LGBT Support Group Resources
A Common Bond
began: San Francisco group began in 1994
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “Affirmation is a fellowship of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, their family and friends who share the common bond of the Mormon experience. Its purpose is to provide a supportive environment for relieving the needless fear, guilt, self-oppression and isolation that LDS gays and lesbians can experience in an era where willful ignorance about human sexuality is too often a reality. We believe that a same-gender orientation and same-gender relationships can be consistent with and supported by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We affirm that we are children of Heavenly Parents who love us the way they created us and will judge us, as they do all, based on what we make of our lives here and how we have treated our sisters and brothers.
began: Mid-1977 informal group met at BYU, 1979 became a national organization.
History: Al-Fatiha began as an email discussion group then developed into several face-to-face chapters and now also hosts annual international conferences for its members.
Association of Welcoming &
Relationship to organized tradition: “As cooperating churches within the ABCUSA, W&A churches seek to abide by the Common Criteria for Cooperating Churches as listed in the Covenant of Relationships. Nothing in this Covenant requires individual churches to abide by the majority opinion, whether expressed regionally or nationally, on matters of mission, theological understanding, or biblical interpretation. In fact, many W&A congregations feel a deep sense of calling to be a prophetic voice for justice, calling the church to accountability and action wherever there is exclusion and oppression of any of God's children.” Quoted from the Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists’ web site December 2002. In September of 2002, American Baptists Concerned (see below) and AWAB decided to unify under one governing body.
Axios: Eastern and Orthodox Gay
and Lesbian Christians
Date began: 1995
History: Advocacy group which organized out of All Saints Episcopal Church Pasadena, CA around the defense of Bishop Walter Righter who was charged 1995 with heresy for ordaining an openly gay man in a committed relationship. The organization has continued to promote its cause at conferences and at the national gatherings (General Convention) of the Episcopal Church.
Relationship to organized tradition: Beyond Inclusion is not an official organization of the Episcopal Church. There are a number of other similar organizations providing support within the Episcopal and Anglican tradition sponsored by local congregations or dioceses. These groups include: The Oasis site by the Diocese of Newark, NJ http://theoasis.dioceseofnewark.org/, and The Oasis site of the Diocese of California www.oasiscalifornia.org/.
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “Dignity/USA envisions and works for a time when Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Catholics are affirmed and experience dignity through the integration of their spirituality with their sexuality, and as beloved persons of God participate fully in all aspects of life within the Church and Society.” Quoted for Dignity’s web site, For the full text of Dignity’s statement see http://www.dignityusa.org/purpose
Date began: 1969, official organization 1973
Size: Membership - 3000
History: “Dignity/USA is the oldest and largest national lay movement of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) Catholics, our families, and our friends. Begun in 1969 in San Diego under the leadership of Fr. Patrick Nidorf, OSA, first as a counseling group and then a support group in Los Angeles, Dignity/USA has been a national organization since 1973. An independent nonprofit group, our national office is in Washington, DC, with chapters located throughout the United States. In local chapters, we worship openly with other GLBT and supportive Catholics, socialize, share personal and spiritual concerns, and work together on educational and justice issues. Members gather at periodic regional meetings and biennial national conventions.” Quoted from the Dignity web site.
to organized tradition:
In a 1986 letter and in a subsequent 1992 letter, however, the Vatican took a more hard-line position against homosexuality and instructed all Bishops to remove their support of same-sex groups within the Catholic Church, namely Dignity. Many of Dignity’s chapters were expelled from Catholic churches as a result, although a few still meet on Church property.
Throughout its history Dignity has had to wrestle with the tension between remaining a marginalized participant within the Catholic community, especially worldwide, and working to establish its own independent religious institution. With the recent actions of the Vatican, this tension remains.
