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Sex and Spirituality

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At the CSPH, we acknowledge the impact—both positive and negative—that faith and religion have had on society, as well as individuals’ experiences with their sexuality. In an effort to further the dialogue around these issues, we have compiled this extensive list of resources at that intersection.

As with our other “Sex & ____” pages, we must clarify that, by including resources here, we are not necessarily endorsing all the information provided, so please check sources and make your own decisions about the content. Furthermore, not all of these pages and organizations necessarily have entirely friendly language, but they might have important facts/good suggestions, and is why they are included. If you have any resources to add to this list, or have any concerns about the information listed here, please email aida@thecsph.org.

The CSPH would like to give thanks to Raven Kaldera for providing valuable extra resources.

You can navigate this section using the tabs at the bottom. To find resources on your desired subject, press “ctrl+f” or “command+f” on your keyboard and search for any of the following tags:

TAGS: academic, BDSM, bodyworker, Catholicism, coach, college, doula/midwife, ethics, gender, HIV/AIDS, holistic, indigenous, international, Islam, Judaism, LDS, LGBT, Lutheran, Mennonite, Methodist, Metropolitan Community Church, ministry, Mormon, New Age, non-denominational, older adults, Orthodox Church, Paganism, pregnancy, Presbyterian, psychotherapy, relationships, repro rights, Reformed Church in America, Seventh Day Adventist, sexual health, sexual trauma, spiritual, tantra, Taoism, trans, two-spirit, Unitarian Universalism, United Church of Christ, yoga, youth

Academic Articles

Academic Articles

Allen, K. E. (2012). At the Intersection of Sexuality, Spirituality, and Gender: Young Adults’ Perceptions of Religious Beliefs in the Context of Sexuality Education. American Journal Of Sexuality Education, 7(4), 285. doi:10.1080/15546128.2012.740859
TAGS: college

DiGioia, M. (2011). Sexuality … What’s Spirituality Got to Do With It?. American Journal Of Sexuality Education, 6(1), 104. doi:10.1080/15546128.2011.547380
TAGS: older adults, ethics, relationships

Kraemer, C. (2012).Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Paganism. Religion Compass, 6(8), 390-401. doi:10.1111/j.1749-8171.2012.00367.x
TAGS: Paganism, kink

Books

Books

Balancing on the Mechitza: Transgender in Jewish Community
edited by Noach Dzmura
While the Jewish mainstream still argues about homosexuality, transgender and gender-variant people have emerged as a distinct Jewish population and as a new chorus of voices. Inspired and nurtured by the successes of the feminist and LGBT movements in the Jewish world, Jews who identify with the “T” now sit in the congregation, marry under the chuppah, and create Jewish families. Balancing on the Mechitza offers a multifaceted portrait of this increasingly visible community. The contributors—activists, theologians, scholars, and other transgender Jews—share for the first time in a printed volume their theoretical contemplations as well as rite-of-passage and other transformative stories. Balancing on the Mechitza introduces readers to a secular transwoman who interviews her Israeli and Palestinian peers and provides cutting-edge theory about the construction of Jewish personhood in Israel; a transman who serves as legal witness for a man (a role not typically open to persons designated female at birth) during a conversion ritual; a man deprived of testosterone by an illness who comes to identify himself with passion and pride as a Biblical eunuch; and a gender-variant person who explores how to adapt the masculine and feminine pronouns in Hebrew to reflect a non-binary gender reality.
TAGS: Judaism, trans

Body Art and Sexual Ecstasy and the Divine
by Yasmine Galenorn
SEXUAL ECSTASY AND THE DIVINE boldly explores the realm of sex, offering readers a chance to reconnect spirit with sexuality and to explore the divine and holy dance of the God and Goddess as they create life throughout the universe. Under the guidance of author Yasmine Galenorn, learn to focus on the spirituality of sex and find a divine union with the very essence of the universe. Ms. Galenorn addresses sex in all its guises, including alternative sexual practices such as BDSM and polyamory. She offers detailed rituals and exercises designed to shed embarrassment and free the sexual spirit. This is a must-have sex manual for all Pagans.
TAGS: Paganism

By the Grace of God: Writings for Friends, Family, and Clergy
edited by Julie Ann Johnson
By The Grace of God is a compilation of essays from Lee Frances Heller, Terri Lynn Main, Dr. Rebecca Anne Allison, and other transgendered Christian writers. These essays were published in the Grace and Lace Letter, and its later successor, the Christian Love Letter. It is our prayer that Lee’s life and witness will live on through this book, a continuing testimony to our God who loves us even when others may reject us.
TAGS: trans, Christianity

Crafting the Body Divine: Ritual, Movement, and Body Art
by Yasmine Galenorn
Yasmine Galenorn presents a nurturing guide for loving the body and allowing it to become a more expressive vehicle for the spirit within. Offering personal revelations as well as interviews, rituals, exercises, visualizations, spells, and practical tips, she helps readers achieve balance in their physical and spiritual self-perceptions.
TAGS: Paganism

Cross Paths: Where Transgender and Religion Meet Collection of articles including testimonies and experiences of trans people, and advice from pastors and allies.
TAGS: trans, Christianity, Unitarian Universalism

Crossing Over: Liberating the Transgendered Christian
by Vanessa Sheridan
In Crossing Over, Vanessa Sheridan reflects on her experience and the experiences of other in order to describe the realities and dispel the myths about those who are transgendered. She urges the church to move beyond “compassionate condemnation” to embrace transgendered individuals into the full life and ministry of the church. Using tenets of liberation theology, she encourages those who are transgendered to seek sources of spiritual strength and join the struggle for justice in the church and in the larger society.
TAGS: Christianity, trans

Dark Moon Rising: Pagan BDSM and the Ordeal Path
by Raven Kaldera
Throughout history, from the Hindu Kavadi ceremony to the Lakota Sun Dance, the Ordeal Path has been an honored spiritual road to the magic of the flesh, and to touching the Gods. Today many Pagans are discovering this path, by accident or by design. Simultaneously, many practitioners of secular BDSM are finding themselves having spiritual experiences in the middle of their most secular scenes. This book explores the crossover points between both these communities and practices, a cross-section which is growing steadily, baring controversial articles on topics as diverse as sacred pain, bondage, hook suspension, cathartic Pagan ritual, the spirituality of dominance and submission, and being the slave of the Gods. With contributions by noted authors and activists in both communities, and stunning photography by artist and Shibari-Do master Bridgett Harrington, this book is an awe-inspiring gateway into the Realm of the Underworld… and back again.
TAGS: Paganism, kink, BDSM

Divine Sex: Liberating Sex from Religious Tradition
by Philo Thelos
Divine Sex examines every Biblical reference to human sexual practice. By using tools of modern scholarship, evidence is produced to show that the Bible does not actually say what generations of professional religionists have told us. The Bible does not forbid all sexual activity other than monogamous heterosexual intercourse. Instead it treats us to a wide range of God-approved, and sometimes even God-supplied, sexual possibilities that the church has never told us about. In fact, the most famous erotic poem in history, is actually a book of the Bible!
God is the Architect both of human sexuality, and of sexual pleasure. The passion, pleasure and possibilities of sex are His gift to humanity. Like any proud parent, Father God is pleased and honored when His kids delight in His gift/ God made sex to be fun. He is not embarrassed nor is He angered when we enjoy it. Sex as God designed it to be is truly Divine.

From polygamy and concubinage, to prostitution, to masturbation, to oral sex, to nudity – and all else besides – this study of what the Bible actually says, and does not say, will surprise, perhaps elate, and we believe will liberate the reader from the sex-stifling effects of church dogma.

