WASHINGTON, April 30 — Congregations that have undertaken formalized efforts to welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) members are more active in social justice, more comfortable addressing sexuality issues and less concerned that LGBT advocacy will reduce membership, according to two national surveys released today.
The surveys — Survey of Religious Progressives, published by the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing, and To Do Justice: A Study of Welcoming Congregations, published by the Institute for Welcoming Resources, a program of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force — suggest that an official process of welcoming LGBT people correlates with greater activism on a range of social justice issues. At the same time, the surveys reveal gaps in programs and policies serving LGBT youth, their families and transgender people.
The two surveys gauge the extent to which progressive religious views on LGBT civil rights translate into public advocacy and congregational programming. They also represent the broadest exploration ever of “welcoming congregations,” those that have undergone a specific, denominational process to distinguish themselves as welcoming and inclusive of LGBT people. Read more