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Progressive Evangelicals and the Pursuit of Social Justice$
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Brantley W. Gasaway

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781469617725

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469617725.001.0001

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A Civil Right but Religious Wrong?

A Civil Right but Religious Wrong?

(p.163) 6. A Civil Right but Religious Wrong?
Progressive Evangelicals and the Pursuit of Social Justice

Brantley W. Gasaway

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses the views of Jim Wallis and Sojourners regarding the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Christians within churches. It also examines gay liberation and the different Christian responses to it. For Wallis, every Christian has the obligation to defend the lives, dignity, and civil rights of gay and lesbian people. On the other hand, Sojourners considered same-sex sexuality as immoral. During the 1960s, gays and lesbians pushed movements to end legal and social discrimination against them. As a result, in 1973, the American Psychiatric Association overturned its classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder and removed therapies to “cure” gays. Most Protestant and Catholic leaders strove to support civil rights of gays while maintaining their stand that a same-sex relationship is immoral. The responses of evangelicals to same-sex marriage demonstrates the conflict in their positions to both the political left and the Religious Right.

Keywords:   LGBT, Jim Wallis, Sojourners, social discrimination, political left, Religious Right, same-sex marriage, APA

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