Methodists For Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Concerns
Date began: 1976
Relationship to organized tradition: Affirmation is an independent, not-for-profit organization with no official ties to The United Methodist Church. Affirmation is entirely supported by contributions from interested individuals and receives no support from any official body of The United Methodist Church. It attempts to promote its agenda at the national meetings of the UMC (General Conference, meeting every 4 years). The organization has an email newsletter and organized “Covenant Relationships Network” (CORNET) www.umaffirm.org/cornet/, an Internet-based organization that provides information and strategies for those engaged in the issue of same-sex commitment ceremonies. The group was also instrumental in creating the Reconciling Ministries Network www.rmnetwork.org (see below), which is a large organization of hundreds of congregations and other groups and thousands of individual Reconciling United Methodists.
Name: Reconciling Ministries Network
family: United Methodist Church
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “Reconciling Ministries Network is a national grassroots organization that exists to enable full participation of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in the life of the United Methodist Church, both in policy and practice.”
Name: Brethren Mennonite Council for Lesbian and Gay Concerns
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “Our objectives are: To provide support for Mennonite and Church of the Brethren gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual people, their friends and families; To foster dialogue between gay and non-gay people in churches; To provide accurate information about homosexuality from the social sciences, biblical studies, and theology. BMC supports all people as they seek to know God's will for their lives, including those open to same-sex relationships, those seeking a life of celibacy, and those exploring questions of sexual orientation. We also believe that God does celebrate the love shared in same-sex relationships.” Quoted from the Brethren Mennonite Council web site, December 2002.
Relationship to organized tradition: The Brethren Mennonite Council is not affiliated with the Brethren or Mennonite Church denominations. The group maintains a magazine, a newsletter, an electronic newsletter, a discussion forum listserve, a biennial convention and networks for parents, college age adults and supportive congregations.
Relationship to organized tradition: Although Lutherans Concerned is an independent membership organization that is supported entirely by donations and member contributions, in the fall of 2002 the Board of Directors of the Division for Outreach passed a resolution which establishes a formal relationship between Lutherans Concerned and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Lutherans Concerned also host several listserves on the web site and in 1984 started the Reconciling in Christ program to recognize Lutheran congregations which welcome lesbian and gay believers. Another resource group for Lutherans called Lutheran Lesbian and Gay Ministries has recently formed and can be found at www.llgm.org.
Name: More Light Presbyterians
family: Presbyterian Church, USA
History: “Since 1974, More Light Presbyterians and its predecessor organizations have been working to transform the church into a true community of hospitality. As we engage in bible study, dialogue, personal sharing and debate, MLP keeps before congregations, presbyteries and General Assembly, the vision of a truly inclusive church.” Quoted from the More Light Presbyterians web site December 2002.
A listing of additional Presybterian groups working for greater inclusivity in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) can be found at the web site at http://www.mlp.org/links.php Additional resources can be found at Presbyterian Parents of Gays and Lesbians at www.presbyterianparents.org/
family: Episcopal Church
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “Integrity is a nonprofit organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trangender [GLBT] Episcopalians and our straight friends. Since our founding by Dr. Louie Crew in rural Georgia in 1974, Integrity has been the leading grassroots voice for the full inclusion of GLBT persons in the Episcopal Church and our equal access to its rites. However, advocacy is only one facet of our ministry. At the national level and in local chapters and diocesan networks throughout the country, the primary activities are: worship, fellowship, education, communication, outreach, and service to the church. Through Integrity's evangelism, thousands of GLBT people, estranged from the Episcopal Church and other denominations, have returned to parish life.” Quoted from the Integrity web site December 2002.
Date began: 1974
Size: Affiliated groups or chapters – 52 local chapters, 3 congregational circles, 27 diocesan networks and 46 official Integrity partners
Relationship to organized tradition: Integrity is a nonprofit organization with no official tie to the Episcopal Church. Other groups within the Episcopal and Anglican tradition include The Oasis site by the Diocese of Newark, NJ http://theoasis.dioceseofnewark.org/, the Alliance of Lesbian and Gay Anglicans www.alga.org/, and The Oasis site of the Diocese of California www.oasiscalifornia.org/.
Name: Friends for Lesbian and Gay Concerns
family: Quakers/Religious Society of
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “FLGC is a Quaker faith community within the Religious Society of Friends. FLGC deeply honors, affirms, and upholds that of God in all people—lesbian, gay, bisexual, heterosexual, transgender, and transsexual. It is our hope to offer an oasis to those who have been spurned by the world at large…. We are learning that radical inclusion and radical love bring further light to Quaker testimony and life. Our experience with oppression in our own lives leads us to seek ways to bring our witness to bear in the struggles of other oppressed peoples.” Quoted from the FLGC web site December 2002.
