A new book argues pervasive homophobia in historically black churches has reached "crisis" proportions for black lgbt Christians. Comparing their plight to "a game of Russian roulette" where they are no longer welcomed by the church, black lesbian and gay Christians find themselves in "no-win situations," says Rev. Horace L. Griffin, author of Their Own Receive Them Not: African American Lesbian and Gays in Black Churches.
Griffin is black, gay and an Episcopal priest who grew up in the Missionary Baptist Church. He says black church leaders use the Bible to oppress gays and lesbians similar to the approach once used by white church leaders to oppress blacks during slavery and Jim Crow.
· Episcopal parishes in Connecticut may now bless same-sex couples, according to Bishop Andrew Smith. The decision does not allow Episcopal clergy to officiate at civil unions. However, it allows parishes to acknowledge lgbt couples who had a civil union granted by the state. The bishop told the New York Times he acted because Connecticut began recognizing civil unions last year and the national Episcopal Church has done nothing in response.
· The new, pro-gay policies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has meant regional bodies are protesting by sending less money than expected to national headquarters. The Presbyterian financial office said the national church will receive about $400,000 less than anticipated. In June, a Presbyterian national assembly voted to give local congregations some leeway to install gay clergy and lay officers.