Sex without religious baggage. Sex without guilt and shame. Sex as the Creator meant it to be. Divine Sex.
TAGS: Christianity

The Erotic Word: Sexuality, Spirituality, and the Bible
by David M. Carr
Historically, the Bible has been used to drive a wedge between the spirit and the body. In this provocative book, David Carr argues that the Bible affirms erotic passion. Sexuality and spirituality, he contends, are intricately interwoven; the journey toward God and the life-long engagement with our own sexual embodiment are inseparable.
TAGS: Christianity

Greenfire: Making Love with the Goddess
by Sirona Knight
You and your partner can apply the vast energy generated by sexual union and orgasm to improve every facet of your life, spirituality, and relationship! Here is a bold approach to the goddess tradition that joins traditional Gwyddonic ritual and symbolism with tasteful erotic guided fantasies. Journey the eight Sabbats with the goddess and her consort, exploring their different aspects through rituals, magical practices, and imagery.
TAGS: Paganism

Healing Sex: A Mind-Body Approach to Healing Sexual Trauma
by Staci Haines
The first encouraging, sex-positive guide for all women survivors of sexual assault — heterosexual, bisexual, lesbian, coupled, and single — who want to reclaim their sex lives. While most books on the topic broach sexuality only to reassure women that it is all right to say “no” to unwanted sex, Healing Sex encourages women to learn how to say “yes” — to their own desires and on their own terms. This mind-body approach to healing from sexual trauma was created by Staci Haines, who has been educating in the area of sexual abuse, sex education, and somatic healing for over 15 years. Her techniques are ideal for anyone looking for a new way to heal from trauma, beyond traditional talk therapy.
TAGS: sexual trauma, holistic

The Heart and Soul of Sex: Making the ISIS Connection
by Gina Ogden
Drawing on the results of her unique national sex survey—and on decades of clinical practice as a sex therapist—Gina Ogden offers a revolutionary exploration of women’s sexual experience. The best sex, say thousands of women, doesn’t just happen in the body. It is multidimensional, connecting body, mind, heart, and soul. In The Heart and Soul of Sex, Ogden coaches readers to fully realize the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of sex, making what she calls the “ISIS Connection.”

Throughout the book are firsthand stories of survey respondents, offering examples of how ordinary women—from ages eighteen to eighty-six and from many backgrounds—have found their own way to sexual expression that is deeply satisfying and even life-changing. The Heart and Soul of Sex takes the reader on a journey beyond the usual emphasis on performance, including practical exercises that can be done alone or with a partner. Ogden shows us that we can be much more than we’ve been told—not just fun and exciting but deeply healing, magical, and transformative.
TAGS: spiritual

Hermaphrodeities: The Transgender Spirituality Workbook
by Raven Caldera
Transgendered people have long been robbed of their own spiritual history, not knowing that there were once times and places where ours was considered a spiritual path in and of itself. This book explores both our spiritual history and our modern predicaments, shaping the outline of a contemporary spiritual path for those of us who don’t fit into just one gender box. This revised and expanded edition of Hermaphrodeities features third gender myths, deities, personal and group exercises, community service project suggestions, rituals, and interviews with people from all over both the transgender spectrum. We are all sacred and it is time that the world knew it.
TAGS: trans, holistic, interfaith

Homosexianity
by Romell Weekly
In Homosexianity, Pastor Romell Weekly dives headlong into the mire of homosexuality and Scripture—two things long thought to be, by their very natures, diametrically opposed to one other. With unwavering directness, he tackles issues related to the interpretation and application of Scripture, and the cultures of society and the Church that have led to the spiritual and physical demise of so many people who struggle to make sense of their non-heteronormative sexual identity.

Homosexianity is divided into three (3) sections, making it easy to navigate and understand. Section 1 is purely theological, dissecting every passage commonly believed to reference homosexuality from Genesis to Revelation.

Section 2 builds upon the foundation laid in Section 1 by applying the biblical witness to the modern church and society, addressing issues such as whether people are born gay, the place of gay people within the Church, and gay marriage.

In Section 3, Pastor Weekly exposes the gritty realism of his own personal journey from being staunchly opposed to homosexuality because of what he believed the Bible taught on the subject, to now fully embracing it is a God-honored variation in human sexuality that is not only perfectly natural, but is also his own sexual orientation.
TAGS: LGBT, Christianity

Intimate Adventures- Sacred Healing (ebook)
by Rob Alex & Janelle Alex
Welcome to your Intimate Adventures: Sacred Ceremonies for Couples!  These ceremonies and rituals can transform your relationship and your life.  No matter what stage your relationship is in you can support it, give it a boost, move it to a higher level or simply honor it.  This is not work or therapy. Instead, Intimate Adventures offer you joyful, beautiful and fun filled experiences to achieve sacredness in all areas of your relationship – emotional, physical and spiritual.

Whether or not you consider yourself religious or spiritual, you and your partner will learn how to bring spirituality into the everyday life of your relationship.  Some of these ceremonies will help you bring the spiritual into your sexual relationship as well.  Remember we are actually spiritual beings having human experiences. Therefore, connecting with our souls and Spirit makes a tremendous difference in our lives.

Intimate Adventures help you create a safe space and open your heart with your partner.  The exercises, rituals, experiences and ceremonies you will discover will help you and your partner continually grow and expand as individuals and as a couple.

It is time to discover and connect with your blended spirit!

This book is available for download on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iBooks and on your computer with iTunes. Books must be read on an iOS device.
TAGS: spiritual, relationships

Jewel in the Lotus: the Sexual Path to Higher Consciousness
by Bodhi Avinasha and Sunyata Saraswati
The ancient secrets are emerging from the monasteries and the mystery school. Learn to direct the life force in your body — the creative sexual power. Increase your energy, heal, and rejuvenate yourself.
TAGS: tantra

Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics
by Margaret Farley
This long-awaited book by one of American Christianity’s foremost ethicists proposes a framework for sexual ethics whereby justice is the criterion for all loving, including love that is related to sexual activity and relationships. It begins with historical and cross-cultural explorations, then addresses the large questions of embodiment, gender, and sexuality, and finally delineates the justice framework for sexual ethics.

Though Just Love’s particular focus is Christian sexual ethics, Farley’s framework is broad enough to have relevance for multiple traditions. Also covered are specific issues in sexual ethics, including same-sex relationships, marriage and family, divorce and second marriage, celibacy, and sex and its negativities.
TAGS: Christianity, ethics

Keep Your Wives Away from Them: Orthodox Women, Unorthodox Desires
edited by Miryam Kabakov

Reconciling queerness with religion has always been an enormous challenge. When the religion is Orthodox Judaism, the task is even more daunting. This anthology takes on that challenge by giving voice to genderqueer Jewish women who were once silenced—and effectively rendered invisible—by their faith. Keep Your Wives Away from Them tells the story of those who have come out, who are still closeted, living double lives, or struggling to maintain an integrated “single life” in relationship to traditional Judaism—personal stories that are both enlightening and edifying. While a number of films and books have explored the lives of queer people in Orthodox and observant Judaism, only this one explores in depth what happens after the struggle, when the real work of building integrated lives begins. The candor of these insightful stories in Keep Your Wives Away from Them makes the book appealing to a general audience and students of women’s, gender, and LGBTQ studies, as well as for anyone struggling personally with the same issue. Contributors include musician and writer Temim Fruchter, Professor Joy Ladin, writer Leah Lax, nurse Tamar Prager, and the pseudonymous Ex-Yeshiva Girl.

TAGS: Judaism, gender

Lust for Enlightenment: Buddhism and Sex
by John Stevens
Over the centuries, Buddhism has responded to sexuality in a variety of fascinating ways, sometimes, suppressing the sexual urge, sometimes sublimating it, sometimes cultivating it, and, on the highest levels, transforming it. This book reveals how Buddhists, beginning with Shakyamuni Buddha himself, relate to the “inner fire” that drives humankind. Included are chapters on the Buddha’s love life before his enlightenment and his later relationships with women, the tantric approach to sex among Buddhists of ancient India, Tibet, China, and Japan; Zen in the art of love; and a positive discussion of women and Buddhism.
TAGS: Buddhism

Made in God’s Image
by Ann Thompson Cook
People of faith are fond of saying that each of us is “made in God’s image,” but most of us have no idea how many people feel excluded from that because of their sex or gender. Are you willing to consider that what you’ve been taught and assume to be true about males and females simply doesn’t fit the world as it really is?
In Made in God’s Image: A Resource for Dialogue about Gender Diversity, Ann Thompson Cook answers basic questions about gender variance as well as transgender and intersex people and their experiences.
TAGS: Christianity

Ministry Among God’s Queer Folk
by David J. Kundtz and Bernard S. Schlager
David Kundtz, a former Roman Catholic priest and currently an author and psychotherapist, and Bernard Schlager, Director of National Programming at CLGS, have written this practical handbook on the basic skills needed by religious caregivers and ministry students to be effective and supportive in their work among LGBTQ people, both within and outside their faith communities. Both Kundtz and Schlager teach courses at Pacific School of Religion that fulfill requirements for the school’s Certificate of Sexuality and Religion. Virginia Ramey Mollenkott “strongly recommends this work of love to everyone…who has ever felt a nudge toward ministry among God’s queer people”
TAGS: Christianity, ministry

The Multi-Orgasmic Couple: Sexual Secrets Every Couple Should Know
by Mantak Chia, Douglas Abrams, Maneew Chia, and Rachel Carlton Abrams
The bestselling authors of The Multi-Orgasmic Man show you and your partner how to:

  • Experience intense multiple whole-body orgasms

  • Pleasure each other profoundly

  • Use sexuality for health and healing

  • Deepen your love and spiritual relationship

Couples will discover simple step-by-step techniques for a level of sexual pleasure, intimacy, and healing they may not have known was possible. This fully illustrated guide will inspire couples to make love all night-and make love last a lifetime.

