Stances of Faiths on LGBT Issues: Alliance of Baptists
Founded in 1987, the Alliance of Baptists describes itself as a “faith community comprised of male and female laity and clergy, people of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, theological beliefs, and ministry practices.” Organized by Southern Baptists who questioned that denomination’s commitment to biblical inerrancy and exclusively male ordination, the Alliance now features “communities” that center on specific societal concerns such as Justice for the Homeless, Equity for Women in the Church Community, Justice for the Homeless, and LGBTQ rights.
With approximately 130 affiliated churches, the Alliance uses a “collaborative model of leadership,” supported by a Board of Directors and enacted at Annual Meetings. Individual congregations remain largely autonomous and both congregations and individual members are encouraged to create their own communities around the issues that inspire them. Throughout, the Alliance seeks to combine, “progressive inquiry, contemplative prayer and prophetic action to bring about justice and healing in a changing world.”
In addition to including the full welcome of LGBT members in its formal policies, the Alliance publishes Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth, a collection of writings that offer guidance to other churches intent on creating inclusive communities.
The Alliance lists gender identities in its celebration of member diversity. Its statement in support of marriage equality also states,
“As Christians and as Baptists, we particularly lament the denigration of our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender sisters and brothers in this debate by those who claim to speak for God.”
On Marriage Equality
In 2004, the Alliance adopted a formal statement protesting any law that would discriminate “against sexual minorities and define marriage in such a way as to deny same-sex couples a legal framework in which to provide for one another and those entrusted to their care.” They concluded, “We affirm that the Alliance of Baptists supports the rights of all citizens to full marriage equality."
The Alliance of Baptists has ordained LGBT ministers since its founding in 1987.
The Alliance is a vocal supporter of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Since its founding, the Alliance of Baptists has worked toward full inclusion of all members while simultaneously maintaining a deep commitment to its theological values. As such, it provides a home for many LGBT Baptists seeking an inclusive community. It also provides a model – and significant resources – for congregations working toward a more welcoming and affirming stance.
Resources of LGBT Baptists
Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists, a national organization advocating for the full inclusion of LGBT people within Baptist communities of faith.
Alliance of Baptists
3939 LaVista Road, Suite E-122
Atlanta, GA 30084