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  1. In Australia, the Safe Schools Coalition's approach actively supports the establishment of Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) and other youth-led initiatives for peer support and information. It also provides professional development for teachers and other school staff that can be tailored to schools’ specific needs. It has developed guidelines on non-discrimination, bullying and diversity policies and a broad set of resources, including books and videos. wikipedia.org
  2. The Recommendation to member states on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity was adopted unanimously by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in 2010. It advises the education sectors of the 47 member states to take measures ‘at all levels to promote mutual tolerance and respect in schools, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity’. It specifies that this should include ‘providing objective information with respect to sexual orientation and gender identity, for instance in school curricula and educational materials, and providing pupils and students with the necessary information, protection and support to enable them to live in accordance with their sexual orientation and gender identity’. The recommendation further advises countries to ‘design and implement school equality and safety policies and action plans and may ensure access to adequate anti-discrimination training or support and teaching aids’. The European Social Charter guarantees the right to the protection of health, including through the provision of advisory and educational facilities. This positive obligation ‘extends to ensuring that educational materials do not reinforce demeaning stereotypes and perpetuate forms of prejudice which contribute to the social exclusion, embedded discrimination and denial of human dignity often experienced by historically marginalized groups such as persons of non-heterosexual orientation. wikipedia.org
  3. In 2016 a report titled "The National Inventory of School District Interventions in Support of LGBTQ Student Wellbeing" was issued by Lead Investigator Dr. Catherine Taylor, University of Winnipeg and her research team. The report, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, outlines the interventions taken by Canadian public schools in support of LGBTQ students. Findings presented in the report include acknowledgements that urban schools districts are more likely to have LGBTQ-specific interventions than rural districts and that, in general, Alberta and Quebec are less likely than other Canadian provinces to have specific interventions. Interestingly, the report also found that interventions were more likely to occur at the elementary and middle school level than the secondary level. Throughout Canada, school districts were far less likely to have trans-specific policies. wikipedia.org
  4. Parkfield Community School in Birmingham received extended national attention starting in 2016 over its "No Outsiders" curriculum which teaches tolerance of differences. The program had been created in 2014 by gay teacher Andrew Moffat who is assistant headteacher at the school. There were extended protests and activism against the program by the predominantly Muslim parents for several years, which grew to include people from other faiths from outside the local area. The parents accused the school of fostering acceptance and the permissibility of homosexuality in young children. Some of the allegations circulated in the controversy included that the "sexual mechanics" of homosexuality were depicted to children with clay figures, which the school broadly denies. The government agency Ofsted said that the program was appropriate. In 2019 Anderton Park School, also in Birmingham, faced similar objections. wikipedia.org
  5. Historic legal denigration of non-heterosexuality and non-vaginal sexual intercourse (even among heterosexual partners) continues to have a long-running residual effect on the public discourse. The first gay–straight alliances to be established in public schools in the early 1990s faced stiff opposition from faculty, administration and parents of students, with protests and fierce debates over the matter, but GSAs have since been established for middle school students in a number of jurisdictions. In California, GSAs now number over 762, representing over 50% of California's public high schools. In 2011, the State Legislature passed the FAIR Education Act, which, if signed into law, would make California the first state in the United States to mandate the teaching of LGBT-affirmative social sciences (i.e., LGBT history) in the public school system and forbid discriminatory language in the school curriculum. One of the pre-eminent organizations advocating for LGBT education and academic rights in the United States is GLSEN. As of 13 August 2019, four US states are required by law to acquire LGBT related-topics into social science classes, which include the following states: California, Colorado, Illinois, and New Jersey. wikipedia.org
  6. Teaching LGBT history and social sciences The inclusion of LGBT topics in teaching of history and social sciences are also advocated by topics in order to increase pride and self-respect among LGBT students and reduce shame or self-pity for the lack of emphasis upon famous LGBT persons. Sex education. With regards to the topic, it is somewhat important to acknowledge what it is like to be labeled as LGBT. Often people use words that may relate to the LGBT community with a negative annotation. For example, phrases like "that's so gay" or "you are being a faggot", suggest that being gay is a "bad" thing. The more we allow this kind of communication, it will only continue to be a criticized expression. To some it comes as a relief and sense of empowerment, but others have to deal with the stigma which is attached to LGBT. The common stereotypes of queer include, but are not limited to: sexually confused, pedophiles, and violation of gender roles. Stereotypes help to create the stigma which is cast upon the LGBT community, which in turn results in the marginalization of the group. Labeling can effect others attitudes towards the individual being labeled. The labeling perspective also focuses on the roles of moral entrepreneurs, rule creators and enforcers. These are individuals who create rules and enforce them. Sex education As general sex education often faces fierce opposition from religious congregations which are doctrinally averse to contraception, sex education which includes homosexuality is considered especially egregious among opponents. The matter of sex education often leads more devout Abrahamists to withdraw their children from the school's tutelage, leading to further educational terms which emphasize Abrahamic religious mores, such as abstinence, heterosexuality and monogamy. This aversion is criticized by advocates of sex education who assert that many of the pupils of such education eventually find their own means to those practices or realizations which are expressly forbidden by religious institutions. As well, sexual education curriculums continuously fails to inform LGBTQ students on crucial health issues that may arise during sexual intercourse. Some of the neglected information reflects on sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV and AIDS, which are commonly enforced upon the gay community through socially accepted stereotypes. Sex ed curriculum also disregards any information pivotal to LGBTQ students in order for schools to avoid tensions with religious groups. Likewise, most of the material presented in schools focus on a heterosexual