History: “FLGC (historically "Friends for Lesbian and Gay Concerns") is a North American Quaker faith community that affirms that of God in all people -- lesbian, gay, bisexual, heterosexual, transgendered, and transsexual. Gathering twice yearly for worship and play, we draw sustenance from each other and from the Spirit for our work and life in the world. We are learning that radical inclusion and radical love bring further light to Quaker testimony and life..” Quoted from the FLGC web site December 2002.
Relationship to organized tradition: The Friends for Lesbian and Gay Concerns is an affiliated organization with the Society of Friends. The organization hosts several gatherings throughout the year and individual meetings around the country. They also publish a newsletter and a listserve.
Statement of Purpose/Vision: Q-Light is a discussion group list for queer (lesbian, gay male, bisexual, transgendered, transsexual or questioning) Quakers and interested guests to discuss issues relating to being queer, being a Friend (Quaker), and the intersection thereof. Discussion will be respectful and non homo-/bi-/transphobic. Q-Light is for all Friends and thus we endeavour to respect all those who call themselves Friends, without regard to their beliefs or branch of the Society of Friends. 263 members in the discussion list
The American Friends Service Committee has worked for decades for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered human/civil rights and recognition. http://afsc.org/
Name: American Baptists Concerned/Rainbow Baptists
family: American Baptists
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “The purpose of American Baptists Concerned is to unite sexual minority people and their families and friends within the ABC/USA for mutual assistance, education, support and communication. To this end we cooperate with other ABC groups, as well as groups affiliated with other denominations, in tasks of mutual interest. American Baptists Concerned for Sexual Minorities is a support, education and advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Baptists. We are an affirming and inclusive organization that also provide support and resources to families and friends of sexual minority Baptists, churches and clergy.” Quoted from the American Baptists Concerned web site December 2002.
Date began: 1972
Size: Affiliated groups or chapters – 8 chapters
History: “American Baptists Concerned has been a voice for justice on behalf of sexual minority American Baptists since 1972. Although our primarily outreach is to American Baptists, our support, fellowship and membership is offered to ALL. We invite you to learn more about American Baptists Concerned and Rainbow Baptists.” Quoted from the American Baptists Concerned web site December 2002.
Name: Emergence International
family: Christian Science
Mailing address: P.O. Box 26237, Phoenix, AZ 85068-6237
Phone: (800) 280-6653
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “Emergence International (EI) is a world-wide community of Christian Scientists, their families and friends, that provides spiritual and educational support for lesbians, gay men, and bisexual and transgendered people, as they deal with homophobia and hetrosexism. EI honors the integrity of individual growth through the leadership of Mary Baker Eddy in her writings, and by fellowship with similarly-minded Christian Scientists.” Quoted from the Emergence International web site December 2002.
Date began: 1979
Size: Membership – Emergence International has members in many cities and towns in most states in the US, as well as in Canada, Mexico, South America, Australia, Germany, England, Spain, and the Middle East. They also have a listing of Gay-friendly Christian Science practitioners, teachers, and nurses from which they make referrals.
Relationship to organized tradition: Emergence International is not affiliated with and is not recognized by the Christian Science. EI provides both an electronic newsletter and a print journal, they host an annual conference and have a listserve which can be subscribed to at their web site.
Name: Evangelicals Concerned
family: Evangelical Christian
information: www.ecinc.org www.ecwr.org
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “Evangelicals Concerned, founded as a grass roots volunteer organization, is a non-denominational evangelical resource providing a community of fellowship that is a safe place for gay and lesbian Christians to reconcile and integrate their faith and sexuality, and to grow toward Christian maturity. E.C. is highly visible, easily accessible, financially stable, geographically diverse, and open and affirming to all who embrace the Christian faith regardless of sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, or church membership. Through conferences, retreats, local groups, bible studies, resource materials, education, leadership training, and personal support, E.C. serves as a role model to all evangelicals (gay or straight), to foster an integrated and healthy gay/lesbian Christian life. In realizing its mission, E.C. provides organizational outreach so that no gay or lesbian Christian will disown their faith or suffer unnecessarily because of who they are.” Quoted from the Evangelicals Concerned web site December 2002.
