious teaching should have precedent over the U.S. Supreme Court.
 
Such measures are supported and promoted by a number of fundamental Christian pastors and religious groups that see discrimination protection for LGBTQ people as government sanctioning immorality – because they interpret certain biblical passages as bestowing immorality to sexual orientation and gender identity.
 
As a minister, King is burdened when he sees the effects of discriminatory measures like HB2 on those around him, especially his congregants.


“These measures are un-Godly,” King said. “It affects me most on Sunday mornings and I see all my congregants and I see some sitting there with rights that others do not have,” he said. It denies rights to people created in God’s image based simply on  the way they were created. It singles out people and discriminates against them based on their God-given sexual identity.

“Some people sitting in our congregation cannot live life the same way others do. Some in my congregation if they go on a trip on the  interstate have to decide which restroom they are going to use that will be safe. Some in my 

congregation will take that same trip and not worry at all about it. But if you are transgender, then you have to carefully plan, where are you going to stop and what are you going to need to do to stop there and try to determine if it is going to be safe or not.”
 
As someone who has been advocating for the affirmation of LGBTQ people for many years, King sees such interpretation of certain biblical teaching as a crux in continuing to move LGBTQ equality forward.
 
“There is a strong correlation between how the church treats people and whether there is equitability in our society among marginalized groups,” says King. “Certain church teaching, or a certain interpretation of scripture, is definitely responsible to a large degree for the degradation of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. That’s why I believe it is crucial that communities of faith continue exploring why it is they teach that.”
 
“Now we have to move into a new reality,” King says. “Moving into a new reality on any social issue, at some point along the way, requires the support of religious communities. Primarily in this area, that means Christian churches and it is heavily fundamentalist Christian. Until more churches and church leaders and ultimately members begin to explore what this means on a personal level for people they know, equality will always be incomplete.”
 
King asks Christians to read scripture responsibly – taking into account original language, why the passages were being written and the context behind that which was recorded by biblical writers.
 
He also asks Christians to interpret scripture the way Jesus interpreted scripture – determining whether or not the interpreted meaning “gives life.” King said that intent of the law (religious teaching), according to Jesus own words, is to allow people to live their lives fully. He promotes responsible reading and interpretation of scripture to allow Christians to be in communion with those who are marginalized instead of being among those who promote stigma and hostility toward others.
 
Joann Scilici, a member of Trinity United Church of Christ, has experienced such marginalization and especially after the passage of HB2. She also has witnessed how the promoters of the measure created hostility toward her as a transgender woman and so many other transgender individuals living in North Carolina. She heard that hostility most often being expressed by those who identified with certain Christian groups.
 
Scilici has been a member at Trinity since 2013 and was on hand for the installation of Trinity UCC's new transgender flag.
 
To Sciclici, the blue, pink, and white striped flag is a moving reminder that her fellow congregants embrace her freedom to be who she is – and to live her life fully.
 
While her church has always accepted her, she experiences something more profound when she sees the flag flying just outside the church doors – making her church’s support and its embrace plainly visible for all to see.
 
 “It makes a big difference,” she said.
 

Data reflects changing N.C. religious landscape
and religious attitudes toward LGBTQ individuals

North Carolina is one of the most religious states in America, according to religious demographic data. It is a state in which a majority of those who identify as Christian in religious demographic surveys also identify as Evangelical Protestant. 

The Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study (telephone survey of 35,000 persons nationwide with 1002 survey participants in North Carolina) reports North Carolina is one of 12 states in which more than 70 percent of the survey participants reported belief in God as an absolute certainty. http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/state/north-carolina/

Pew’s Religious Landscape Study reports 77 percent of those surveyed in North Carolina report their religious affiliation as Christian, 3 percent non-Christian faith and 20 percent unaffiliated. The 20-percent unaffiliated included 15 percent as “religious nones” with 7 percent of those saying they consider religion important in their lives although they do not associate with a particular religion. http://demography.cpc.unc.edu/2014/06/02/religion-in-north-carolina-southern-baptists-dominate-catholicism-and-non-denominational-affiliation-rising/

According to the 2014 Pew study, the majority of the 77 percent who identify as Christian reported their religious affiliation as Evangelical Protestant  – 35 percent evangelical Protestant; 19 percent Mainline Protestant; 12 percent Historically Black Protestant (some evangelical); 9 percent Catholic; and 1 percent Mormon.