perspective that encourages "abstinence until marriage", a typical practice accredited to various religious groups that promote the need of heterosexuality for a healthy sexual life. Formal event dress and gender identity Where schools may hold formal engagements such as proms, homecomings and Winter Formals which typically involve set gender roles, issues have arisen with the following: attendance of same-sex student couples the wearing of non-gender-conforming dress (i.e., female students wearing tuxedos and male students wearing skirts or blouses) the crowning of female event kings and male event queens. Various jurisdictions have taken different reactions to such issues, which have resulted in controversy and legal disputes over discrimination by state schools (i.e., the 2010 Itawamba County School District prom controversy). Queer-inclusive student events Campus events have been created for LGBTQ students in order to be inclusive of such students and their allies. These include the queer prom and the Lavender Graduation; the latter was first organized by Dr. Ronni Sanlo, then the director of the LGBT Center at the University of Michigan, in 1995. wikipedia.org
  7. Homophobia vs. heterosexism Homophobia and heterosexism or heteronormativity are closely related words, used to represent a fear of equality of the heterosexual population and the LGBT community. Homophobia, for example, is defined by "overt expression of dislike, harassment and even assault" towards the LGBT community. Heterosexism, on the other hand, describes a sense of entitlement to denounce the superiority of heterosexuality and the need for heterosexuality to be the only sexual orientation. However, homophobia and heterosexism are intermingling, pertaining to the ability to proclaim heterosexuality as "normal" and therefore, homosexuality as "abnormal" and "different". Homophobia can also be used to reinforce heterosexism in an institution such as in education as curriculum in schools are based on a heterosexual perspective which increases the need for others to conform to heterosexuality and therefore ignore homophobic acts and comments. Prevention of bullying The issue of homophobic bullying and violence by students and teachers is increasingly broached by advocates as a reason for the intervention of administration on behalf of LGBT students. A restorative approach in schools is a way of preventing bullying of LGBT students. Planning committees can be formed by students who want to help educate their peers on LGBT. A restorative response that helped educate students and school staff included a Lesbian and Gay Pride week at an elementary school in Canada in the late 1990s. A student-planned unit on Lesbian and Gay Pride week was composed of a series of events dedicated to educate on LGBT history, diverse family structures, and included guest speakers. Restorative responses help provide welcoming, safe, and equitable environments. wikipedia.org
  8. According to Sokolowski and the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals, "LGBT resource centers must also be staffed by at least one halftime (50% or 20 hours per week) professional staff person or graduate assistant whose job description is solely dedicated to serving the LGBT resource center and its services." Depending on the campus, an LGBT Campus Center's mission may include faculty support, student advocacy, alumni relations, and/or public relations with the greater community (especially in response to crisis). Contrary to some beliefs and researcher opinions, LGBT student centers remain open to allies of the LGBTQ+ community and those questioning their identity. An LGBT Campus Center may provide academic resources related to LGBT Studies, support social opportunities for LGBT people to interact, and sponsor educational events for the campus as a whole. Most Campus Centers provide referrals to other campus departments or off-campus organizations to help meet student needs. Due to this increased support, many students view these centers as more positively than the rest of their institution's campus and climate, creating a "microclimate" in the larger scheme of an institution's campus climate. Regardless of the concentration of on-campus support in these centers, the presence of these centers typically increases the available resources for students and increases perception from outside of the institution. Students who engage with centers are more likely to be out which allows them to further connect with these current students, but also puts additional pressure to help other LGBTQ+ students come out and grow relationships with them. Some LGBT Campus Centers provide psychological counseling for students struggling with their sexual or gender identity and for students coping with internal or external prejudice. Some example scenarios of when a student might seek out counseling from an LGBT Campus Center: A questioning student seeks help understanding their sexual identity A self-affirmed transgender student has just experienced a bias-motivated attack A straight student is having difficulty coping with a gay roommate wikipedia.org
  9. The origin of the LGBT student movement can be linked to other activist movements from the mid-20th century in the United States. The Civil Rights Movement and Second-wave feminist movement were working towards equal rights for other minority groups in the United States. Though the student movement began a few years before the Stonewall riots, the riots helped to spur the student movement to take more action in the US. Despite this, the overall view of these gay liberation student organizations received minimal attention from contemporary LGBT historians. This oversight stems from the idea that the organizations were founded with haste as a result of the riots. Others historians argue that this group gives too much credit to groups that disagree with some of the basic principles of activist LGBT organizations. Though the times and places of the student movement vary, the goals are often similar including: abolishing sodomy laws, equality on campuses for LGBT students, increasing money for HIV/AIDS research, the legalization of same-sex marriage, to prevent the bullying and suicide of LGBT youth, and gain visibility for LGBT peoples. LGBT student organizations today have started to involve research to improve the understanding of basic activism ideas. Using historical research as a source to identify and differentiate successful approaches. The identities of student activists and their involvement tends to shape the different organizations across campuses. The student movements have not always been successful in their goals, but they have been able to bring visibility to the LGBT community in their area as well as working to promote equality for a better future for their community. wikipedia.org
  10. In the recent history of the expansion of LGBT rights, the issue of teaching various aspects of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life and existence to younger children has become a heated point of debate, with proponents stating that the teaching of LGBT-affirming topics to children will increase a sense of visibility for LGBT students and reduce incidences of homophobia or closeted behavior for children, while opponents to the pedagogical discussion of LGBT people to students are afraid that such discussions would encourage children to violate or question religiously or ideologically motivated rejections of non-heterosexuality in private settings (or promote a "homosexual agenda"). Much of the religious and/or social conservative aversion to non-heterosexuality and the broaching of the topic to juveniles tends to occur in regions with a historic demographic dominance or majority of adherents to an Abrahamic religion, particularly the majority of denominations of Christianity, Islam and Judaism, while those who were raised in those religions but advocate or take more favorable/nuanced positions on LGBT issues or are LGBT themselves may often be ostracized from more socially conservative congregations over the issue. wikipedia.org
