LGBTQ+ Civil Rights

CCC Open and Affirming (ONA) Continuing Education

Thank you to the many people who attended the ONA presentation shared by guest speaker Keith West on Sunday, January 12. There was good information about inclusive language and correct terminology, LGBTQ+ history, Biblical references, and current statistics. Keith was an enthusiastic and engaging presenter! His PowerPoint presentation is presented below. If you have follow-up questions, please let us know! ~Lynn Horton for the CCC ONA Ministry Group



LGBTQ+ Civil Rights Background and Discussion
Keith West

LGBTQ+ Civil Rights
Terminology and Concepts Timeline and Milestones Current Issues and Controversies



Terminology and Concepts
❖ L – Lesbian ❖ G – Gay ❖ B – Bisexual (Pansexual) ❖ T – Transgender ❖ Q – Queer or Questioning
❖ A – Asexual (Ace) ❖ A – Aromantic ❖ A – Ally ❖ I – Intersexed ❖ 2S – “Two Spirits ❖ NB – “Non-binary” or “Gender-queer”


Other terms to know
❖ Cis-gender – someone whose gender identity matches the gender they were assigned at birth ❖ Gender-fluid – someone whose gender identity fluctuates. ❖ Transvestite – Outdated term. “Crossdresser” more preferred. Someone who commonly dresses as a gender other than the one they identify as. Drag Queen/Kings are the classic example. NOT the same as Transgender ❖ “Transgendered” – NO. Insulting. Do not use. ❖ Pronouns – Ask people what pronouns they use. Default to “They,” never “it.”


LGBTQ+ Civil Rights Timeline (Medical/Scientific, Political, Legal)

❖ 1952 – APA lists Homosexuality as a mental disorder

❖ 1969 – Stonewall Riots – Key moment in public fight for LGBTQ rights

❖ 1973 – APA removes homosexuality as a disorder in DSM-II

❖ 1986 – Bowers v Hardwick – Court upholds criminalization of Homosexuality (‘Sodomy Laws”)

❖ 1993 – Clinton signs Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (presented as compromise, generally seen as harmful to gay rights)

❖ 1996 – Clinton signs Defense of Marriage Act – bans federal recognition of same-sex marriages

❖ 1996 – Hawaii recognizes some legal protections for gay couples

❖ 1998 – Matthew Shepard is killed.

❖ 2000 – Vermont legalizes Civil Unions

❖ 2003 – Lawrence v Texas – Court overturns Bowers

❖ 2004 – First legal same-sex marriage in US (in MA)

❖ 2004 – 11 states put constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage on the ballot -most pass 2

❖ 2011 – Obama administration repeals Don’t Ask Don’t Tell – gay people can serve openly

❖ 2015 – Obergefell v Hodges – Supreme court declares that it is unconstitutional to deny marriage to same-sex couples

❖ 2016 – Obama administration allows transgender troops to serve openly.

❖ 2017 – Trump announces via twitter than transgender troops will be banned from serving openly.  ➢ Joint Chiefs of Staff are all on record saying trans troops pose no threat to military readiness/effectiveness.  ➢ Policy is revised several times

❖ 2017 – Courts strike down the ban

❖ 2018 – Administration abandons initial policy. Puts out new policy which focuses on “gender dysphoria” diagnosis and effectively bans more than 90% of trans soldiers.

❖ 2019 – Court allows new policy to stay in place.


Title VII Protection

❖ Title VII of 1964 Civil Rights Act – Protects against employment discrimination based on “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin”

❖ EEOC guidance currently says that for federal jobs this applies to sexual orientation and gender identity.

❖ In 26 states it is legal to fire someone because of their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

❖ Similar numbers for denial of housing, credit

❖ Cases currently pending for Supreme Court to review.


LGBTQ+ Current Issues: “Bathroom Bills”

❖ Multiple States are considering bills requiring students to use bathroom matching the gender they were assigned at birth.

❖ Obama Dept of Ed opposed this practice – Trump admin reversed.

❖ Facts ➢ ~1.4 million trans people in the US  ➢ In 15 years only 1 alleged sex crime in bathroom/changing room by trans person  ➢ 150+ Instances by un-disguised cis-gender men  ➢ Trans people much more likely to be assault victims than perpetrators ➢ Sexual assault rate rose in schools with this bathroom policy  ➢ No increase in assaults in cities with anti-discrim bathroom laws


LGBTQ+ Current Issues: “Religious Right to Discriminate?”

❖ Key question – should it be legal for “public accommodations” (business) to deny service based on religious beliefs? ➢ Burwell v Hobby Lobby – some corporations have “religious rights” ➢ Masterpiece Cakeshop v Colorado – very narrow ruling, larger question unsettled.

❖ Examples ➢ Services related to gay marriage ➢ Insurance/Healthcare professionals denying service for trans people ➢ Adoption/Foster care (7 States permit explicitly) ➢ Lunch-counter style exclusion (Mississippi Law may permit)


LGBTQ+ Identities and Biblical Interpretations

❖ Differences among Christian Denominations – Some view any non-straight identity as a sin (Southern Baptist, Missouri Synod Lutheran, many Pentecostal) – Others more open to different identities (ELCA, Episcopalians, some factions of other denominations)


❖ Potentially Relevant Passages

– Leviticus 18, 20 (Echoed in Deuteronomy) – “Abomination” or “Ritual Impurity”

– Genesis ● Creation (indirect) ● Sodom/Gomorrah (historically interpreted as lack of hospitality)

– Book of Ruth – Ruth and Naomi (Often interpreted as lesbians)

– 1 Samuel 18:1, 2 Samuel 1:26 – David and Johnathan (Sometimes interpreted as gay)

– Romans 1:18-32 (Ritual sex/prostitution)

– 1 Corinthians 6:9 (Echoed in 1 Timothy) – “Arsenokoitai”



❖ Things Jesus said about Sexual Orientation – . – . – . – Nothing.

❖ Things Jesus said about Love – Lots. – Especially about those who are downtrodden or oppressed. ❖




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