TAGS: Taoism, spiritual, relationships

Neither Man Nor Woman: The Hijras of India
by Serena Nanda
This ethnography is a cultural study of the Hijras of India, a religious community of men who dress and act like women. It focuses on how Hijras can be used in the study of gender categories and human sexual variation.

TAGS: trans, gender, Hinduism

Oh God, Oh God, Oh God!: Young Adults Speak Out About Sexuality and Christianity
edited by Heather Godsey, Lara Blackwood Pickrel, Christian Piatt, and Brandon Gilvin
Oh God! Oh God! Oh God! addresses issues of love, sex(uality) and embodiment from the perspectives of young adults who work for or are involved with the church.

Discussions about sex, sexuality, and theology are taboo in many churches. What about the tensions felt between the commitments of love, dating, marriage, or parenthood and living lives of faith and integrity? The essays in this book address multiple perspectives on love, dating, marriage, parenthood, sex, and sexuality, as well as looking at the history of the church s struggle with human sexuality from a fresh perspective.

TAGS: Christianity

Omnigender
by Virginia Ramey Mollenkott
Virginia Ramey Mollenkott contends that the common understanding of gender as two opposite sexes is woefully inadequate.  In fact, she argues that this “binary gender paradigm” is oppressive and inflicts grave suffering on many people.  Identifying ways in which this paradigm is harmful to people, Mollenkott moves beyond the current gender construct to offer a vision of a new, more flexible gender paradigm which she terms “omnigender.”

Drawing on a lifetime of experience in writing and teaching about gender issues, Mollenkott bridges traditional religious doctrine and secular postmodern theory related to gender.  She honors the experiences of people who do not fit within the traditional binary concept of gender, including individuals who are intersexual, transsexual, or otherwise transgendered.  Examining the Jewish and Christina scriptures and church history, she finds alternative concepts of gender.  Exploring Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, African, Native American, and other religions, she uncovers precedents for increased gender fluidity.

In proposing a new paradigm, Mollenkott offers a vision of what such and omnigendered society might look like and offers suggestions for the educational, scientific, and political steps it will take to get there.  “The binary gender construct has been and continues to be of life-and-death importance to those who cannot meet society’s unrealistic requirement,” writes Mollenkott.  In Omnigender. A Trans-religious Approach, Virginia Ramey Mollenkott shows how shifting gender paradigms will liberate individuals and make our society more truthful and just.
TAGS: interfaith, gender

Pagan Polyamory: Becoming a Tribe of Hearts
by Raven Kaldera
The term “polyamory” describes non-monogamous relationships based on honesty and affection. Presenting a fascinating peek inside the polyamorous lifestyle from a Pagan perspective, Raven Kaldera offers practical insight and spiritual depth into a vastly misunderstood way of life.

Relating polyamory to astrology and the elements (air, fire, water, earth, and spirit), the author addresses all aspects of the polyamorous life, including family life, sexual ethics, emotional issues, proper etiquette, relationship boundaries, and the pros of cons of this lifestyle. Kaldera also discusses polyamory as a path of spiritual transformation and shares spells, rituals, and ceremonies for affirming one’s relationships and spirituality.

TAGS: Paganism spiritual, poly

Queer Jews
edited by David Shneer and Caryn Aviv
Queer Jews describes how queer Jews are changing Jewish American culture, creating communities and making room for themselves, as openly, unapologetically queer and Jewish. Combining political analysis and personal memoir, these essays explore the various ways queer Jews are creating new forms of Jewish communities and institutions, and demanding that Jewish communities become more inclusive.

TAGS: Judaism, LGBT

Qu(e)erying Evangelism: Growing a Community From the Outside In
by Cheri Dinovo
Qu(e)erying Evangelism chronicles DiNovo’s own attempts as a minister to expand the membership of a rapidly shrinking congregation in a poor, inner city Toronto neighborhood. When members decided to evangelize among the marginalized and “queer” at their gate, church members are radically changed. The book addresses some of the key questions this experience has prompted, including: how to understand evangelism biblically and in a completely new way; how one functions as a queer theologian in a traditional pastorate; how one grows a congregation with real differences of opinion; and how the presence of the transgendered/transsexual challenges both theology and praxis of a mainline denomination. Cheri diNovo is senior minister at Emmanuel Howard United Church in Toronto, Canada. She received her M.Div. from the University of Toronto and her D.Min. from Toronto School of Theology. She is the host of the “Radical Reverend Show,” a weekly radio show in Toronto.
TAGS: ministry, Christianity, LGBT

Radical Ecstasy
by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy

With trademark frankness and humor, these popular BDSM/sexuality authors document their journey into the realm of transcendent kink and radical ecstasy. Here, they share techniques that partners BDSM with tantric sex practices to create a state of transcendence during sexual practice.

TAGS: kink, spiritual, tantra

The Return of Desire: A Guide to Rediscovering Your Sexual Passion
by Gina Ogden

Drawing on three decades of experience as a sex therapist and sex researcher, Dr. Gina Ogden shows you how to:

  • Open up to the four energies that spark desire
  • Create heart-to-heart communication with your partner
  • Transcend guilt, shame, and “good-girls-don’t” messages
  • Help heal the sexual wounds of abuse, addiction, affairs, and low self-esteem

• Enjoy sexual pleasure throughout your life span—from new love, to parenthood, and into your golden years

TAGS: spiritual

Sacred Sexuality: Living the Vision of the Erotic Spirit
by Georg Feuerstein

Based on a vast diversity of religious and spiritual traditions, this comprehensive exploration of sexuality’s spiritual dimensions uncovers deeply hidden messages about sexuality and shows how to incorporate the concepts of Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and other philosophies into our lives.

TAGS: Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, spiritual

Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond
by Lee Harrington

Modern tools of BDSM, fetish, kink and erotic adventuring have roots that go far back into history, tools that have been used for reaching altered states of consciousness, creating spiritual epiphanies, and changing lives. In Sacred Kink you will explore and find practical tools involving: – Negotiation, Communication and Aftercare for Sacred Kink – Catharsis, Top Trances and Exorcising Personal Demons – Ordeals, Earning Leathers, and Ending Relationships – Energetically Transmitted Diseases and Solo Sex Magic – Creating Ritual Play Spaces and Dedicated Tools – Developing Rituals for Dominance and Submission – Pain Processing and the Dialysis of Desire – Erotic Shapeshifting and Possession Workings – The Spiritual Calling of Mastery and Slavery – Kink and Chemistry Ethics – . . . and so much more. Whether you’re a seasoned explorer or have never delved into the depths, you hold in your hand a roadmap, a set of keys, and an invitation to journey on your own path of Sacred Kink.

TAGS: kink, spiritual

Sacred Power, Holy Surrender
edited by Raven Kaldera

What is it like to live a deliberate negotiated power dynamic — a dominant/submissive, master/slave, or owner/property relationship — as part of one’s spiritual path? This book is an anthology of real people who follow that barely charted road in a variety of different faiths and spiritualities. These writings go beyond the simple matter of ethics and move into the realm of relationship as transcendent discipline. Edited by Raven Kaldera, Sacred Power, Holy Surrender takes us into a world where power can be uncorrupted and surrender can be a way to freedom.

TAGS: kink, spiritual

Sex in the Bible: A New Consideration
by J. Harold Ellens

What is the Bible’s stance on such controversial issues as homosexuality and polygamy? What does it have to say about sexual behaviors that some would deem perverted or criminal? Is sex always wrong if it is not used to create life?

Ellens answers these and other questions in a book that argues that our understanding of what the Bible has to say about sex is frequently misguided. He corrects our impressions with a look at the Scriptures themselves, considers what they might have meant to people in the past, and reflects on how we understand, or misunderstand, them today. Focusing on early interpretations and contemporary misconceptions, Ellens guides readers through what the Bible actually says, showing how these messages have been interpreted in different contexts, and suggesting new ways of reading and translating them for use in our own lives. Readers hoping to reach a better understanding of the Bible’s views on sexual practices and sexuality in general will find their questions answered here.

