How to Know if a Church Is Accepting of LGBT People

Finding a church can be quite journey and a hard one. Not all churches will agree with your faith but by talking to the right people and looking in the right places you can find if a church that both follows what you believe to be the path of God and is accepting of LGBT people and same sex marriage.


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    Define your own beliefs. Knowing what you believe is important, because churches don't always publish their beliefs on LGBT issues. What is important to you, what doesn't matter much, and what is a deal breaker? This will help narrow the list of churches to investigate. For example.
    • Communion
    • Pro-Life or Pro-Choice (Abortion, Euthanasia, Capital Punishment, War, Situational Homicide)
    • Literal interpretation of the Bible or other religious book
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    Know what you're looking for. Remember that many churches, while believing in loving and supporting gay people (or paying lip service to this), do not believe in same sex marriage. For example the Catholic Church orders that "They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity."[1] Whether or not you personally support same sex marriage should be considered.
    • Some churches are unable to hold ceremonies for same sex marriage, but are accepting and will respect LGBT+ people.
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    Search the web. The church website should tell you about their beliefs both on LGBT issues and whatever else drives you to join a particular church.
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    Find out what religion the church practices. Some churches won't have much on their website if their religion has lots of material on the web. Older faiths like Catholics and Lutherans might have almost none, considering they have a huge web presence and have been around for other people to write about for about 2,000 and 500 years respectively.
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    Ask a staff member. Most churches have a minister who can be contacted (find contact information through websites) or a secretary (information also found through websites). If you ask straight up, "What does your church believe about LGBT issues?" they will most likely answer honestly. If you don't want to be "out" to this person, imply that you're doing a survey.
    • Most people will not admit "This is an unsafe space." If you start feeling uncomfortable or attacked during the person's response, then you or your loved one will probably not be met with unconditional respect.
    • Try to ask more than one person in the church. It could be that Gary the altar boy has very different views from the rest of the church.
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    Remember that not ALL churchgoers anywhere will be supportive. No matter where you go, there will always be people who may stare or ask "Is she gay?". Still, there is no reason why you should exclude yourself from church services. Go for one Sunday and see how the people are and how the environment makes you feel. The best way to learn is through experience.


  • Be honest with yourself and other people. If you don't feel comfortable giving out your name, don't.
  • Try to be confident. If you're confident about something and act like it's no big deal, it will reflect on people and they should act the same.


  • If you're researching on behalf of an LGBT+ friend or family member, don't "out" them. If it's an unsafe environment, they could have social repercussions. Even if it feels safe, it's their news to tell (or not tell).
  • Some people may only extend support towards certain LGBT+ people, but not others (e.g. accepting gay people, but not bi, trans, or ace people).

Sources and Citations

  1. Catechism of the Catholic Church Second Edition (¶2358)

Article Info

Categories: Faith and Belief | LGBT