Religious Support for Marriage Equality Marches Forward

The legal argument against marriage equality is being upended by the numerous Christian and Jewish bodies that support LGBT rights.



Above: Congregation Kol Ami, a Reform synagogue in West Hollywood, has a large LGBT membership.

Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist Judaism
In Judaism, the Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist branches all support LGBT equality, ordain gay rabbis, and bless same-sex marriages. The latter two have a longer record of LGBT-friendliness, but the Conservative movement in 2006 adopted a policy of allowing its rabbinical schools to ordain openly LGBT clergy, and permitting Conservative rabbis to perform same-sex marriages. Many large U.S. cities have synagogues with primarily LGBT congregations. Orthodox Judaism, however, continues to hold that homosexuality goes against God’s plan, and it will not sanction same-sex unions or ordain openly LGBT clergy. But at least one Orthodox rabbi, Steve Greenberg, has come out as gay post-ordination, and he leads an organization for LGBT Orthodox Jews called Eshel.

As for other faiths, Islam is not generally accepting of LGBT people, although there are some activists working to change this attitude, and some mosques are LGBT-friendly. The Hindu and Buddhist religions have no clear stand on same-sex marriage, and attitudes toward LGBT people vary within the faiths. And in addition to the Christian denominations listed in this article, there are some smaller LGBT-affirming Christian church groups, such as Unity, that readers may wish to check out.