  11. All major Islamic schools disapprove of homosexuality, Islam views same-sex desires as an unnatural temptation; and sexual relations are seen as a transgression of the natural role and aim of sexual activity. Islamic teachings (in the hadith tradition) presume same-sex attraction, extol abstention and (in the Qur'an) condemn consummation. The discourse on homosexuality in Islam is primarily concerned with activities between men. There are, however, a few hadith which mention homosexual behavior among women; The fuqaha’ are agreed that "there is no hadd punishment for lesbianism, because it is not zina. Rather a ta’zeer punishment must be imposed, because it is a sin…'" Although punishment for lesbianism is rarely mentioned in the histories, al-Tabari records an example of the casual execution of a pair of lesbian slavegirls in the harem of al-Hadi, in a collection of highly critical anecdotes pertaining to that Caliph's actions as ruler. wikipedia.org
  12. Restorationist churches, like Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventist, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints generally teach that homosexuals are 'broken' and can be 'fixed'. The Community of Christ, a branch of Mormonism, fully accepts LGBT persons, performs weddings for gay and lesbian couples, and ordains LGBT members. Within the Stone-Campbell aligned restorationist churches the views are divergent. The churches of Christ (A Capella) and the Independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ mostly adhere to a very conservative ideology; socially, politically, and religiously and are generally not accepting of openly LGBT members and will not perform weddings for gay and lesbian couples. The Disciples of Christ, is fully accepting of LGBT persons, often performs weddings for gay and lesbian couples, and ordains LGBT members. The United Church of Christ is an officially "open and affirming" church. Other Restorationist churches such as The Brethren (see Mennonite) and Millerite churches, have taken mixed positions but are increasingly accepting with some of their congregations fully accepting LGBT persons in all aspects of religious and political life. wikipedia.org
  13. Evangelical churches The positions of the evangelical churches are varied. They range from liberal to conservative, through moderate. Conservative position Many American Evangelical and Fundamentalist Christians regard homosexual acts as sinful and think they should not be accepted by society. They tend to interpret biblical verses on homosexual acts to mean that the heterosexual family was created by God to be the bedrock of civilization and that same-sex relationships contradict God’s design for marriage and violate his will. Christians who oppose homosexual relationships sometimes argue that same-gender sexual activity is unnatural. Some evangelical churches in the United States have anti-gay activists who consider that homosexuality is at the root of many social problems. Some evangelical churches in Uganda strongly oppose homosexuality and homosexuals. They have campaigned for laws criminalizing homosexuality. In opposing interpretations of the Bible that are supportive of homosexual relationships, conservative Christians have argued for the reliability of the Bible, and the meaning of texts related to homosexual acts, while often seeing what they call the diminishing of the authority of the Bible by many homosexual authors as being ideologically driven. As an alternative to a school-sponsored Day of Silence opposing bullying of LGBT students, conservative Christians organized a Golden Rule Initiative, where they passed out cards saying "As a follower of Christ, I believe that all people are created in the image of God and therefore deserve love and respect." Others created a Day of Dialogue to oppose what they believe is the silencing of Christian students who make public their opposition to homosexuality. On 29 August 2017, the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood released a manifesto on human sexuality known as the "Nashville Statement". The statement was signed by 150 evangelical leaders, and includes 14 points of belief. Sex scandals Some evangelical pastors with antigay speeches have been outed. There was Pastor Ted Haggard, founder of nondenominational charismatic megachurch New Life Church in Colorado Springs, USA. Married with five children, Ted was an anti-gay activist and said he wanted to ban homosexuality from the church. In 2006, he was dismissed from his position as senior pastor after a prostitute claimed to have had sex with him for three years. After denying the relationship, the pastor admitted that the allegations were accurate. There was also Baptist Pastor George Alan Rekers of the Southern Baptist Convention in the United States and psychologist member of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality. Married and father of children, the antigay activist was recognized with a gay escort, hired for a trip to Europe, in 2010. According to him, he had hired the gay escort to carry his luggage. Liberal position International There are some international evangelical denominations that are gay-friendly, such as the Alliance of Baptists and Affirming Pentecostal Church International. U.S. A 2014 survey reported that 43% of white evangelical American Christians between the ages of 18 and 33 supported same-sex marriage. Some evangelical churches accept homosexuality and celebrate gay weddings. Pastors have also been involved in changing the traditional position of their church. In 2014, the New Heart Community Church of La Mirada, a Baptist church in the suburbs of Los Angeles was expelled from the Southern Baptist Convention for this purpose. In 2015, GracePointe Church in Franklin in the suburbs of Nashville made this decision. It lost over half of her weekly attendance (from 1,000 to 482). Moderate position Some churches have a moderate position. Although they do not approve homosexual practices, they show sympathy and respect for homosexuals. U.S. Reflecting this position, some pastors, for example, showed moderation during public statements. For example, Pastor Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston said in 2013 he found it unfortunate that several Christian ministers focus on the homosexuality by forgetting the other sins described in the Bible. He said that Jesus did not come to condemn people, but to save them. Other pastors also share this view. Pastor Carl Lentz of Hillsong Church New York City said in 2014 that gays were numerous in their church and he prayed that Hillsong was always welcoming. Pastor Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, mentioned in 2015 that the church should be the safest place on the planet for students to talk about anything, including same-sex attraction. There is also a movement of people who consider themselves "gay Evangelicals". Composed mainly of young people, the movement is positioned against liberals and conservatives. Recognizing themselves as gay or bisexual, these young people believe that their attraction to same-sex people, while present, does not allow them to have homosexual relationships. They say that their Christian conversion did not instantly change their sexual desires. They insist that the church should always reject homosexual practices, but that it should welcome gay people. There are also believers gathered in Christian organizations of evangelical orientation, such as Your Other Brothers or Voice of the Voiceless, who claim they have not been attracted to homosexuality since their new birth, without having recourse to a conversion therapy. They insist on the importance of welcoming and loving homosexuals, but believe that sexuality should be reserved for heterosexual marriage. wikipedia.org
  14. Protestant churches Liberal position Certain other Christian denominations do not view monogamous same-sex relationships as sinful or immoral, and may bless such unions and consider them marriages. These include the United Church of Canada, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ, all German Lutheran, reformed and united churches in EKD, all Swiss reformed churches, the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, the United Protestant Church in Belgium, the United Protestant Church of France, the Church of Denmark, the Church of Sweden, the Church of Iceland, the Church of Norway, and the Uniting Church in Australia. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland also allows prayer for same-sex couples. The Metropolitan Community Church was founded specifically to serve the Christian LGBT community. The Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals (GAAAP), traces its roots back to 1980, making it the oldest LGBT-affirming Apostolic Pentecostal denomination in existence. Another such organization is the Affirming Pentecostal Church International, currently the largest affirming Pentecostal organization, with churches in the US, UK, Central and South America, Europe and Africa. LGBT-affirming denominations regard homosexuality as a natural occurrence. The United Church of Christ celebrates gay marriage, and some parts of the Anglican and Lutheran churches allow for the blessing of gay unions. The United Church of Canada also allows same-sex marriage, and views sexual orientation as a gift from God. Within the Anglican Communion, there are openly gay clergy; for example, Gene Robinson is an openly gay Bishop in the US Episcopal Church. Within the Lutheran communion, there are openly gay clergy, too; for example, bishop Eva Brunne is an openly lesbian Bishop in the Church of Sweden. Such religious groups and denominations interpret scripture and doctrine in a way that leads them to accept that homosexuality is morally acceptable, and a natural occurrence. For example, in 1988 the United Church of Canada, that country's largest Protestant denomination, affirmed that "a) All persons, regardless of their sexual orientation, who profess Jesus Christ and obedience to Him, are welcome to be or become full members of the Church; and b) All members of the Church are eligible to be considered for the Ordered Ministry." In 2000, the Church's General Assembly further affirmed that "human sexual orientations, whether heterosexual or homosexual, are a gift from God and part of the marvelous diversity of creation." In addition, some Christian denominations such as the Moravian Church, believe that the Bible speaks negatively of homosexual acts but, as research on the matter continues, the Moravian Church seeks to establish a policy on homosexuality and the ordination of homosexuals. In 2014, Moravian Church in Europe allowed blessings of same-sex unions. Liberal Quakers, those in membership of Britain Yearly Meeting and Friends General Conference in the US approve of same-sex marriage and union. Quakers were the first Christian group in the United Kingdom to advocate for equal marriage and Quakers in Britain formally recognised same-sex relationships in 1963. The United Methodist Church elected a lesbian bishop in 2016, and on May 7, 2018, the Council of Bishops proposed the One Church Plan, which would allow individual pastors and regional church bodies to decide whether to ordain LGBT clergy and perform same-sex weddings. On February 26, 2019, a special session of the General Conference rejected the One Church Plan and voted to strengthen its official opposition to same-sex marriages and ordaining openly LGBT clergy. Various positions Churches within Lutheranism hold stances on the issue ranging from labeling homosexual acts as sinful, to acceptance of homosexual relationships. For example, the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, the Lutheran Church of Australia, and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod recognize homosexual behavior as intrinsically sinful and seek to minister to those who are struggling with homosexual inclinations. However, the Church of Sweden, the Church of Denmark, the Church of Norway or lutheran churches of Evangelical Church in Germany conducts same-sex marriages, while the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada opens the ministry of the church to gay pastors and other professional workers living in committed relationships. The Ethiopian Mekane Yesus Lutheran Church, however, has taken a stand that marriage is inherently between a man and a woman, and has formally broken fellowship with the ELCA, a doctrinal stand that has cost the Ethiopian church ELCA financial support. Conservative position Some mainline Protestant denominations, such as the African Methodist churches, the Reformed Church in America, and the Presbyterian Church in America have a conservative position on the subject. The Seventh-day Adventist Church "recognizes that every human being is valuable in the sight of God, and seeks to minister to all men and women [including homosexuals] in the spirit of Jesus," while maintaining that homosexual sex itself is forbidden in the Bible. "Jesus affirmed the dignity of all human beings and reached out compassionately to persons and families suffering the consequences of sin. He offered caring ministry and words of solace to struggling people, while differentiating His love for sinners from His clear teaching about sinful practices." The Anglican Church reassures people with same sex attraction they are loved by God and are welcomed as full members of the Body of Christ. The Church leadership has a variety of views in regard to homosexual expression and ordination. Some expressions of sexuality are considered sinful including "promiscuity, prostitution, incest, pornography, paedophilia, predatory sexual behaviour, and sadomasochism (all of which may be heterosexual and homosexual). The Church is concerned with pressures on young people to engage sexually and encourages abstinence. Most of the Anglican Communion does not approve of homosexual activity, with the exception of the Episcopal Church, the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, which is facing a possible exclusion from international Anglican bodies over the issue. Conservative Quakers, those within Friends United Meeting and the Evangelical Friends International believe that sexual relations are condoned only in marriage, which they define to be between a man and a woman. Confessional Lutheran churches teach that it is sinful to have homosexual desires, even if they do not lead to homosexual activity. The Doctrinal statement issued by the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod states that making a distinction between homosexual orientation and the act of homosexuality is confusing: However, confessional Lutherans also warn against selective morality which harshly condemns homosexuality while treating other sins more lightly. wikipedia.org