Date began: 1975
Size: Affiliated groups or chapters – 21 groups
The Evangelical Network
Affiliation/tradition/religious family: Evangelical Christian
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “The Evangelical Network (T-E-N) is a network of Bible believing churches, ministries, Christian workers and individuals bound together by a common shared faith, united in purpose and witness and established as a positive resource and support for Christian gays and lesbians.” Quoted from the Evangelical Network web site December 2002.
Size: 12 affiliated groups or churches-
Relationship to organized tradition: The Evangelicals Network is an independent organization with no affiliation ties to any Evangelical Christian denomination.
Name: GLAD Alliance
family: The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “The Gay, Lesbian and Affirming Disciples Alliance, Inc., is a presence working for the full dignity and integrity of gay, lesbian, bisexual and affirming people within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). GLAD Alliance welcomes all who make common cause with us and conducts its activities through the congregations, regions and general agencies and bodies of the Disciples of Christ. Communications with members and friends are carried on through two quarterly publications, Crossbeams and Crosscurrents, and periodic mailings. .” Quoted from the GLAD Alliance web site December 2002.
Size: Affiliated groups or chapters – 8 area chapters, 17 regional contacts and 53 listed “open and affirming” congregations
Name: GALA (Gay And Lesbian Acceptance)
family: Community of Christ
(formerly Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints)
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “GALA is a safe place for homosexual, bisexual and transgendered persons, and their loved ones to join together and experience spiritual growth as they share sorrow and joy. We publish a quarterly newsletter; support regional retreats and workshops; send representatives to speak at RLDS jurisdictional and World Church gatherings; and sponsor an annual international retreat. We feel we are on a journey of spiritual growth that has brought us to the point of confronting issues of acceptance, prejudice, and justice for all persons alienated by society and organized religions, particularly people of different sexual (affectionate) orientations. Together, we continue to learn, share, and expand our understanding of the world and Christ's love for each one of us.” Quoted from the GALA web site December 2002.
Date began: 1987
Size: GALA has over 500 supporters.
History: “In the mid 1980's a group of gay members of the Community of Christ began meeting together in the Kansas City, MO area for fellowship, support, and worship. In 1987, a retreat was held at Camp Manitou in Michigan where GALA was formally organized with the adoption of bylaws and the election of officers. GALA established a safe place for homosexual people and their loved ones to join together and experience spiritual growth as they shared sorrow and joy. GALA has grown to over 500 supporters in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe. We publish a quarterly newsletter; support regional retreats and workshops; send representatives to speak at Community of Christ jurisdictional and World Church gatherings; and sponsor an annual International Retreat.” Quoted from the GALA web site December 2002.
Name: Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International
family: Seventh-day Adventist
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International is a support organization devoted to the spiritual, emotional, social and physical well-being of current and former Seventh-day Adventists who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered (LGBT). We believe all are created in the image of God and that no one should be mistreated or discriminated against because of their sexual orientation differences. Kinship is a volunteer organization that champions human rights for all people.” Quoted from the Kinship web site December 2002.
Date began: 1976
Size: Many regional and international groups and over 1000 members worldwide.
Affiliation/tradition/religious family: Orthodox Judaism
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “The purpose of this site is to provide a home on the Internet for Orthodox Gay Jewish Men. At present, there are only a few groups around the world for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered [GLBT] Orthodox Jews, and only one, of which we are aware, for men only.” Quoted from the OrthoGays web site December 2002.
Relationship to organized tradition: The OrthoGays web site is an independent web-based reality. Additional resources can be found on the web site Frum Gay Jews at http://frumgayjew.blogspot.com/ and at the Internet directory of Twice Blessed: The Jewish GLBT Archives Online at http://www.onearchives.org/twiceblessed/index.html .