What does the story of Adam and Eve reveal about sex and sexuality? What does the Old Testament say about sex and how might we interpret that in our own lives today? How does the New Testament say we should behave in our sexuality and our lives? What lessons can we learn from a closer examination of the Bible and its teachings on human love, marriage, and sexuality? These are among the many questions Ellens answers in an effort to help us all come to a better understanding of the gift of sexuality and its attendant behaviors in our lives. In non-judgmental prose, he elucidates the Bible and our understanding of its teaching on these and related issues.

TAGS: Christianity

Sex as God Intended
by John J. McNeill and Ken Page

Sex as God Intended It will make you think. It will make you question everything you’ve heard in the media or in church about homosexuals and God. It will make you question the rightness or wrongness of gay marriage. It will make you take a closer look at your faith and your beliefs. It is a book that encourages spiritual and intellectual growth, and a book that all Christians should read, even if your pastor or minister or priest tells you it is evil. God created thought and reflection, and what He created can never be evil. –Jack Gardner,Edge Publications

It has often been noted how Jesus in the Gospels has absolutely nothing to say about homosexuality. John McNeill has shown clearly that in His actions, the Lord goes much further than words in acknowledging and accepting such relationships. –Queering the Church blog

Sex as God Intended is the crowning work of one of our true sages, vital and inspired in his ninth decade. A fount of new and stimulating ideas as well as a compact overview of John McNeill’s cumulative wisdom, it is essential reading for all of us who call ourselves lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender and Christian.

TAGS: LGBT, Christianity

Sex and Transcendence: Enhance Your Relationships Through Meditations, Chakra & Energy Work
by Keith Sherwood
Imagine not only having a sex life that’s out of this world, but also having a more intimate relationship with your partner-and a life filled with pleasure, love, and joy. Blending tantra, karma, past lives, and universal consciousness, this book helps you use your body, mind, and energy field to reach new heights of sexual ecstasy and create a profoundly spiritual relationship.

Renowned author Keith Sherwood shares practical techniques for releasing karmic baggage, overcoming sexual inhibitions, and using your chakras and energy system to experience complete oneness with your partner. This guide includes step-by-step exercises that can be performed alone or with a partner, and illustrations of the various mudras and the human energy system.

Discover spiritual foreplay techniques for multiple full-body orgasms, and learn to sustain a loving relationship built on trust and heightened passion.
TAGS: tantra, New Age

Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance, and Religion on America’s College Campuses
by Donna Freitas

Based on dozens of face-to-face interviews, Sex and the Soul explores the sexual and spiritual lives of today’s college students. Donna Freitas crisscrossed the country, visiting a range of America’s colleges and universities–from public to private, Catholic to evangelical–to find out what students had to say about these highly personal subjects. Their stories will not only engage readers, but, in many cases, move them with the painful struggles these candid young women and men face. Indeed, the book uncovers aspects of college life that may unsettle some readers, especially parents. Many campuses, for instance, are dominated by the pervasiveness of hook-up culture. Moreover, many students see little connection between sex and religion, even as they seek one between sex and spirituality. Indeed, these observations hold true even at Catholic schools. Only at evangelical colleges is religion an important factor when deciding whether or not to engage in sex. But Freitas’s research also reveals that, even at secular schools, students are not comfortable with a culture of casual sex, and that they do want spirituality, at least, if not also religion, to speak about what they should do and who they should try to be–not just what they should avoid doing.

Sex and the Soul will offer readers the chance to hear college students speaking honestly about extremely sensitive topics, in a book that will be of great interest to students, parents, clergy, teachers, and anyone who wants to know what’s happening on today’s college campuses.
TAGS: college

Sex, Sin, and Zen: A Buddhist Exploration of Sex from Celibacy to Polyamory and Everything in Between
by Brad Warner
With his one-of-a kind blend of autobiography, pop culture, and plainspoken Buddhism, Brad Warner explores an A-to-Z of sexual topics — from masturbation to dating, gender identity to pornography. In addition to approaching sexuality from a Buddhist perspective, he looks at Buddhism — emptiness, compassion, karma — from a sexual vantage. Throughout, he stares down the tough questions: Can prostitution be a right livelihood? Can a good spiritual master also be really, really bad? And ultimately, what’s love got to do with any of it? While no puritan when it comes to non-vanilla sexuality, Warner offers a conscious approach to sexual ethics and intimacy — real-world wisdom for our times.
TAGS: Buddhism, ethics

Spirit of Desire: Personal Explorations of Sacred Kink
by Lee Harrington
Spirit of Desire features thirty-three profoundly personal and diverse stories sharing the revelations, power, connections, and pathways explored in Sacred Kink. Each of these passages is shared from the heart, a glimpse into the intimate. Some of the authors have been on the road for decades, others for a short time; some have spoken about their passions before, others are only now putting pen to page. Through their eyes we will dive deep and find new insights into: Catharsis. Clarity. Intimacy. Lust. Devotion. Passion. Beauty. Hope. Energy. Faith. Intention. Fear. Consent. Service. Openness. Suffering. Surrender. Connection. Sacredness. Desire. Forgiveness. Divinity. Epiphany. Love
TAGS: kink, spiritual

Spiritual Midwifery
by Ina May Gaskin

Here is the 4th edition of the classic book on home birth that introduced a whole generation of women to the concept of natural childbirth. Back again are even more amazing birthing tales, including those from women who were babies in earlier editions and stories about Old Order Amish women attended by the Farm midwives.

Also new is information about the safety of techniques routinely used in hospitals during and after birth, information on postpartum depression and maternal death, and recent statistics on births managed by The Farm Midwives.

From the amazing birthing tales to care of the newborn, Spiritual Midwifery is still one of the best books an expectant mother could own. Includes resources for doulas, childbirth educators, birth centers, and other organizations and alliances dedicated to improving maternity care at home and in hospitals.
TAGS: doula/midwife, spiritual

Spiritual Transformation through BDSM
by Sensuous Sadie
Some people feel that their spiritual side is always present and always powerful, whether doing BDSM or anything else, so BDSM always has to do with spirituality…As for me, I believe it takes conscious acts to live a spiritual life. Spirituality is fundamental to how I move through my life and BDSM is one way to stamp my ticket there. ~ Sensuous Sadie Spiritual Transformation through BDSM does not presume to be a step-by-step manual for obtaining enlightenment through bondage, domination, sadism, or masochism, although it provides enough for the reader to plot their own path. At once both scholarly and approachable, this book is a compilation of dozens of interviews, articles, anecdotes, and tales, by the today’s leaders in the BDSM community. By reading Spiritual Transformation, practicioners of BDSM are encouraged to consider the religious and spiritual importance of their devotion.
TAGS: kink, spiritual

The Spirituality of Sex
by J. Harold Ellens
This book describes the psychospiritual facts of life about the pervasiveness of sexuality in all aspects of human life. The energy developed by our libido is the dynamic source of all the forces that shape our experience, life, motives, thought, feelings, desires, and spiritual longings. No facet of life is untouched or unshaped by this dynamo. Whether we are sitting in church at worship, in a meeting for business, in a party for pleasure, we are always aware of the gender of those who are around us and of their level of sensuality, as it impacts us. If we are not aware of that, some wounding has produced an impairment in us that has forced us to repress the awareness inappropriately. This work is not a how to manual so much as a description of the deep meaningfulness that can be found in the spirituality of sex. It is designed to enlighten us about ourselves, to give names to what we all feel all the time and do not know quite how to describe. It is about savoring the spiritual flavor of sexual play and sexual union. This is a book for everyone, from the inquiring adolescent to the mature adult looking for what is missing in sex and relationships. This is not a book mainly for Christians or Jews. It is about the generic human spirituality in every one of us, true believer and atheist alike. It is about being human more fully and with greater satisfaction. Human spirituality is best defined as our irrepressible hunger and quest for meaning in all aspects of life.