  15. The Orthodox Church shares a long history of Church teachings and canon law with the Catholic Church and has a similar conservative stance on homosexuality. Some Orthodox Church jurisdictions, such as the Orthodox Church in America, have taken the approach of welcoming people with "homosexual feelings and emotions," while encouraging them to work towards "overcoming its harmful effects in their lives," while not allowing the sacraments to people who seek to justify homosexual activity. Other Orthodox Churches, such as those in Eastern Europe and Greece, view homosexuality less favourably. The issue of gay marriage seems to be strongly rejected, even in Greece, where half of Orthodox Christians don't believe that homosexuality should be discouraged. wikipedia.org
  16. The Catholic Church teaches that those who are attracted to persons of the same sex are called to practice chastity, just like everyone else has to before they get married. The Catholic Church does not regard homosexual activity as an expression of the marital sacrament, which it teaches is only possible within a lifelong commitment of a marriage between a man and a woman. According to the Church's sexual ethics, homosexual activity falls short in the complementarity (male and female organs complement each other) and fecundity (openness to new life) of the sexual act. The views of the Catholic Church, which discourages individuals from acting on sexual desires that they believe to be sinful, and harmful to themselves and others, both physically and mentally. As yet there is no evidence the church is willing to bend on this issue, until then the evidence cited here demonstrates the Catholic Church is unaccepting of homosexual behavior, regardless of what pew studies of parishioners individual views may suggest. Whilst these suggest a growing trend of LGBT acceptance in some Catholic churches, it does however hide a darker picture. There are currently active Ministries which teach the doctrine and interpret the scripture, also point out the majority of the sex abuse in the church have been propagated by homosexuals, upon children of the same sex. The teachings of the Catholic Church on same-sex attraction are summarized in the Catechism:
  17. Christian denominations hold a variety of views on the issue of homosexual activity, ranging from outright condemnation to complete acceptance. Most Christian denominations welcome people attracted to the same sex, but teach that homosexual acts are sinful. These denominations include the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox church, the Oriental Orthodox churches, Confessional Lutheran denominations such as the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, the United Methodist Church, and some other mainline denominations, such as the Reformed Church in America and the American Baptist Church, as well as Conservative Evangelical organizations and churches, such as the Evangelical Alliance, and fundamentalist groups and churches, such as the Southern Baptist Convention. Pentecostal churches such as the Assemblies of God, as well as Restorationist churches, like Jehovah's Witnesses and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also take the position that homosexual sexual activity is sinful. Liberal Christians are supportive of homosexuals. Some Christian denominations do not view monogamous same sex relationships as bad or evil. These include the United Church of Canada, the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the churches of the Old Catholic Union of Utrecht, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, the Church of Sweden, the Lutheran, reformed and united churches in Evangelical Church of Germany, the Church of Denmark, the Icelandic Church, the Church of Norway and the Protestant Church of the Netherlands. In particular, the Metropolitan Community Church, a denomination of 40,000 members, was founded specifically to serve the Christian LGBT community, and is devoted to being open and affirming to LGBT people. The United Church of Christ and the Alliance of Baptists also condone gay marriage, and some parts of the Anglican and Lutheran churches allow for the blessing of gay unions. Within the Anglican communion there are openly gay clergy; for example, Gene Robinson and Mary Glasspool are openly homosexual bishops in the US Episcopal Church and Eva Brunne in Lutheran Church of Sweden. The Episcopal Church's recent actions vis-a-vis homosexuality have brought about increased ethical debate and tension within the Church of England and worldwide Anglican churches. In the United States and many other nations, the religious people are becoming more affirming of same-sex relationships. Even those in denominations with official stances are liberalizing, though not as quickly as those in more affirming religious groups. Passages from the Mosaic Covenant and its broader Old Testament context have been interpreted to mean that anyone who is engaging in homosexual practices should be punished with death (Leviticus 20:13; cf. Genesis 19:4-25; Judges 19:22-20:48; 2 Peter 2:6-10; Jude 7). HIV/AIDS has also been portrayed by some Christian fundamentalists such as Fred Phelps and Jerry Falwell as a punishment by God against homosexuals. In the 20th century, theologians like Karl Barth, Jürgen Moltmann, Hans Küng, John Robinson, Bishop David Jenkins, Don Cupitt, Bishop Jack Spong challenged traditional theological positions and understandings of the Bible; following these developments some have suggested that passages have been mistranslated, are taken out of context, or that they do not refer to what we understand as "homosexuality." Conservative denominations generally oppose same-sex sexual relations based on Old Testament and New Testament texts that describe human sexual relations as strictly heterosexual by God's design (Genesis 2:18-24; 1:26-28; Matthew 19:4-6; 1 Corinthians 7:1–40; Ephesians 5:22–33), which God declared "very good" (Genesis 1:26-31). As such, it is argued that sexual desires and actions that contradict God's design are deemed sinful and are condemned by God (e.g. "and with a male you [singular masculine] shall not lie [sexually] as with a female, that is an abomination," Leviticus 18:22; cf. Leviticus 20:13). Since love does not rejoice in unrighteousness or iniquity (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:6), and since homosexual desires and actions are believed to remain contrary to God's design and condemned by God as sinful / iniquity (e.g. in general, Romans 1:26-27; passively, 1 Corinthians 6:9; actively, including but not limited to pederasty, 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:9-11; considered sexually immoral, Galatians 5:19-21; Colossians 3:5–7; Ephesians 5:3), adherents of conservative denominations believe that genuine love for God and humanity is best expressed by following God rather than the world (Acts 5:29; cf. Jeremiah 23:1–40; Romans 12:9). Where the Catholic view is founded on a natural law argument informed by scripture and proposed by Thomas Aquinas, the traditional conservative Protestant view is based on an interpretation of scripture alone. Protestant conservatives also see homosexual relationships as an impediment to heterosexual relationships. They interpret some Biblical passages to be commandments to be heterosexually married. Catholics, on the other hand, have accommodated unmarried people as priests, monks, nuns and single lay people for over a thousand years. A number of self-described gay and 'ex-gay' Christians have reported satisfaction in mixed-orientation marriages. wikipedia.org
