By Victor Ochieng
The Easter Holiday is over, but the season is still here with us. Walking the streets, you still see decorations on different aisles and streets, as well as ads calling for different Easter offers. For Christians, the Easter Holiday is not just like any other holiday, it’s a day that they celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, their One and Only savior.
However, for the LGBTQ community, Easter is a time that reminds them of why so many of their members have moved out of the church or find it a challenge staying. The black church, in particular, is considered to be the most unfriendly to LGBTQ persons.
According to an article written by journalist Keith Boykin, the Black church remains the most “homophobic” and “homo-tolerant” outfit in the Black community. He says the Black church is run on a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy when it comes to homos*xuality. In a Black church, the pastor may give a serious gospel of damnation against members of the LGBTQ community despite the presence of gays and lesbians in the church. Boykin is wondering why this is happening, pointing out that “Many of our black churches would stop running if the gay, lesbian and bis*xual members dropped out.”
More and more churches are becoming accepting of gays and lesbians. However, members of the LGBTQ community still differ from the general public when it comes to religious affiliation. A 2014 Pew Research Center study revealed that a mere 59% of the LGBTQ population are affiliated with one religion or another, compared to 78% of the general population. And when it comes to Christianity, only 48% said they’re Christians, compared to 72% of the general public.
A 2013 research study by the same organization revealed that members of the LGBTQ community considered major faith groups as more “unfriendly” to the LGBTQ members.
While the study painted such a worrying picture, it’s viewed in some quarters that the major religions are more accepting to members of the LGBTQ community than some smaller Christian outfits. For example, the Unitarian Church has been known for years as a Christian organization that’s quite accepting of all people regardless of their s*xual orientations. They became the first to ordain a gay minister back in 1969 and had their first gay clergy member by 1988. Several major Christian denominations have also embraced gays and lesbians.
In comparison, the Black church is still considered the most unfriendly to LGBTQ members.