I would like to take a minute to celebrate a man who is making great strides in gender issues!
According to his book, Marin is abruptly surprised by some of his friends when they “come out” to him. Rather than cut them out of his life immediately, he begins a path that leads to acceptance and bridge building with the LGBTQ community. His foundation is meant to build bridges between the church and every sexual orientation and gender out there. His story of acceptance, patience and self-discovery within faith is remarkable. Marin has taken what could have been a horrible moment in his personal history and turned it into a place of hope for many.
Faith and religion are experienced by people of all orientations and genders. They should not be excluded based on these things. Marin’s foundation is an epic example of what acceptance can do and who it can reach. All people of faith should be reaching their hands out to all people, not excluding people based on what their own culture believes to be the worst or best of sins. I have previously recommended Love is an Orientation and continue to do so here and as I meet people who struggle with this ideal in my own church. It urges members of both communities to stop arguing over whose sin is greater and sit at the table together, and some guidelines for what to do after that.
Thank you, Andrew Marin, for showing us how to be accepting of people, especially those we have put on the fringes of our communities.
I would also like to send out an Honorable Mention to the following people for their contributions to gender equality within their religions:
- Sara Bessey for writing Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women
- The Women of the Wall for fighting for their right to worship in accordance with their Halakhic rights
- Rachel Held Evans for her various religious works
- The Junia Project which works to advocate for women’s leadership within the church.
- Pope Francis, who has made statements supporting greater gender equality within the Catholic church
- Glide Memorial Church which has been reaching out to those in poverty and marginalized groups and been all-gender inclusive since about the 1950’s (according to Transgender History (Seal Studies))
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