  18. Abrahamic religions The Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, have traditionally forbidden sodomy, believing and teaching that such behavior is sinful. Today some denominations within these religions are accepting of homosexuality and inclusive of homosexual people, such as Reform Judaism, the United Church of Christ and the Metropolitan Community Church. Some Presbyterian and Anglican churches welcome members regardless of same-sex sexual practices, with some provinces allowing for the ordination and inclusion of gay and lesbian clerics, and affirmation of same-sex unions. Reform Judaism incorporates lesbian and gay rabbis and same-sex marriage liturgies, while Reconstructionist Judaism and Conservative Judaism in the US allows for lesbian and gay rabbis and same-sex unions. Judaism The Torah (first five books of the Hebrew Bible) is the primary source for Jewish views on homosexuality. It states that: "[A man] shall not lie with another man as [he would] with a woman, it is a תועבה toeba ("abomination")" (Leviticus 18:22). (Like many similar commandments, the stated punishment for willful violation is the death penalty, although in practice rabbinic Judaism no longer believes it has the authority to implement death penalties.) Orthodox Judaism views homosexual acts as sinful. In recent years, there has been approaches claiming only the sexual anal act is forbidden and considered abomination by the Torah, while the sexual orientation and even other sexual activities are not considered a sin. Conservative Judaism has engaged in an in-depth study of homosexuality since the 1990s with various rabbis presenting a wide array of responsa (papers with legal arguments) for communal consideration. The official position of the movement is to welcome homosexual Jews into their synagogues, and also campaign against any discrimination in civil law and public society, but also to uphold a ban on anal sex as a religious requirement. Reform Judaism and Reconstructionist Judaism in North America and Liberal Judaism in the United Kingdom view homosexuality to be acceptable on the same basis as heterosexuality. Progressive Jewish authorities believe either that traditional laws against homosexuality are no longer binding or that they are subject to changes that reflect a new understanding of human sexuality. Some of these authorities rely on modern biblical scholarship suggesting that the prohibition in the Torah was intended to ban coercive or ritualized homosexual sex, such as those practices ascribed to Egyptian and Canaanite fertility cults and temple prostitution. wikipedia.org
  19. Opposition to same-sex marriage and LGBT rights is often associated with conservative religious views. The American Family Association and other religious groups have promoted boycotts of corporations whose policies support the LGBT community. On the other hand, the Unitarian Universalist Association supports the freedom to marry and compares resistance to it to the resistance to abolition of slavery, women's suffrage, and the end of anti-miscegenation laws. Lesbians and gay men face particular problems in conservative Islamic nations where laws generally prohibit same-sex sexual behavior; where interpretation of Sharia Law on male homosexuality carries the death penalty this is quite a big problem for gay men, and this form of discrimination is seen as a breach of human rights by international human rights experts and human rights organisations such as Amnesty International; with the signature of the USA in 2009, the proposed UN declaration on LGBT rights has now been signed by every European secular state and all western nations, as well as others from South America and other countries around the world; 67 members of the UN have signed to date; there was an opposing statement put forward by Muslim nations, and this has been signed by 57 member states, the majority being in Africa and Asia. 68 out of the total 192 countries have not yet signed either statement. wikipedia.org
  20. According to a 2006 Australian survey, LGBT Australians, compared to the general Australian population, were much more likely to have no religious affiliation, much less likely to be affiliated with a Christian denomination, and more likely to be affiliated with a non-Christian religion. The distribution of religions that LGBT Australians were raised in, however, was similar to that of the general population. Men, particularly bisexual men, were more likely to be Christian and more likely to have stayed in the same religion. Lesbians were more likely to have left the religion they were raised in and be currently unaffiliated. A 2004 survey of LGB New Zealanders found that 73% had no religion, 14.8% were Christian and 2.2% were Buddhist. In contrast, in 2001 census the general New Zealand population reported 59.8% Christian and 29.2% no religion. When looking at change since 1966, LGB people are disaffiliating with Christianity at a rate 2.37 times the rate of the general population in New Zealand. In the survey 59.8% reported a belief in a spiritual force, god or gods; this differed significantly by gender, with 64.9% of women and 55.5% of men reporting such a belief. The Radical Faeries are a worldwide queer spiritual movement, founded in 1979 in the United States. Radical Faerie communities are generally inspired by aboriginal, native or traditional spiritualities, especially those that incorporate queer sensibilities. wikipedia.org
  21. The relationship between religion and homosexuality has varied greatly across time and place, within and between different religions and denominations, with regard to different forms of homosexuality and bisexuality. Generally speaking as well as by denomination, the present-day doctrines of the world's major religions vary vastly in their attitudes toward these sexual orientations. Among the religious denominations which generally oppose these orientations, there are many different types of actions which they may take: this can range from quietly discouraging homosexual activity, explicitly forbidding same-sex sexual practices among adherents and actively opposing social acceptance of homosexuality, to execution. Religious fundamentalism has been found to correlate positively with anti-homosexual bias. This is the case with common religiosity too, which typically predicts homophobic attitudes but has also been found to lead to physical antigay hostility, in a lab experiment. Religious opposition to gay adoption was found to be explained by collectivistic values (loyalty, authority, purity) and low flexibility in existential issues, and not by high prosocial inclinations for the weak. Attitudes toward homosexuality have been found to be determined not only by personal religious beliefs, but by the interaction of those beliefs with the predominant national religious context—even for people who are less religious or who do not share their local dominant religious context. Many argue that it is homosexual actions which are sinful, rather than same-sex attraction itself. To this end, some discourage labeling individuals according to sexual orientation. Several organizations exist that assert that conversion therapy can help diminish same-sex attraction. However, some adherents of many religions view the two sexual orientations positively, and some religious denominations may bless same-sex marriages and support LGBT rights, and the amount of those that do are continuously increasing around the world as much of the developed world enacts laws supporting LGBT rights. Historically, some cultures and religions accommodated, institutionalized, or revered, same-sex love and sexuality; such mythologies and traditions can be found around the world. The status on homosexuality in Hinduism is ambiguous. Hindu texts contain few specific references to same-sex relations, though some punish it. Ayoni sex which includes oral and anal sex never came to be viewed as much of a sin like in Christianity nor a serious crime and could be practiced in some cases. In 2009, the Hindu Council UK released the statement "Hinduism does not condemn homosexuality". Sikh wedding ceremonies are non-gender specific, and so same-sex marriage is possible within Sikhism. Regardless of their position on homosexuality, many people of faith look to both sacred texts and tradition for guidance on this issue. However, the authority of various traditions or scriptural passages and the correctness of translations and interpretations are continually disputed. wikipedia.org