Human sexuality is best defined as our irrepressible hunger and quest for union with other persons and the meaning of life found in the wholeness that such union brings. Sexuality and spirituality are not two different things. They are two names for the same thing: the irrepressible human quest for meaning, fulfillment, union, and wholeness. They are not two different forces, nor are they in any way at odds with one another, as they have been made to seem in the polarizing attitudes about sexuality and spirituality popular in human society, thanks to the excessive and negative moralization of sex. Here, Ellens sheds new light on the interplay of sexuality and spirituality through the use of anecdotes, observation, and thoughtful analysis.
TAGS: interfaith, spiritual

Still Standing: Musings of a Christian Transsexual
by Cindy Martin
Cindy Martin is a college professor, writer, Pentecostal Christian and a transsexual. She breaks every stereotype of the transgendered. She is a devout Christian and a consummate academic. Her life is remarkable in that it is unremarkable. In this book she speaks of her transition through short stories and essays, most of which were written during her transition. Taken as a whole they present the reader with a “real time” memoir of an ordinary transsexual who is also a woman of faith. Can Christian Transsexuals exist? Cindy Martin makes a compelling case for answering “Yes.”
TAGS: Christianity, Pentecostal, trans

Stranger At The Gate
by Mel White
Until Christmas Eve 1991, Mel White was regarded by the leaders of the religious right as one of their most talented and productive supporters. He penned the speeches of Ollie North. He was a ghostwriter for Jerry Falwell, worked with Jim Bakker, flew in Pat Robertson’s private jet, walked sandy beaches with Billy Graham. What these men didn’t know was that Mel White—evangelical minister, committed Christian, family man—was gay.

In this remarkable book, Mel White details his twenty-five years of being counseled, exorcised, electric-shocked, prayed for, and nearly driven to suicide because his church said homosexuality was wrong. But his salvation—to be openly gay and Christian—is more than a unique coming-out story. It is a chilling exposé that goes right into the secret meetings and hidden agendas of the religious right. Told by an eyewitness and sure to anger those Mel White once knew best, Stranger at the Gate is a warning about where the politics of hate may lead America … a brave book by a good man whose words can make us richer in spirit and much wiser too.
TAGS: LGBT, Christianity

Transgender Good News
by Pat Conover
Transgender Good News begins with a review of physiological, psychological and sociological research. The physiological chapter addresses genetics; development; evolution; and male and female comparative anatomy including hormones, brain anatomy and intersexuality. The psychological chapter addresses clinical and non-clinical studies, comparative analysis of cognitive and emotional traits, and issues of androgyny. The sociological chapter addresses survey research, social construction theory and qualitative research, deviance theory and research, and issues in the choice of sexual partners. Following the scientific chapters is a chapter of brief stories and the photographs of Mariette Pathy Allen that demonstrate the broad diversity of transgender people. The 6th chapter offers the author’s contribution to scientific theory concerning transgender experience and expression. The 7th chapter critiques the medical model understanding of transgender experience and expression and the psychiatric diagnosis of “Gender Identity Disorder.” The 8th chapter considers issues facing transgender people, including sexual relations, parenting, identity and other legal questions, employment, marriage, political action, and cultural oppression. The final chapter offers the first thorough consideration of Christian theology concerning transgender experience and expression, including natural theology, biblical theology, doctrinal theology, liberation theology, and dialectic theology.
TAGS: academic, Christianity, trans

Transgender Journeys
by Virginia Ramey Mollenkott and Vanessa Sheridan
Information and inspiration while sharing real-life experiences about the joy and pain of being Christian and gender-variant.
TAGS: trans, Christianity

Transgendering Faith: Identity, Sexuality, and Spirituality
by Leanne McCall Tigert and Maren C. Tirabassi
Transgendering Faith is a resource to help churches respond with love and care to transgender people in our society, both those within the Christian community and those who find themselves–unhappily–outside its doors. It is also a book for transgender Christians, their families, pastoral counselors, and clergy. The first section, “The Basics for Everyone,” includes essays written by professionals and therapists who give readers a basic understanding of the transgender issue. Part Two–“In Our Own Words”–features stories of transgender persons from diverse denominational, age, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. These are stories of their painful experiences of rejection, self-doubt, and “Bible-flavored condemnation,” but also stories celebrating God’s blessing of who they are and their church and family experiences of hospitality, affirmation, and reconciliation. Part Three includes worship resources, Bible studies, and transgender resources for individual and community use.
TAGS: Christianity, trans

Trans-Gendered: Theology, Ministry, and Communities of Faith

by Justin Edward Tanis
Justin Tanis, a transgendered ordained minister in the Metropolitan Community Churches, seeks to explore the spiritual nature of transgendered persons, to listen to the stories of others like himself, and to provide theological reflection on the ministries of, by and for this particular community. The book includes an introduction to trans issues, an overview of gender variance and the Bible, reflections on the intersection of transgendered people and faith communities and how to create a genuine welcome for trans people in those communities, as well as a theological analysis of gender as a calling and transgendered body theology. Dr. Tanis earned his M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School and his D.Min. from San Francisco Theological Seminary and serves on the National Advisory Board of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry.
TAGS: Christianity, trans

Tritiya-Prakriti: People of the Third Sex
by Amara Das Wilhelm
Tritiya-Prakriti: People of the Third Sex is a collection of years of research into a topic seldom discussed or easily found within the Hindu/Vedic scriptural canon. Based entirely upon authentic Sanskrit references and modern concurring facts, the book guides us through the original Hindu concept of a “third sex” (defined as homosexuals, transgenders and the intersexed), how such people were constructively incorporated into ancient Indian society, and how foreign influences eventually eroded away that noble system. It discusses how this concept can be practically applied in today’s modern world, the importance of all-inclusiveness in human society, and the spiritual principle of learning to transcend material designations altogether. Tritiya-Prakriti: People of the Third Sex will be a valuable source of reference for anyone interested in Hindu/LGBTI studies whether they are newcomers to the field or seasoned veterans of Vedic knowledge. It offers a veritable treasure trove of fresh information and ideas that will likely challenge the reader to rediscover and rethink Hinduism’s traditional understanding and treatment of gay, lesbian, and other gender-variant people within its culture.
TAGS: trans, Hinduism, LGBT

Two-spirit people : Native American Gender Identity, Sexuality, and Spirituality
edited by Sue-Ellen Jacobs, Wesley Thomas, and Sabine Lang
“This volume converts a lifeless, stereotyped image into a vast array of living, breathing, thinking, and talking people.” — William L. Leap, coeditor of Out in the Field: Reflections of Lesbian and Gay Anthropologists
TAGS: two-spirit, indiginous

Where the Edge Gathers: Building a Community of Radical Inclusion
by Yvette A. Flunder
In Where the Edge Gathers, Flunder uses examples of persons most marginalized by church and society to illustrate the use of “village ethics”–knowing where the boundaries are when all things are exposed–and “village theology”–giving everyone a seat at the central meeting place or welcome table. She focuses on the following marginalized groups: 1) samesex couples, to convey the need to re-examine sexual and relational ethics; 2) transgendered persons, to illustrate the importance of radical inclusivity; 3) and gay persons living with AIDS, to emphasize the need to de-stigmatize society’s view of any group of people. The book, which combines both Flunder’s personal experiences with marginalized people and theological and pastoral literature on the topic, will appeal to denominational leaders and clergy who minister to the marginalized and/or the inner city.
TAGS: LGBT, trans, HIV/AIDS, Christianity

Yoga from the Inside Out: Making Peace With Your Body Through Yoga
by Christina Sell and John Friend
There are dozens of books that tell you where to place your heel when you do yoga, where to put your arm, how to bend your waist…This is a book that teaches where to place your heart when you do yoga. There is more to yoga than postures, and Christina Sell draws on her own experience and that of her students to produce the first book on Anusara Yoga. A beautiful book about women in yoga, finding peace and acceptance and bringing that to their lives, their bodies and their practice.
TAGS: yoga, spiritual

Consulting and Professional Services

Dossie Easton
Note: Dossie serves a variety of populations for therapy, spiritual seekers among them.

There is always more. When it comes to religion, I am a pluralist. I understand that no one has a monopoly on spiritual truth, not even me. This is what makes me a pagan, studying old and new paths that others have taken to connect to spirit.

Many different paths lead up the same mountain. My own path has led me through psychedelics, research in medieval mystics, Buddhism, Tantra, various forms of yoga, assorted gods and goddesses, and connection with Nature and animal spirit medicine.

I believe that sex is sacred, and that all sexual connections provide spiritual awakening.

As a psychotherapist, I can offer support in developing visualizations, meditations, and ritual practices that are useful in understanding your own emotional journey and in interpreting the symbols found in your dreams and visions.
TAGS: psychotherapy, spiritual

Sacred Birthing
Kauai, HI
Sacred Birthing realigns birth with the Intelligence of Natural Law. By birthing gently, babies remain conscious, and remember that they are beings of love, never losing their conscious connection to their higher nature.
TAGS: pregnancy, holistic

Lara Catone
Venice, CA, other locations and online services available
Lara Catone is a teacher that inspires women to live fully empowered and celebrated lives.

As a yoga teacher and sexual wellness educator with extensive experience in women’s health, Lara offers a full spectrum approach to health, wellness and happiness.

Lara’s personalized sessions empower women to claim their desires, pleasure and radiance.  Her Restore Your Core™* program includes revolutionary nonsurgical approaches to endometriosis, abdominal separation (diastasis recti), incontinence and pelvic pain.

See also: Lara’s Youtube Series, Sexual Wellness TV.
TAGS: yoga, sexual health, doula/midwife, pregnancy, bodyworker

Michele Clarkson
Scottsdale, Arizona, phone services available
A deep bow of gratitude for investigating Michele and her work. Michele is a nationally known sexologist, therapist and coach, specializing in Sexuality. She has a private practice in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Her holistic approach incorporates a mind, body and spiritual awareness to sex therapy, sex coaching, sexual healing, body psychology, energy/tantric therapies, mindfulness-psychotherapy, visualization, and meditation.

Sex Therapy is a unique and specialized type of professional counseling which focuses on helping people address their concerns about sex.
TAGS: coach, therapist

Lee Harrington
Lee Harrington is an internationally known spiritual and erotic educator, gender explorer, eclectic artist and award-winning author and editor on human sexuality and sacred experience. He is a nice guy with a disarmingly down to earth approach to the fact that we are each beautifully complex ecosystems, and we deserve to examine the human experience from that lens. He’s been traveling the globe (from Seattle to Sydney, Berlin to Boston), teaching and talking about sexuality, psychology, faith, desire and more, and has no intention to stop any time soon. He has been an academic and an adult film performer, a world class sexual adventurer, an outspoken philosopher, is a kink/bondage expert, and has been blogging about sex and spirituality since 1998. Read more about Lee at PassionAndSoul.com. Also see: Blog.
TAGS: kink, trans, spiritual

DiAnna Ritola
Minneapolis, MN, online services available
When you open yourself up to a deeper experience of your sexuality and spirituality you are more authentically YOU, and this integration affects not only you, but all your relationships and connections.

Working with me, you unpack your sexual baggage, learn to confidently ask for what you want, increase sexual energy, enjoy passionate and heart-centered relationships on all levels, and experience profound joy in your connection with your Self, Others and the Divine.

At the heart of everything, I invite you to Bring More YOU To Your Life.
TAGS: coach

The Sanctuary Birth and Family Wellness Center
Los Angeles, CA
The Sanctuary Birth & Family Wellness Center is committed to bringing you amazing care! We offer comprehensive, holistic and compassionate maternity care in an environment that honors the sanctity of birth, thus allowing the instinctual parental- infant bonding that sets the foundation for health and human potential.

The Sanctuary offers midwifery services to families in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. We are currently offering home birth, water birth, prenatal care, postpartum care, lactation support and well-woman gynecological care.
TAGS: pregnancy, holistic

 

Sunyata Satchitananda
San Fransisco Bay Area, online services available
‘The focus of the spiritual counseling I provide is on gaining deeper understanding and clearing blocks to experiencing and expressing fully in the most intimate and vulnerable areas of life: sex, intimacy and relationship. With 25+ years as a spiritual counselor and 12 years as a Tantric adept, I bring to our sessions unique insight and life experience. Sex, and one’s experience of his or her sensual / sexual nature, is a fundamental, core need for most people. Due to puritanical cultural influences as well as personal emotional wounding and sexual trauma—most people don’t experience “sexual fullness” or easeful sexual fulfillment. I help you to understand and remove the blocks, or “energy knots,” that prevent full expression and experience of sex and intimacy in a satisfying and fulfilling way.
TAGS: coach, tantric

Sexy Challenges (Dr. Janelle Alex, Ph.D and Rob Alex, M.Sc)
Westminster, CO, online services available
Do you crave sexy sex? Do you want Powerful, Playful, Passion? Wanna move to a higher level of lovemaking? Practical sensuality and spirituality for couples!

See also: The Sexy Challenges Blog
TAGS: relationships, spiritual

Neal Wecker
Ithaca, NY and worldwide
My sexual/erotic journey has led me to a deep appreciation of the power and richness of embodiment, of exploring my physical reality and the spirit that enlivens it. Erotic energy, the primal effervescent energy of sexual arousal, has become for me both a cherished ally and a respected teacher. I believe that by embracing our erotic lives and learning to deeply value, respect, and consciously explore the rise and presence of erotic energy in our body/ being reality, we can ground ourselves in the deep truth of the spirit-in-form dance, and realize the vibrancy of lives rich with ecstatic exuberance, self generated empowerment, and a nourishing equanimity of being. With an expanded validation of the power of sexuality in our lives, visionary realistic intentions, and the necessary skills of inward attention as a starting point for exploring outward expression, we can learn to use our erotic energy towards higher visions and expressions of personal and communal vitality and well- being.

I believe that we need our sexual lives to be of community concern. We need to come out as sexual, pleasure-loving, conscious beings if we are to grow beyond the harmful confines of a fear-based puritanical and patriarchal legacy. We must learn to respect, honor, and explore our sexual reality with the utmost reverence and love: love of our embodied reality, love of the sacred energy that enlivens our physical form, and love for the mystery that we simply are part of as expressions and truths of life. This is at the heart of my intention as a Sacred Intimate and somatic sex educator. With that intention I warmly invite you to take part in the many offerings and services of the Eros Sanctuary.
TAGS: coach, bodyworker

Curricula/Teaching Materials

The Faith and Sexuality Project
The Faith and Sexuality Project has been created to help secondary school students to explore what the three religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have to say about lesbian and gay people. The resources available here are intended to help students in critical enquiry about these issues and in the development of empathetic understanding of lesbian and gay people who are adherents of these faiths.
TAGS: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, LGBT, international

Religious Institute Annotated Bibliography of Sexuality Curricula
Many sexuality education curricula are available for use in faith communities with congregants of all ages from pre-school through adulthood. While a diversity of approaches and educational styles are used and the programs support the values of the particular faith community, each of the curricula listed below supports sexuality as a special gift to be nurtured through faith-filled practice, teaching, and dialogue. We encourage readers to carefully review curricula to assure that they are appropriate for a specific faith community; however, readers may find useful lessons and approaches in curricula from denominations besides their own.
TAGS: Christianity, Judaism, Presbyterian, Catholicism, Mennonite, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Unitarian Universalism, United Church of Christ, Orthodox Church, interfaith, Church of the Brethren, non-denominational, Reformed Church, Episcopalian, Metropolitan Community Church

transACTION A Transgender Curriculum for Churches and Religious Institutions

A workbook for making helping churches understand transpeople and making transpeople feel welcome.
TAGS: trans, Christianity, LGBT

United Church of Christ Curricula Programs
For over 40 years, the United Church of Christ has encouraged churches to study human sexuality and has published life-span comprehensive resources for use not only in the faith community, but also in secular settings.

Our resources, Our Whole Lives-Sexuality and Our Faith , Created in God’s Image and Affirming Persons, Saving Lives are age-appropriate, medically-accurate, and have both immediate relevance and applicability for later life.

In addition, they emphasize and underscore the values of love, mutuality, self worth, health, responsibility, justice and inclusivity.
TAGS: Christianity, United Church of Christ

Organizations

Christianity

Affirmation
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals from every background and situation, united in the shared experience of a spiritual and/or cultural heritage in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS/Mormon).

  • We affirm that sexual orientation, identity, and expression are special gifts from God and that we are all children of loving Heavenly Parents

  • We believe that our lives and relationships can be compatible with the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Plan of Salvation, and that LGBT individuals are a special part of God’s Creation

  • We reject the concept that orientation and identity can be changed and believe that same sex relationships are entitled to the same recognition and blessings as heterosexual relationships

  • We are a family that consists of active members of the LDS faith, former members and non-members.

Our membership consists of individuals at different places in the coming-out process, as well as families, friends and allies. Our mission is to provide a safe space where LGBT individuals, as well as those questioning their orientation, can associate with like individuals, ask questions, and know that they are not alone. We help LGBTQ people reconcile with their spirituality within the context of a common Mormon background.
TAGS: Christianity, Mormon, LDS

The Association of Welcome and Affirming Baptists
The Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists seeks to be faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ by forming a network of Baptist congregations so that we may:

  1. Work to end discrimination in any form, both in the church and in the world, especially when this discrimination is based on sexual orientation or gender identity;

  2. Advocate for the welcome, affirmation and full inclusion of openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons within Baptist churches and celebrate, nurture and count as sacred their sexuality and gender;

  3. Encourage study and provide educational opportunities and resources on human sexuality, gender diversity, and related issues;

  4. Develop, publicize and support a network of Welcoming & Affirming (W&A) congregations within Baptist churches; and

  5. Cooperate ecumenically with Welcoming Church Programs within other religious bodies.

TAGS: Christianity, Baptist, LGBT

Brethren Mennonite Council for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Interests
The mission of BMC is to cultivate an inclusive church and society and to care for the Mennonite and Brethren lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and allied community.

