November 28, 2016

“So when a lesbian thinks of her relationship with God, if she practices deeply, she can find out that God is also a lesbian. Otherwise how could you be there? God is a lesbian, that is what I think, and God is gay also. God is no less. God is a lesbian, but also a gay, a black a white, a chrysanthemum. It is because you don’t understand that, that you discriminate.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Given the diversity of the LGBT community, it should come as no surprise that the varieties of religious experience (if we may borrow a phrase from William James) is also varied among them. Below are some organizations outside the Judeo-Christian/Abrahamic (Christian, Jewish and Muslim) faith traditions that offer assistance to LGBTQ people and their allies.

Affirmation

Affirmation is an organization for LGBT Mormons, their families and allies. They strive to provide a safe space where gay Mormons can ask questions, find answers, and connect with others who have gone through similar experiences. They also hope to help people reconcile their sexual orientation/gender identity with their spiritual and cultural heritage as a Mormon.

Baha’I – Gay Baha’I Story Project

The Gay Baha’I Story Project is a vibrant message board that allows LGBT Baha’I and their allies to share their stories anonymously and confidentially. They also provide information about the spiritual and cultural history of the Baha’I faith.

The Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests

The Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests (BMC) provides support and advocacy for LGBT Mennonites and their families. Their programming that is designed to foster dialogue and provide accurate information about sexual orientation and gender identity within the Mennonite and Brethren traditions.

A Common Bond

A Common Bond is an organization with a worldwide network of chapters designed to support LGBT Jehovah’s Witnesses and their allies. Rather than retaliating or condemning the Watchtower organization, they strive to help LGBT Jehovah’s Witnesses accept themselves and to find to love and genuine happiness in life.

Confucianism – The Useless Tree

This site is not explicitly for LGBT Confucians but is rather a blog that applies the ancient Chinese ethical and philosophical system to various aspects of modern American Life. It is maintained by Sam Crane who tackles diverse issues including gay marriage and includes a respectful and interesting comments section.

Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns

This organization, comprised of LGBT welcoming and affirming Quakers, has recently changed its name and begun rebuilding its online presence, but it is notable for being a voice for the LGBT community present within the Society of Friends.

The Family Acceptance Project -- Helping LDS Families with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Children

This downloadable publication addresses many of the concerns of Latter-Day Saint individuals who have children who identify as LGBT and uses research to draw the connection between acceptance, support, and healthy, thriving youth.

Gay Buddhist Sangha

The Gay Buddhist Sangha provides a venue where LGBT Buddhists and their allies can support one another in their practice and exploration of the Noble Eightfold Path. They are a nonsectarian group that learn from teachers from various Buddhist traditions and strive to use the lessons and practices of their path in their everyday lives.

Hinduism – Galva 108

The Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association (Galva 108) is an international organization for LGBT Hindus and Vaishnava. It has online support, detailed articles, and a great deal of information about the Vedic concept of a natural third gender.

Sikh – Sarbat

Based in the UK, Sarbat is an online resource for LGBT Sikhs and their allies. It has message boards for online support, resources such as a Powerpoint about Sikhism’s approach to sexuality and gender, and information about events and programs in London.

Unitarian Universalist Welcoming Congregations

While all UU churches are open and affirming of the LGBTQ community, many churches go the extra step of becoming officially designated as Welcoming Congregations. In this process, the members vote to do the work necessary to attain the designation, and then undertake a rigorous process of education and self-evaluation, ensuring things like church documents and facilities use appropriate language and signage, and more.

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