Affiliation/tradition/religious family: Orthodox Judaism
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “The purpose of this site is to provide a home on the Internet for Orthodox Gay Jewish Women. The group also supports a listserve.
Relationship to organized tradition: The OrthoDykes web site is an independent web-based reality.
Name: United Church of Christ Coalition for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns
family: United Church of Christ
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “The Coalition provides support and sanctuary to all our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered sisters and brothers, their families and friends, advocates for their full inclusion in church and society; brings Christ’s affirming message of love and justice for all people.” Quoted from the Coalition web site December 2002.
Size: Over 500 Open and Affirming congregations in the United States.
Name: Interweave, Unitarian Universalists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Concerns
family: Unitarian Universalist Association
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “Interweave is a membership organization affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association, dedicated to the spiritual, political, and social well-being of Unitarian Universalists who are confronting oppression as lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender persons, and their heterosexual allies; and facilitates the celebration of the culture and lives of its members. .” Quoted from the Interweave web site December 2002.
Affiliated groups or chapters – 26 Interweave chapters. There are also 359 “welcoming congregations” within the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Relationship to organized tradition: Interweave is a membership organization affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). The UUA “has been on record as supporting the rights of bisexual, gay, and lesbian people since 1970. The Office [of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Concerns] was formed in 1973. We have advocated against sodomy laws and job and housing discrimination. We have advocated for ceremonies of union and same-gender marriage, the right to serve in the military, the right to lead congregations as ministers and religious professionals, and the right to be parents. We are now on record as supporting the rights of transgender people.” Quoted from the Office of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Concerns web site December 2002. The Office has a web site full of excellent resources at http://www.uua.org/directory/staff/multiculturalgrowth/lesbiangay/.
Affiliation/tradition/religious family: General Spirituality
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “Q-Spirit is a strategic organization catalyzing the necessary conditions for queer people to fully claim our spiritual roles of service, leadership and community enrichment in the world.” Quoted from the Q-Spirit web site December 2002.
Date began: 1995
Size: Over 2500 receive Q-Spirit’s newsletter.
History: “Originally founded by as Berdache, a spirituality group for gay men, it evolved from longings deep within the gay community for a forum to facilitate their spiritual evolution. In June 1995 the first meeting attracted 40 men….The group continued to evolve. In January 1997, the name was formally changed to Q-Spirit, a name which reflects a commitment to the inclusion of women and to honoring all spiritual traditions.” Quoted from the Q-Sprit web site December 2002.
Relationship to organized tradition: Q-Spirit is an independent organization. The efforts of Q-Spirit includes a newsletter, Techno-Rituals (drug and alcohol-free dance/celebrations involving music, dance, rituals, guided meditative and interactive process, chanting, drumming, and artistic performances, Discussion groups, retreats, and spiritually-based events, programs and activities.
Name: Rainbow Wind
Affiliation/tradition/religious family: Pagan Spirituality
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “Rainbow Wind is an Internet resource for Lesbigay Pagans and their friends. It was formed in the summer of 1995 as a response to three needs: 1) the need of Pagans to develop a greater sense of connectedness with the Pagans community, 2) the need to define the frequently undefined role of Lesbigays and trangendered people in Paganism, and 3) the need to respond to the wave of attacks on Lesbigays, TGs, and Pagans by the radical Christian fundamentalists who have gained great influence over both the Republican and Democrat parties.” Quoted from the Rainbow Wind web site December 2002.
Date began: 1995
Relationship to organized tradition: The Rainbow Wind web site is an independent web-based reality. They support an online discussion group and provide links to other LGBT pagan sites.
Affiliation/tradition/religious family: Christian
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “The purpose of christianlesbians.com is three-fold: To proclaim the Good News of Jesus and God's unconditional and abiding love for all people. To offer information and resources for those women who are presently struggling to reconcile their faith and sexuality and to let them know that God need not be forsaken simply because of their sexual orientation. God has definitely not forsaken you! To create a circle of fellowship and support for Christian Lesbians, many of whom feel isolated by living in "the closet" or from having experienced rejection from family, friends and their own church community.” Quoted from the ChristianLesbians web site December 2002.