  22. A Florida man known for spouting conspiracy theories and racist rhetoric lumped pedophiles in with LGBTQ people in testimony before a state House committee Tuesday and was promptly shut down by the committee chair. Greg Pound was testifying before the Florida House Appropriations Committee, which was debating over a state voucher program that provides scholarships for students to attend private schools. The program has come under scrutiny lately because of an Orlando Sentinel investigation that found scholarship money going to schools with anti-LGBTQ policies. “Just a real quick question on the alphabet there,” Pound said, as documented in a video from the news service Storyful. “The L is for lesbians, the G is for gay, B is for bisexual, T is for transgender, Q is queer, and then P would be pedophile. Now, let me ask you this … where do these people get their children?” The committee chair, Republican Rep. Travis Cummings, quickly responded, “Your testimony is ended.” When Pound asked on what grounds Cummings was basing that decision, Cummings replied, “On what grounds? What’s come right out of your mouth. It’s offensive.” He then had the sergeant at arms remove Pound. Pound, a frequent commenter at state legislative proceedings, “has something unhinged to say on virtually every bill,” Florida Politics reports. He often denigrates LGBTQ people and Muslims, and he embraces various conspiracy theories. At a December subcommittee hearing on funding for pre-kindergarten education, Pound “claimed boys are molested more often than girls” and went off on a tangent about the importance of abstaining from sex outside marriage, according to an earlier Florida Politics story. The subcommittee’s chair shut him down then. And testifying in favor of an anti-abortion bill in 2016, “Pound seemed to be saying in his public comments that abortion was endangering white culture,” the site notes. The House Appropriations Committee did vote Tuesday to advance legislation expanding the voucher program, as did a Senate committee, the News Service of Florida reports. The full House and Senate will now consider the bills. Cummings, however, won bipartisan praise for cutting off Pound, including from Democratic Reps. Carlos Guillermo Smith, who is gay, and Anna Eskamani, an ally. advocate.com
  23. February was Black History Month and March is Bisexual Health Awareness Month, as well as Women’s History Month. As an out-and-proud Black bi femme, I reclaim February and March as Black Bi Women’s History and Health months. I use these two months to celebrate my existence and that of those like me, whose identities don’t fit neatly into the prescribed commemorative months and are often overlooked the rest of the year. The realities of our lives are often overlooked because of myths about what being bi or a woman or Black actually look like – one being that Black bi women like me don’t need access to abortion. Not all people who have abortions identify as heterosexual women. Bisexual women, our transgender siblings, nonbinary folks, our agender family, and so many other people also have abortions. In conversations about reproductive rights, the needs of LGBTQ+ people are often erased despite the fact that we face even greater barriers to getting the reproductive health care we need. I need access to the same exact reproductive healthcare that cisgender heterosexual women need. I need access to birth control, testing for sexually-transmitted infections, abortion, and culturally competent providers who understand my sexuality and my life, ones that will ensure that I get to lead the conversation during a doctor’s visit and encourage me to ask for what I need instead of making uninformed assumptions. Seeing a healthcare provider is too often something LGBTQ+ people avoid, and for understandable reasons. Sexual and reproductive healthcare have long been fields in which either our identities are ignored and we are assumed to be non-queer, or stereotypes and assumptions about our community kick in and our needs are left unaddressed. In either scenario, we are receiving substandard care. The barriers don’t end there. LGBTQ+ people are also more likely than non-LGBTQ+ people to be poor. This leads to having fewer resources to overcome the legal restrictions that can push a procedure like abortion out of reach, such as bans on insurance coverage that disproportionately harder for people with low incomes. The Hyde Amendment, first passed in 1976, bans coverage of abortion for women enrolled in Medicaid health insurance. Former U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde, whom the restriction is named after, once said, “I certainly would like to prevent, if I could legally, anybody having an abortion — a rich woman, a middle-class woman, or a poor woman … Unfortunately, the only vehicle is the [Medicaid] bill.” Over the years, the ban has been extended to coverage for federal employees and their dependents, people who get their insurance through other government programs, including Native Americans, and immigrants in federal detention centers. It forces people to pay for abortion care out-of-pocket, which can be an impossible obstacle for LGBTQ+ people experiencing poverty. This interferes with one of the most important decisions anyone can make and even forces one in four poor women to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. For far too long, cishet, white, middle-to-upper class women have been centered in the abortion and reproductive rights, and the ones whose ability to get care is the least in question. We must end that. It’s time to make access a reality for all of us. This week, a bicameral badass band of women of color in Congress introduced the EACH Woman Act, which brings us one step closer to affordable abortion care for all by ensuring insurance coverage for every woman, transgender, and gender non-conforming person. This introduction is revolutionary, not only because women of color are leading the effort, including Rep. Barbara Lee and Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Sen. Mazie Hirono, and Sen. Kamala Harris, but because this legislation centers the people most marginalized by society – poor people, people of color, and LGBTQ+ people. This bill aims to get rid of the horrific Hyde Amendment once and for all. We know that introducing a single piece of legislation will not liberate us, but working towards the passage of the EACH Woman Act changes the conversation around abortion. The law is so often decades or centuries behind culture and it very seldom is able to represent all of our intersections. The fight to make abortion accessible to all is a queer fight and the more we center queer voices and experiences, the more we will be free. advocate.com
