In their view, the Christian community should reach out to welcome and support.
To signal their openness to gays and lesbians, many local churches have designated themselves as “reconciling,” “welcoming,” or “affirming” congregations.
At the other end of the spectrum, some churches so unequivocally reject homosexual clergy that the issue is not discussed.
However, in most mainline denominations today, the question is being vigorously debated.
Some Christians believe that the Bible speaks with one clear voice in condemning homosexuality.
They cite the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19, the “holiness code” in Leviticus, or St.For many Christian gays and lesbians, homosexual partnerships, like heterosexual ones, are relationships of choice, of fidelity, and of love, undergirded by foundational Christian principles.Christians who support gays and lesbians in their congregations insist that the message of Christ is of divine love and reconciliation, not condemnation.It is an issue that will not easily go away, for there are deeply committed Christians on both sides.An open letter to the presidents of member institutions of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities: I am gay and I teach at a CCCU institution.Other groups, such as Focus on the Family, a Christian ministry based in Colorado Springs, have mounted campaigns to oppose any legalization of same-sex marriages at the state level.By 2011, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York, and the District of Columbia had joined Massachusetts in officially recognizing same-sex unions within their states.Groups like the Christian “Exodus” movement are organized to help gays and lesbians in this transformation.Other Christians believe that sexual orientation is not just another life-choice, but a biological given, of God’s creation and not an abominable sin.In some denominations, there are individual priests and pastors who have presided over ceremonies for gay or lesbian couples, a religious act of blessing for couples wishing to express the sanctity of their commitment within the community of the Christian church.By 2013, several mainline denominations, including the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ, had recognized the legitimacy of such unions, while others were still struggling with the issue.