Date began: 1994
Relationship to organized tradition: The ChristianLesbians web site is an independent web-based reality. The site offers a chatroom, a discussion board, a listserve, a guest book and numerous links.
Name: TransFaith On-line
Affiliation/tradition/religious family: Spiritual/Christian
Statement of Purpose/Vision:”TransFolk carry a sacred wisdom within -- it is OtherWise and invites each of us to be transformed. This OtherWise knows the Both-And and also the In-Between. It speaks prophetically and powerfully to a world which is divided against itself. TransFaith on-line is dedicated to educating churchfolk about TransFaith, TransFolk, and OtherWisdom supporting Transfolk in our sacred role as OtherWise nurturing the expression of the sacred OtherWise. TransFaith on-line seeks to be inclusive of Transexuals, Intersexuals, Crossdressers, Transvestites, and all other Transgendered individuals however they may be defined. TransFaith on-line seeks to be inclusive of all spiritual traditions and orientation -- while placing a particular emphasis on support and education within the Christian tradition and Christian communities.” Quoted from the TransFaith web site December 2002.
Relationship to organized tradition: The TransFaith web site is an independent web-based reality. The site offers many resources including numerous online writings and links to additional information.
Name: Lesbian Messianics
Affiliation/tradition/religious family: Messianic Jewish Christians
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “What is a lesbian Messianic? ‘Messianic’ is short for Messianic Jew (MJ), a denomination of Protestant Christianity… Though I talk about lesbians, really this is a place of worship, fellowship, and prayer for anyone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, straight, or questioning.” Quoted from the Lesbian Messianics web site December 2002.
Relationship to organized tradition: The Lesbian Messianics web site is an independent web-based reality with no ties to any Messianic Denomination. The site offers a discussion board, a guest book, numerous links and extensive information.
Name: Gay Lesbian Arabic Society
Affiliation/tradition/religious family: Muslim
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “We are the Gay and Lesbian Arabic Society (GLAS), an international organization established in 1988 in the USA with worldwide chapters. We serve as a networking organization for Gays and Lesbians of Arab descent or those living in Arab countries. We aim to promote positive images of Gays and Lesbians in Arab communities worldwide, in addition to combating negative portrayals of Arabs within the Gay and Lesbian community. We also provide a support network for our members while fighting for our human rights wherever they are oppressed. We are part of the global Gay and Lesbian movement seeking an end to injustice and discrimination based on sexual orientation.” Quoted from the Gay and Lesbian Arabic Society web site December 2002.
Date began: 1988
Size: Affiliated groups or chapters – 4 chapters worldwide
Relationship to organized tradition: The Gay and Lesbian Arabic Society is an independent entity. Several other organizations are hosted on the same web site including Lazeeza, the Arab Lesbian Group at www.glas.org/lazeeza.html and Ahbab, the online community for Queer Arabs worldwide http://glas.org/ahbab/. There are a number of other LGBT Islamic sites offering support to Muslims from different parts of the world such as the Queer Muslims www.angelfire.com/ca2/queermuslims/ , Assyrian Gay and Lesbian Forum http://pw2.netcom.com/~out/index.html .
Affiliation/tradition/religious family: Judaism
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “GayJews.Org is committed to providing up to date, accurate information for Orthodox Jews who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. We have links to all other frum GLBT content here on the web as well as a number of features of our own. We hope you enjoy visiting our site and will come again soon. Also, please remember, you are not alone. You are not the only one who feels this way and we're here for you.” Quoted from the GayJew web site December 2002.
Relationship to organized tradition: The GayJews web site is an independent web-based reality. The site offers many resources including a discussion board, listserve and chatroom, online writings and links to additional information.
The Reform branch of Judaism has had a long history of openness to and acceptance of gays and lesbians. See the web page of the Committee on Gay and Lesbian Inclusion of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations at http://urj.org/jfc/inclusion/gaylesbian/ for more information.