  24. Today (4 march 2020), the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a pivotal abortion case that could decide the future of abortion access in this country. Since 2011, state and federal legislators have waged an unprecedented attack on safe, legal abortion, enacting more than 450 state laws that restrict abortion access. Twenty-five abortion bans have passed just in the past year and the Supreme Court case out of Louisiana would create unnecessary obstacles, drastically limiting the number of doctors who could perform the procedure, and by extension the number of people who can undergo it. Abortion access is on the line. But this is not just an attack on women, this is also an attack on the rights of people like me. I am nonbinary and trans, and when I was 26, I found out I was pregnant. At the time, I didn’t know any other trans people who’d had an abortion, causing me to feel really alone. It was only when I started to share my experience within my trans community that I learned having an abortion as a trans person was not as uncommon as I thought. The extremely gendered experience of being pregnant and having an abortion was difficult. The paperwork I had to fill out and the brochures I received were gendered — even the ones meant to be empowering. There was no understanding of my identity, no box for me to check. When it came to my care, it was refreshing when some of the staff were respectful of my identity and pronouns. Others were less so, and one even used my deadname because she saw the wrong name on the medical chart, and not the note that had my actual name. It was an accident and she apologized when she realized, but it still hurt. I knew being pregnant didn’t make me a woman, but societal messaging around pregnancy is so gendered that being surrounded by it led me to experience some gender dysphoria. This messaging extends to conversations around abortion. Until I learned the experience was not uncommon, I found myself completely disconnecting from it in order to survive. As a result, I needed to make sure other people like me didn't feel isolated, and for all people to recognize that nonbinary and trans people were also part of this fight to protect abortion access. That's why I decided to be a part of Planned Parenthood and We Testify’s project, “Ours to Tell,” a short film that showcases the abortion stories we very rarely see — including abortion stories like mine. My freedom — and everyone's freedom to plan our futures, including if and when to have children, — is key to my success and self-fulfillment. It is not an exaggeration to say that my abortion saved my life. Conversley, implementing new guidelines that would aggressively curtail the number of doctors who can perform the procedure — NPR reports that only one clinic and one abortion doctor in the state of Louisiana would qualify were the law allowed to go into effect — would cost lives. This freedom cannot, and should not, be afforded to only a privileged few. While abortion is now legal, access to it and access to healthcare in general has always been out of reach for many LGBTQ+ people due to medical bias and discrimination. I’ve experienced this firsthand. Time and time again, I have found myself giving my own doctors a trans 101 lesson. Health providers constantly misgender me during vulnerable treatments and exams. I’ve been too afraid to share my symptoms with doctors for fear their transphobia would negatively impact my care. I’ve had providers refer to sex that I was having as heterosexual because I have a vagina and my partner at the time had a penis, invalidating both of our genders since neither of us was male. If access to abortion is curtailed, those who identify as LGBTQ+ will be among the first shut out, particularly in this political climate. All abortion restrictions disproportionately impact people of color, so LGBTQ+ people of color will be particularly vulnerable. The Trump-Pence administration has been systematically stripping LGBTQ+ people of their right to healthcare over the last few years by trying to roll back non-discrimination protection in the Affordable Care Act and issuing a far-reaching Department of Health and Human Services rule that would allow healthcare workers to deny patients’ access to care and information based on their personal beliefs. In this scenario, a transgender person could be turned away while seeking emergency care. This is unconscionable. LGBTQ+ rights and reproductive rights are both rooted in the conviction that we control our own bodies; we decide what our families look like; and we should make our own healthcare decisions. As we continue to fight to protect the access to abortion most privileged cis women have, we must also fight to expand access for everyone. I want trans people to know that being pregnant — or needing or wanting an abortion — doesn’t invalidate your gender. Being pregnant doesn’t make you a woman; having an abortion doesn’t make you a woman. As we continue this fight and await the decision of the Supreme Court, I urge you not to forget about folks like me and the many other people — not just women — for whom abortion has either been a lifeline or remains entirely out of reach. Fight for all of us. advocate.com
  25. A rainbow wave may be hitting Texas. Gina Ortiz Jones, a lesbian who narrowly lost a congressional race to Republican U.S. Rep. Will Hurd in 2018, has again won the Democratic nomination in her district — and with Hurd’s retirement, she won’t be facing an incumbent. Meanwhile, four LGBTQ state representative candidates who aren’t incumbents won their primaries Tuesday, as did all five incumbent LGBTQ state reps. They’re all Democrats and could help flip the Texas House of Representatives to the Dems in November. Jones, a Filipina-American and an Iraq War veteran, bested four competitors for the Democratic nomination in southwest Texas’s 23rd Congressional District, which stretches covers a broad swath of the state between San Antonio and El Paso. The Republican nomination remains up for grabs; nine candidates are vying for it. Jones has the endorsement of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, whose president and CEO, Annise Parker, released this statement: “Texans have never sent an openly LGBTQ person to represent them in Congress, but I am confident Gina will end that come November. Gina speaks openly and eloquently about her experiences and perspectives as an LGBTQ woman, first-generation immigrant and a veteran, and that authenticity resonates with voters. Gina’s primary victory puts a crack in the lavender ceiling that has held back LGBTQ Congressional candidates in Texas for generations — and that ceiling will shatter on Election Night. We have an opportunity to double the number of openly LGBTQ members of Congress this election cycle and Gina’s primary victory makes it that much more likely.” In races for the state House, LGBTQ nonincumbents Madeline Eden, Eric Holguin, Ann Johnson, and Eliz Markowitz won their primaries, as did incumbent LGBTQ state Reps. Julie Johnson, Erin Zwierner, Jessica González, Mary González, and Celia Israel. Holguin, Ann Johnson, and Markowitz are in swing districts that could be key pickups for Democrats this fall. Julie Johnson and Zwierner are also in swing districts, important for the Dems retain. “Texas is witnessing a rainbow revolution, with openly LGBTQ candidates winning key swing districts that can determine the fate of the state House come November,” said Parker, a former mayor of Houston. “We remain one of the most homophobic and transphobic state legislatures in the nation, in terms of the number of anti-LGBTQ bills put forward, and the best remedy for that nonsense is to elect more LGBTQ leaders who will stand up to the bigotry and hatred. The women of the LGBTQ caucus are changing the hearts and minds of their legislative colleagues every day, but they need backup. We have the opportunity to nearly double the number of openly LGBTQ state legislators — and that would be transformative.” advocate.com
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