For our community we will:

  • Visibly advocate for justice on behalf of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (lgbt) people.

  • Reach out to lgbt persons and allies who share a connection with Mennonite and Church of the Brethren heritages.

  • Provide opportunities for lgbt persons and allies to nurture relationships, celebrate community, and build networks of solidarity, empowerment, support and care.

  • Provide intentional support and advocacy for lgbt youth and young adults.

  • Connect people with lgbt-positive theological and spiritual resources.

  • Empower individuals and groups to advocate for justice and work for change.

  • Acknowledge the limitations of our worldviews and commit to broadening our understanding and appreciation of human diversity.

For the church we will:

  • Be a persistent voice for an open and inclusive church.

  • Call congregations to be actively open and inclusive communities.

  • Hold denominational leadership accountable to their denomination’s vision of social justice, expecting fair play, honesty, integrity, risk and courage.

  • Develop denominationally sensitive theological, biblical and spiritual resources.

  • Provide educational opportunities for our denominations and related educational institutions.

For society we will:

  • Participate in the broader social justice movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people by building alliances with other denominational and secular organizations who share similar concerns.
  • Responsibly advocate for religious practices and policies that support democratic visions and an inclusive society.
  • Intentionally connect our experiences of injustice with other forms of social discrimination and commit ourselves to resist oppression in all its forms.

TAGS: Christianity, Mennonite, LGBT

Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry
The Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry (CALGM) is an association of diocesan, parish and campus-based ministries and those involved in these ministries.  CALGM reflects the Catholic Church’s commitment to pastoral concern and support for lesbian and gay Catholics, their parents, families and friends.  These ministries, under the leadership of bishops, pastors and other pastoral leaders, seek to apply Church teachings regarding the successful integration of sexuality and spirituality and the recognition of the dignity, respect and inclusion of gay and lesbian persons in the life and mission of the Church.1 As a pastoral association, CALGM focuses on connecting people with local parishes and faith communities where they can better learn about Church teaching under the immediate guidance of pastors and other trained Church leaders.
TAGS: Christianity, Catholicism, Lesbian, Gay, ministry

Catholics for Choice

Called upon time and time again for information, advice and skills building, Catholics for Choice helps people and organizations confidently challenge the power of the Catholic hierarchy which uses every means at its disposal to punish and publicly shame Catholics who don’t unquestioningly follow its edicts. The hierarchy also seeks to impose its narrow view of morality ― and dangerous positions on public health issues ― on Catholics and non-Catholics around the world.
TAGS: Christianity, Catholicism, repro rights

Church of Asphodel
We are pagan religious community, legally incorporated as the First Kingdom Church of Asphodel. We hold regular services, holiday celebrations, events and classes. As a service to our members and the greater pagan community, we can facilitate dedications, rites of passage, and other personal rituals for members and non-members. We have legally ordained ministers among our membership who can perform legal weddings as well as handfastings and rituals to sanctify a wide range of relationships between two or more people which are not legally recognized. We have a program for Pagan Ministry, and we strive to provide counseling & aid to any who ask, to the best of our ability.
TAGS: Paganism, BDSM, kink

Condoms4Life
Condoms4Life is an unprecedented worldwide public education effort to raise public awareness about the devastating effect of the bishops’ ban on condoms. The campaign was launched on World AIDS Day 2001 with the display of billboards and ads in subways and newspapers saying, “Banning Condoms Kills.”

The advertising campaign in the US, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, Kenya, Chile and Zimbabwe, was the first phase of an effort to change the Vatican’s policy and challenge its aggressive lobbying against availability and access to condoms in areas of the world most at risk. The ads point out that many of the 4,000 plus bishops lobby governments and the United Nations to restrict access to condoms claiming that condoms cause AIDS, not prevent it.

For World AIDS Day 2002, the campaign emphasized positive progress in the church and Bishop Kevin Dowling received hundreds of postcards from Condoms4Life supporters thanking him for his courage in opposing the church’s ban on condoms.

In 2003, in response to the inaccurate and irresponsible claims by a Vatican official that condoms do not prevent HIV transmission, the campaign urged Catholics, especially young people, to use condoms as part of a mature, responsible sexuality.

The campaign is sponsored by Catholics for Choice, its partners in Europe and Latin America and colleagues in Africa and Asia.

The Condoms4Life web site contains facts on HIV/AIDS and on Catholic hierarchy’s opposition to condoms around the world.
TAGS: Catholicism, Christianity, HIV/AIDS

Dignity USA
We believe that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics in our diversity are members of Christ’s mystical body, numbered among the People of God. We have an inherent dignity because God created us, Christ died for us, and the Holy Spirit sanctified us in Baptism, making us temples of the Spirit, and channels through which God’s love becomes visible. Because of this, it is our right, our privilege, and our duty to live the sacramental life of the Church, so that we might become more powerful instruments of God’s love working among all people.
TAGS: Catholicism, Christianity, LGBT

GLAD Alliance
We are called to join in God’s work of transforming the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) into a just and inclusive church that welcomes persons of all gender and sexual identities into full life and leadership.

  • As we seek to live into our mission, we are guided by these values:
  • We value human diversity in all its forms, as the intention of creation.
  • We value safe space in the church and the world.
  • We value the healing power of advocacy that enlarges that space and promotes justice.
  • We value partnerships with other groups that seek wholeness in a fragmented church and world.
  • We value raising the power of witness, education, and relationships to transform hearts and minds.
  • We value radical hospitality.

TAGS: LGBT, Christianity, Disciples of Christ

Institute for Welcoming Resources
The purpose of The Institute for Welcoming Resources (IWR) is to facilitate a paradigm shift in multiple denominations whereby churches become welcoming and affirming of all congregants regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.  IWR’s mission is to create resources that support the unconditional welcome of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities and their families in the church home of their choice.
TAGS: interdenominational, Christianity

Integrity USA
Integrity is a nonprofit organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender [LGBT] Episcopalians and our straight friends.  Since our founding by Dr. Louie Crew in rural Georgia in 1974, Integrity has been the leading grassroots voice for the full inclusion of LGBT persons in the Episcopal Church and our equal access to its rites.  However, advocacy is only one facet of our ministry.  At the national level and in local chapters and diocesan networks throughout the country, the primary activities are:

  • worship
  • fellowship
  • education
  • communication
  • outreach, and
  • service to the church

Through Integrity’s evangelism, thousands of LGBT people, estranged from the Episcopal Church and other denominations, have returned to parish life.

Although the Episcopal Church has made tremendous strides toward inclusiveness, it still has a long way to go.  Unfortunately, in too many parishes and dioceses, prejudice and oppression are still the norm.  Whatever your sexual orientation, Integrity needs your support and membership.
Episcopalian, Christianity, LGBT

National Episcopal AIDS Coalition
In response to those in our church who were living with HIV/AIDS and to the growing community of those affected by AIDS—caregivers, partners, friends, and loved ones—the National Episcopal AIDS Coalition was formed in 1988.Today, AIDS continues to spread in spite of treatment breakthroughs. NEAC continues to provide support for HIV and AIDS ministries across the Episcopal Church in the United States.

Our challenge is to continue to offer support for caregivers, give guidance on prevention, encourage the growth of a network for those who minister to those affected by HIV/AIDS, and advocate for a more compassionate AIDS policy.

