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In Mississippi and other Southern states, the loudest voices on the theme of same-sex attraction and Christianity say that God is not pleased with men who have sex with men and women who have sex with women. That lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning people cannot be faithful Christians. That if you pray hard enough, you can be delivered from the sin of homosexuality. That the only option for people with same-sex attraction is to be celebate or conform to a traditional "one-man, one-woman" marriage.
However, the loudest voices are not the only ones with stories to tell and with perspectives to share.
"Coming Out: Liberal Religious Options for LGBTQ People" will offer alternatives to those loudest voices. Newer voices that say, Yes, you can be a faithful Christian and be lgbtq. Yes, you can belong to a faith community that accepts you as you are. Yes, there are ministers who will perform your same-sex wedding. Yes, you can be healthy, happy and at peace regardless of who you are attracted to ... all right here in Mississippi.
Sept. 23: What does the Bible Say (and Not Say) About Same-Sex Attraction? Where Can LGBTQ People Worship Freely?
Sept. 24: Same-Sex Marriage in Mississippi
Sept. 25: Saving our LGBTQ Youth
This event is a liberal religious counterpoint to "Coming Out: A Christian Response to Same-Sex Attraction", a conference in Hattiesburg, Sept. 23-25, 6:30pm.
Your host is Rev. Carlton Elliott Smith, an ordained minister in the Unitarian Universalist Association. After serving congregations on the East and West Coasts over the past 19 years, Rev. Smith has returned to his home-state of Mississippi as a consultant working with congregations throughout the South (www.uuasouthernregion.org). He was labeled "sissy" as a boy, and now, after years of discernment, is an unapologetic gay-identified religious leader.
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It's good to talk.