The recent kerfuffle (covfefe?) over comments from self-appointed pastor Margaret Court highlights the achingly slow but hopefully inexorable progress religious groups are making on LGBTI issues. To be sure, we’re not hearing anything especially enlightened from Sydney Anglican Diocese, but there are prominent Anglican, Uniting and even Catholic voices throughout Australia defending the rights of LGBTI folk and promoting marriage equality. There are progressive Muslim voices, too.
I was at a Trans Fair recently in Brisbane, where transgender clergy from mainstream denominations mingled with many and varied trans folk from all walks of life (including Qld Police – how far we’ve come since the Joh days!). At lunch with some parents of trans teenagers I got talking to one lady who was the daughter of a Baptist pastor and was herself still very religious. She and her transgender daughter had, after extensive searching, found a Pentecostal congregation in Brisbane willing to accept them without an agenda of ‘praying away the gay’ or conversion to some God-given ‘normality’. Another parent, a Muslim, was just as strong in support of her son’s gender transition and future life as a gay man.
Can we hope that things are finally changing – even in the Churches?