The UNC Carolina Population Center (CPC), using 2010 Census data, reported in 2014 that 48 percent of the North Carolina’s population identify as being an adherent to religion. http://demography.cpc.unc.edu/2014/06/02/religion-in-north-carolina-southern-baptists-dominate-catholicism-and-non-denominational-affiliation-rising/

 

Evangelical churches have been at the forefront of the trend, with two-thirds of those surveyed by the National Association of Evangelicals saying their names no longer include their denominations.

Read "What's In A Name..."

The CPC reported the Southern Baptist Convention is the religious group with the largest number of adherents in nearly every southern county, including 82 counties in North Carolina. Though Southern Baptists are the majority statewide, there is some variation by county, particularly in the eastern part of the state. The United Methodist Church is the largest denomination in six counties; non-denominational adherents are the largest group in five counties; the Catholic Church has the largest number of adherents in Orange and Wake counties; adherents of Christian Churches and Churches of Christ dominate in Washington and Beaufort; the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists is dominant in Tyrrell and Greene; and the AME Zion Church is the largest denomination in Jones.

According to the 2013 Annual Church Profile (ACP) compiled by LifeWay Christian Resources , North Carolina has the second highest number of Southern Baptist Churches in the nation with 4,203 churches.

LGBT attitudes in North Carolina moving forward

The 2014 Pew Religious Landscape Study reports 42 percent of Christians surveyed stated  “homosexuality should be discouraged by society.” In the 2007 Pew Religious landscape Study,  57 percent of those Christians surveyed stating “homosexuality should be discouraged by society.” 

That represents a 15-point decrease between 2007 and 2014 in the number of Christians who believe homosexuality should be discouraged by society.

The Pew study reported that attitudes on whether abortion should be illegal changed between 2007 and 2014 by only 1 percentage points with 50 percent reporting in 2007 that it should be illegal in all or most cases compared to 51 percent in 2014.

On a question of what the survey participant stated was the source of their guidance on what is right and wrong, 50 percent of Christian respondents stated they considered religious teaching that source while 37 percent stated common sense was the source of knowing right from wrong. In 2007, 45 percent of Christians in North Carolina stated religious teaching was their source of knowing right from wrong and 43 percent said common sense was that source.

Since 2007, a higher number of Christians report religious teaching as their source of knowing right from wrong.

Asked whether they believed the Bible should taken literally, 43 percent of Christians in North Carolina said yes and 30 percent said not all scripture should be taken literally. In 2007, 52 percent of Christians in North Carolina said the Bible should be taken literally and 24 percent said not all scripture should be taken literally.

Since 2007, there has been a decrease in the number of Christians who believe the Bible should be taken literally.

Such data indicates Christians, particularly evangelical Protestants, can change their religious belief that homosexuality is a sin and still view the Bible as their source of knowing right from wrong. They can change their interpretation of scripture on one key moral issue ("homosexuality") and not change their attitude on another key moral issue (abortion).

While Christian attitudes in North Carolina on the culture war’s abortion issue hasn’t changed in eight years, the attitude on the culture war’s issue of homosexuality has experienced a significant positive swing.

A significant positive swing in acceptance of homosexuality between 2007 and 2014 correlates with a decrease in the number of Christians in North Carolina who view the Bible literally. However, the positive swing  in acceptance over that eight-year period comes at a time when a larger number of Christians in North Carolina view religious teaching as their source of knowing right from wrong.

The religious belief that homosexuality is a sin or sinful lifestyle choice has formed the underpinning of opposition to LGBT equality in North Carolina.

This data suggests evangelical Protestant adherents and others in North Carolina are coming to understand that they can embrace a new religious perspective on sexual orientation and gender identity without negatively affecting either their faith or their view as the Bible as authoritative holy scripture.

It suggests more are coming to understand that LGBT affirmation does not violate their religious values and in fact can enhance those values.

The articles and information presented in this feature are complied, researched and written by ENC faith outreach staff. Contact Faith Outreach Director Brent Childers at brent@equalitync.org with comments or suggestion for stories from within your faith community.
Copyright © 2017 • EqualityNC • All rights reserved.


Send comments and suggestions about Equality In Faith to brent@equalitync.org



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