Name: The World Congress of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Jews: Keshet Ga'avah
Affiliation/tradition/religious family: Judaism
Statement of Purpose/Vision:”Our vision is an environment where Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Jews worldwide can enjoy free and fulfilling lives. In support of our vision, our goals are: To be the worldwide voice of LGBT Jews; To support, inspire, and strengthen local groups; To foster a sense of community among diverse individuals and organizations; To achieve equality and security for LGBT Jews worldwide. To achieve our goals, we value: Diversity among groups and individuals; Self-determination and respect for the autonomy of local organizations and individuals; Transparent organizational structure; and Close ties between LGBT Israelis and LGBT Jews around the world.” Quoted from the World Congress web site December 2002.
Date began: 1980
Size: There are over 65 member groups worldwide.
Relationship to organized tradition: The World Congress is an independent entity but is applying for full membership in the World Jewish Congress.
Name: Gay Buddhist Fellowship
Affiliation/tradition/religious family: Buddhist
Statement of Purpose/Vision: The group has a strong local face-to-face presence as well as an online purpose. They offer a newsletter six times a year, hold retreats, sponsor lectures, have a vital prison ministry and have a discussion group on Yahoo groups. Many of the public lectures are available on the web.
Date began: Newsletter since 1999
Relationship to organized tradition: The Gay Buddhist Fellowship is an independent entity with ties to local Buddhist groups and is part of a Buddhist webring.
Name: Lesbian Buddhists esangha: http://lesbianbuddhistsangha.org/
Affiliation/tradition/religious family: Buddhist
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “This group is an on-line Sangha for lesbian, bisexual and transgender Buddhists…This eSangha is especially intended for those who, due to health, location or other reasons, are not able to participate in a face-to-face Sangha. This is an active, participatory attempt to build a real community in cyberspace. Lurkers are discouraged. Please do not join unless you have a sincere desire to become part of a Buddhist cyberSangha.” The group hosts a discussion board and an email listserv.
Relationship to organized tradition: The Lesbian Buddhists esangha is an independent web-based entity.
Name: Diamond Metta Lesbian And Gay Buddhist Society
Affiliation/tradition/religious family: Buddhist
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “Diamond Metta Lesbian And Gay Buddhist Society is an organization for Lesbians and Gay Men committed to or interested in following the path of Buddhism or related meditation-based organizations. Society participants come together to share their understanding and experiences as mediators of various traditions, practice meditation together, come to know and provide support for like minded individuals interested in learning more about Buddhism and meditation. The Society also endeavors, as resources allow, to address issues of social justice and illness, especially in the areas of homophobia and HIV.” The group, located in New York City, offers meditation, talks and discussions about Buddhist teachings designed especially for the New York City area LGBT communities. They have been in existence since 1992,
Relationship to organized tradition: The Diamond Metta Lesbian And Gay Buddhist Society is an independent entity with ties to local Buddhist groups.
These and many more links to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Buddhist web pages can be found at http://nichirenscoffeehouse.net/Les-bi-gay.html
Name: RadFae.org : a web site for Radical Faerie information
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “The RadFae.org website exists to pull together Radical Faerie information: links to resources and web pages, news, information, and pointers to other faerie lists. Our site is also available to host various faerie projects…”
Relationship to organized tradition: “We're not official -- nobody is. Nobody speaks for Radical Faeries as a whole; certainly not us! We're keeping our process as open as possible, so this site can reflect the community as a whole. But our main goal is to provide a neutral clearing-house, which can point to (or host) faerie sites with a variety of perspectives"
Name: The Defenders
Statement of Purpose/Vision: “The Defenders is a club for individuals who value and wish to celebrate both their leather "lifestyle" and their Christian spirituality. Contrary to common belief, the two are not mutually exclusive. The Defenders believe that the leather experience can, when integrated and spiritually informed, actually produce a richer spirituality for us, and for the Church. We strive to provide a space that leathermen and leatherwomen will find welcoming and familiar, yet unique in its spiritual dimension.”
Relationship to organized tradition: “The Defenders was established in 1981 in New York City as an affiliate of Dignity New York. By 1987, we had become a national organization….The Defenders has been affiliated with Dignity USA from the beginning and maintains close ties to this very day. Each Defenders club [nine clubs] is associated with a local Dignity Chapter….We are a bridge between the Leather Community and the Christian Community.”
