Religion has been a source of both solace and suffering for many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. For while most LGBT Americans have been raised in an organized religion — and many continue to cherish their faith community — too many have been forced to leave those communities behind because of condemnation of lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
And yet in recent years, a growing number of organized religious groups in the United States have issued statements officially welcoming lesbian, gay and bisexual people as members. (With the exception of the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Metropolitan Community Church, the United Church of Christ and the Reconstructionist movement of Judaism, most have been silent on transgender people.)
Many religious organizations also have taken supportive stands on the issues that affect LGB people in America, such as the fight for freedom from discrimination, the solemnizing of same-sex marriage and the ordination of openly gay clergy.
For example, the United Church of Christ ran a national television commercial that showed same-sex couples being welcomed into its congregations. The Presbyterian Church (USA) blesses same-sex unions. The Episcopal Church has issued an apology for past discrimination. And Reform Judaism ordains openly lesbian, gay and bisexual people as clergy.
Click on a religious organization’s name below for an overview of their position on LGBT people and the issues that affect them.
Please note that this list is not comprehensive. There are LGBT people of faith in a number of religions not listed here including Sikhism, Native American religions and others. There also are many LGBT people who practice forms of spirituality found outside organized religion. We are working to expand this section to represent as many religious and spiritual experiences as possible. Please send any suggestions you have.
- African Methodist Episcopal Church
- Alliance of Baptists
- American Baptist Church USA
- Church of God in Christ
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons)
- Church of the Nazarene
- Episcopal Church
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
- Metropolitan Community Churches
- National Baptist Convention USA Inc.
- Old Catholics/Independent Catholics
- Presbyterian Church (USA)
- Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
- Roman Catholic Church
- Salvation Army
- Seventh-day Adventist Church
- Southern Baptist Convention
- Unitarian Universalist Association
- United Church of Christ
- United Methodist Church