Thursday, February 02, 2006

New study reports 2 million Christians & Jews positively affirm lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgendered people

The National Religious Leadership Roundtable, a project of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, released a study this week that has a kind of good news/ bad news/ interesting news flavor to it.

I’ve only had a chance to skim the report, but here’s a first glance at the results.

The good news is that an estimated 8,300 congregations and numerous organizations representing an estimated 2 million Christians and Jews have already made a public commitment to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.

The bad news is that the survey reports:
Organizations surveyed in the mainline Protestant and Catholic churches are facing an average 8-to-1 disadvantage in funding compared to anti-LGBT organizations in their denominations, and often explicit rejection from denominational hierarchy.
The interesting news is that anti-gay organizations have invested heavily in faith-based organizing, while moderate and liberal organizations have apparently avoided this kind of involvement.
Conservative organizations, foundations and publications such as Concerned Women for America, Focus on the Family, Coors Foundation, American Enterprise Institute and the Scaife Family Foundation have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in faith-based organizing, while many centrist and liberal organizations have avoided any alliance with or funding for their progressive faith counterparts.

Could it be that it’s the indoctrination and organizational work of ultra-conservatives that has prompted religious groups to become so anti-gay? In other words, if we work that hard and put that much money into it, how many minds can we change?

The study also reports that approximately 20.2 million people are involved in the mainline Protestant churches that are at the center of recent battles or ordination and same-sex marriage. Those controversies offer us an opportunity for education and organization.

An interfaith collaboration of more than 40 faith leaders, the religious roundtable was founded in 1998. “The membership of the National Religious Leadership Roundtable acts as a think tank, an educational organization, as spokespeople and citizen advocates for change,” according to the press release announcing the study.

No comments: