Date of Award
This thesis project is focused on understanding the discrimination that is rampant amongst Southern churches regarding their LGBTQ members and offering solutions to this problem that has occurred throughout the many generations of Christianity. In order to understand this discrimination, three books were consulted for the research aspect of this project. The three books include the following: Sweet Tea by E. Patrick Johnson, Don't Be Afraid Anymore by Troy Perry, and Our Tribe by Nancy Wilson. A Questionnaire was also given to people who identified as Southern, Christian, and LGBTQ in order to gain an understanding of the current sentiments these people have towards their churches and how best to combat the discrimination against LGBTQ Christians. The findings from this research and questionnaire showed that LGBTQ Christians are desperately trying to find ways for the church and its LGBTQ members to cooperate with one another. The findings also showed that LGBTQ Christians have not let the church's discrimination intimidate them, as many respondents were actively seeking to find ways to reconcile their faith with their sexuality. A main conclusion reached in this study is the need for a multi-faceted solution to address the church's problem with its LGBTQ members, as different problems arise in different types of churches (i.e. African American churches, different denominations, etc). Another important conclusion drawn from this research is the need for LGBTQ Christians to teach others how to conduct research using the Bible to understand the verses in their context, history, and language for a more nuanced view of the Bible that does not lend to discrimination.
Dupree, Amber Erin, "Reevaluating Religion: A Case for Inclusivity of LGBTQ Christians in the Church" (2018). Honors Theses. 1257.