SERIES: LGBTQ Belief and Belonging Around the World

About Series

Despite many changes over the years in laws regarding the rights of LGBTQ people, the issue of their inclusion remains a thorny area for religious denominations around the world. Differences over whether to recognize same-sex marriage or ordain LGBTQ people as clergy are even leading to divisions within some faith groups.

The Associated Press, Religion News Service and The Conversation have teamed up to produce a series of reported stories and scholar commentary showing the institutional change in some denominations – and also the resistance to it.


the associated press logo
The Associated Press

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting. Founded in 1846, AP today remains the most trusted source of fast, accurate, unbiased news in all formats and the essential provider of the technology and services vital to the news business.

the conversation logo
The Conversation

The Conversation is a nonprofit, independent news organization dedicated to unlocking the knowledge of experts for the public good. We publish trustworthy and informative articles written by academic experts for the general public and edited by our team of journalists.

Other Popular Series

SERIES: Disability and Faith: How Religious Groups Are Combating Ableism

While fifteen percent of the global population is disabled, religious communities and spaces around the world are replete with ableist barriers of all kinds, whether it’s a meditative pose that excludes certain bodies, a synagogue’s bimah only accessible by stairs or a Christian hymn that equates blindness with sin. Despite these setbacks, disabled leaders and allies have been advancing accessibility in their theology, worship practices and physical spaces. For many, accessibility isn’t just a matter of morality — it’s a spiritual duty. Religion News Service reported on how disabled and neurodivergent leaders across faith traditions are upending ableist assumptions and changing the religious landscape to be more hospitable to all.

SERIES: Christian Nationalism After the Jan. 6 Attack

When supporters of former President Donald Trump rallied near the White House on Jan. 6 of last year, a boisterous pocket of young men waving "America First" flags broke into a chant: "Christ is King!" It was one of the first indications that Christian nationalism would be a theme of the Capitol attack later that day, where insurrectionists prayed and waved banners that read “Proud American Christian.”

SERIES: Women's Evolving Influence in Male-Led Faiths

Around the world, women have been making notable advances in many realms, serving as heads of government, leading corporations and universities. Yet in several major religious denominations, women are barred or limited from serving as clergy and excluded from the uppermost leadership roles.


LGBTQ students wrestle with tensions at Christian colleges
By Yonat Shimron Of Religion News Service, Giovanna Dell'orto Of The Associated Press — December 5, 2022
COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. (AP/RNS) — Tensions endure at many of the hundreds of US Catholic and Protestant universities.
Orthodox Judaism can still be a difficult world for LGBTQ Jews – but in some groups, the tide is slowly turning
By Orit Avishai — December 6, 2022
(The Conversation) — Orthodox Jewish communities are still difficult places for many LGBTQ people. Yet the view, once ubiquitous, that Orthodox tradition is incompatible with their identities is gradually shifting.
For Indonesia’s transgender community, faith can be a source of discrimination – but also tolerance and solace
By Sharyn Graham Davies — December 6, 2022
(The Conversation) — Indonesia has criminalized same-sex sexuality, but trans people are finding support in some trans-inclusive mosques and churches.
Across vast Muslim world, LGBTQ people remain marginalized
By David Crary, Mariam Fam, Edna Tarigan — December 6, 2022
YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — LGBTQ people routinely are rejected by their families, denounced by Islamic authorities and limited to clandestine social lives.
Why I stay: LGBTQ people of faith find ways to belong where doctrine rejects them
By Kathryn Post — December 6, 2022
(RNS) — 'You don’t have to give up your faith to be who you are,' said one LGBTQ Christian.
Asexual Latter-day Saints face an added dilemma: Finding their place in a tradition focused on marriage
By ben Brandley, Loretta LeMaster — December 7, 2022
(The Conversation) — Recent years have put more attention on LGBTQ people’s struggle for acceptance in the LDS church, but asexual Latter-day Saints face unique challenges.
Friction over LGBTQ issues worsens in global Anglican church
By Brian Gonzales — December 7, 2022
(AP/RNS) — The divide came into the spotlight four months ago at the communion’s Lambeth Conference, typically held once every decade to bring together bishops from the more than 165 countries.
For India’s ‘third sex,’ acceptance is slowed by colonialism’s legacy
By Kalpana Jain — December 8, 2022
(RNS) — Nineteenth-century British colonial rulers dramatically altered the prevailing cultural understanding of gender identity and morality.
Traditional Buddhist teachings exclude LGBTQ people from monastic life, but change is coming slowly
By Jue Liang — December 8, 2022
(The Conversation) — Traditional ordination into a Buddhist monastic life requires meeting guidelines based on male and female genders.