Unity Fellowship Church Movement
The Unity Fellowship Church Movement was founded, incorporated and chartered (as a 501(C)(3) non-profit religious organization) in Los Angeles, California in the year 1985. The "Mother Church", also known as Unity Fellowship of Christ Church, is located in Los Angeles, CA. at 5818 West Jefferson Blvd. firstname.lastname@example.org
The inspiration or vision to establish Unity Fellowship Church was given to its Founder, Reverend Carl Bean. After many years of study and seeking spiritual truth, it was revealed to Rev. Bean that the spiritual path is eternal and traveled by all. "We all partake of spirit for without spirit there is no life".
The one fact that was consistently revealed to Rev. Carl Bean in dreams, visions and other heightened spiritual experiences is nothing compares with, equals or surpasses "LOVE" and "GOD is LOVE" and "LOVE HAS NO RESPECT OF PERSON".
We are the very essence of Love as is all creation regardless of race, creed, color, religious affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, class, whether animal, fish, plant life, planets, galaxies known or unknown. There is no place in creation where Love is not present.
If we, the world over, would learn to say yes to Love, regardless of what spiritual path we take, there would be no need to fear anyone and thereby we would embrace everyone.
Reconciling Pentecostals International
“We have a diverse fellowship, which rallies around some similar beliefs and shares some similar experiences. We are all Pentecostal and love the full gospel of Christ! The fellowship is led by Apostolics and is organized as an outreach to Apostolics. However, our ministry extends beyond just them.
We are a gay affirming organization with an old fashioned message that transcends time! The power of God's affirming love and His inclusive gospel will meet the needs of anyone who is seeking to serve the Lord transparently. The Holy Ghost stands ready to flood your soul with a revelation of His amazing grace that embraces everyone who calls upon His Name.
Until we all come into the unity of the faith, we have elected to recognize, love, and fellowship all Pentecostals who are pursuing godliness and who have credible, anointed ministries.
RPI was founded in the hearts of five ministers in 1999 but not formally established until June of 2000. RPI is under the leadership of three of its ordained ministers, Rev. Douglas E. Clanton, Rev. Lonnie Parks and Rev. Robert L. Morgan, who serves as Chief Presiding Presbyter.
address: Potter's House
Fellowship 1200 E. McBerry Street
25 ministers/congregations associated with this denomination.
Ecumenical Catholic Church
Web Site http://ecchurch.org/
“The Ecumenical Catholic Church is a separate denomination within the universal Christian Church. We share with all Christians the belief that Jesus is the Son of God and Redeemer of humanity. We are united with others through the rebirth of Baptism and the fellowship of the Eucharist. We are like other churches in most ways, but there are some important differences, too. Everyone is Welcome!
The ECC and its people love you as you are - - as God made you and loves you - - unconditionally, without regard to your race, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, education, social background, financial status, or any other standard used to divide people. Who you are will not be measured against the standards of an ancient moral code or against the demands of modern materialism. Your individuality will be celebrated rather than judged for nonconformity to what some hold as the ideals of society. You will be encouraged to integrate your faith with your intellect and feelings, not set them at opposition to each other. We will do our best to encourage you to grow into the potential that God has lovingly created within you. Above all, we will clearly present God’s unconditional love to you and everyone else.” Quoted from the Ecumenical Catholic Church web site, December 2002.
address: 20 Lincoln St., Irvine, CA 92604
International Fellowship of the Metropolitan Community Church
Community Churches Headquarters
"The Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches is a Christian Church founded in and reaching beyond the Gay and Lesbian communities. We embody and proclaim Christian salvation and liberation, Christian inclusivity and community, and Christian social action and justice. We serve among those seeking and celebrating the integration of their spirituality and sexuality."
The first Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) was founded by Rev Troy D. Perry in 1968 in Los Angeles, CA (USA). This Fellowship of Churches plays a vital role in addressing the spiritual needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered community around the world.
Since its founding in 1968, MCC has grown into a denomination of approximately 300 churches in 18 countries throughout the world. Worldwide membership surpassed 40,000 in early 2000