Wherever the need, NEAC is there for you.
TAGS: Episcopalian, Christianity, HIV/AIDS

ReconcilingWorks
ReconcilingWorks advocates for the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Lutherans in all aspects of the life of their Church and congregations. We provide a place of comfort and safety. We reach out to teach that Christ’s message, the Gospel, is for everyone equally. We call for the blessing of committed and covenanted same-gender relationships, and for the ordination of those called to minister.
TAGS: Lutheran, Christianity, LGBT

Seventh-Day Adventist Kinship
Through education, advocacy, and reconciliation, Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International facilitates and promotes the understanding and affirmation of LGBTI Adventists among themselves and within the Seventh-day Adventist community. We minister to the spiritual, emotional, social and physical well-being of current and former Seventh-day Adventists who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex individuals and their families and friends.
TAGS: Seventh Day Adventist, Christianity, LGBT

The UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns
The Coalition provides support and sanctuary to all our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender sisters and brothers, their families and friends; advocates for their full inclusion in church and society; and brings Christ’s affirming message of love and justice for all people.
TAGS: Christianity, United Church of Christ, LGBT

Interfaith, Interdenominational, and General Spirituality

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Religious Archive Network
The LGBT Religious Archives Network (LGBT-RAN) is an innovative venture in preserving history and encouraging scholarly study of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) religious movements around the world.  LGBT-RAN has a two-fold basic purpose.  First it assists LGBT religious leaders and groups in determining how best to preserve their records and papers in appropriate repositories.  Secondly, LGBT-RAN provides an electronic information clearinghouse for these archival collections and other historical data about LGBT religious history for the use of historians, researchers and other interested persons.  LGBT-RAN can best be understood as a “virtual” archive.  It is not a physical repository that collects and preserves papers and records.  Instead, LGBT-RAN is a resource center that enables the preservation of history and makes historical information easily accessible through this web site.  Initiated in 2001 as a project of the Chicago Theological Seminary, LGBT-RAN has been a program of the Center for Lesbian & Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry in Berkeley, California, since 2008

Recognizing that history is written from the perspective of those who preserve their records, LGBT-RAN’s overarching purpose is to ensure the preservation and accessibility of the voices and experiences of a great diversity of LGBT religious leaders and groups.
TAGS: interfaith, LGBT

The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice is a leading religious voice for reproductive justice in this country. The core religious values that inform our work and positions include justice, equality, and freedom of conscience and love, community, affirmation, and parity at every level of engagement.

By fostering a public dialogue about sexuality and reproduction embodying the values of liberation and wholeness that infuse the world’s religions RCRC:

  • trains, resources and networks people of faith to be effective advocates for reproductive justice in order to influence the way in which individuals, institutions, and communities at large think about sexuality and reproduction;
  • provides opportunities for education, especially among at-risk populations, in order to improve personal decision-making, the cultural climate and public policy regarding sexuality and reproduction;
  • partners with other advocacy groups to build coalitions that ensure the right and responsibility of women, couples and  families to decide when, whether and how to bring children into the world.

TAGS: interfaith, repro rights

The Religious Consultation
The Religious Consultation (TRC) is an international, multi-faith network of progressive feminist religious scholars and leaders. We seek out the positive, renewable moral energies of our faith traditions, directing them to the issues of population, consumption, ecology, reproductive health and the empowerment of women. The Religious Consultation invites the distinctive insights of all world religions to join in our common quest for wisdom to heal the world.
TAGS: interfaith

The Religious Institute
The Religious Institute’s mission is to change the way America understands the relationship of sexuality and religion.

The primary objectives of the Religious Institute include:

      • Developing and supporting a network of clergy, religious educators, theologians, ethicists, and other religious leaders committed to sexual justice

      • Building the capacity of religious institutions and clergy to offer sexuality education within the context of their own faith traditions

      • Helping congregations become sexually healthy faith communities

Educating the public and policymakers about a progressive religious vision of sexual morality, justice, and healing
TAGS: interfaith

Soulforce
Soulforce is a national non-profit that works nonviolently to end the religious and political oppression of LGBTQ people. While we are not ourselves a faith-based organization, we lead from the understanding that oppressive religious beliefs, civil rights abuses and anti-feminist attitudes that oppress LGBTQ people are interrelated.  We envision a world in which social justice movements are inclusive and collaborative as we help make it possible for all people, regardless of chosen or inherent identities, to have access, opportunity and security.
TAGS: interfaith, LGBT, spiritual

Spiritual Youth for Reproductive Freedom
Spiritual Youth for Reproductive Freedom (SYRF) educates, organizes and empowers youth and young adults (ages 16-30) to put their faith into action and advocate for pro-choice social justice.

SYRF is a program of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

SYRF creates venues for youth education and activism, designs youth-specific materials, and builds lasting relationships with youth oriented organizations, campus clergy, and youth programs of our denominations.

Since young people lead this program, SYRF lifts up pro-faith youth and young adult perspectives on reproductive choice issues and provides young people with tools and opportunities to advocate for choice on their campuses, high schools, congregations and communities.
TAGS: interfaith, youth, repro rights

Transfaith Online
Transfaith™ is a national non-profit that is led by transgender people and focused on issues of faith and spirituality.  We work closely with many allied organizations, both secular and religious, transgender-led and otherwise. We believe that the spiritual vitality and leadership of people of transgender experience will make the world a better place. We bring people together to develop conversation, strategy, and community in order to help us all reach our full potential.
TAGS: LGBT, trans, interfaith, spiritual

Islam

Imaan
Imaan supports LGBT Muslim people, their families and friends, to address issues of sexual orientation within Islam. It provides a safe space and support network to address issues of common concern through sharing individual experiences and institutional resources.
Imaan promotes the Islamic values of peace, social justice and tolerance through its work, and aspires to bring about a world that is free from prejudice and discrimination against all Muslims and LGBT people.
TAGS: Islam, LGBT

The Inner Circle
The Inner Circle (TIC) was established by a concerned group Muslims in 1996 as an underground social and support group. It started out at the house of Imam Muhsin Hendricks in the form halqaat (study circles). These study circles still run on a Thursday night and have proven to be very successful in helping Muslims who are queer to reconcile Islam with their sexuality. In 2004 TIC was officially registered as a Not for Profit Human Rights Organization.

The Inner Circle is the longest standing, largest and most influential human rights organization in the world that deals with Islam, gender and sexual diversity from an Islamic theological perspective.  The Inner Circle works internationally and supports international affiliate organizations to do similar work, within an Islamic framework. The Inner Circle empowers and raises consciousness amongst Muslims and assists sexually diverse Muslims to reconcile Islam with their sexuality.  TIC employs independent reasoning to create a paradigm shift in the Muslim community, locally, nationally and internationally.

The Inner Circle’s existence, work and intervention encourage dialogue and is a vehicle towards integrating Islamic Rights with Human Rights.  This enables the organization to achieve its vision, which is to transform society into one of inter-connectedness and inclusivity of different faiths and beliefs around gender and sexual diversity.
TAGS: Islam, LGBT, international

Safra Project
The Safra Project is a resource project working on issues relating to lesbian, bisexual and/or transgender women who identify as Muslim religiously and/or culturally (Muslim LBT women). The Safra Project was set up in October 2001 by and for Muslim LBT women. The issues faced by Muslim LBT women, and the (combination of) prejudices based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, religion, race, culture and immigration status that they experience, are unique and currently insufficiently addressed.
The word Safra is related to the words for ‘journey’ and discovery’ in many languages such as Arabic, Farsi and Urdu. The Safra Project does not seek to provide ultimate answers or solutions, and is not a faith group. Our ethos is one of inclusiveness and diversity.
TAGS: LGBT, Islam

Salaam Canada
Welcome to the website of Salaam: Queer Muslim Community of Canada. Salaam is an organization dedicated to Muslims who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual/ transgender and or intersex, as well as those questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity, their families and friends.
TAGS: LGBT, Islam, international

Judaism

The Institute for Judaism, Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity
The Institute for Judaism, Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) is the first and only institute of its kind in the Jewish world. The Institute was founded in 2000 to educate HUC-JIR students on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues to help them challenge and eliminate homophobia and heterosexism; and to learn tools to be able to transform the communities they encounter into ones that are inclusive and welcoming of LGBT Jews.

Over time, this mission of education and the creation of welcoming spaces has expanded to the larger community outside the walls of our four campuses in Los Angeles, Cincinnati, New York and Jerusalem. The Institute offers consultation to individual professionals, synagogues and organizations as well as seminars and workshops at HUC-JIR and at local, national and international conferences.

The mission of the Institute is driven by Jewish religious values and the spiritual quest for holiness. The Institute for Judaism, Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity seeks:

  • To achieve complete inclusion, integration and welcoming of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in congregations and communities.
  • To train and empower Jewish professionals, educate students, and support scholars and researchers in their quest to develop a theology and practice of inclusion.
  • To encourage dialogue between constituent organizations within the Reform movement on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender topics.
  • To foster collaboration with community based educational and social service organizations to further our mission.
  • To grow the Jeff Herman Virtual Resource Center (JHVRC) and develop new resources including a focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender liturgy and ritual.
  • To organize workshops and academic conferences and develop curriculum modules to be implemented within the HUC-JIR academic program.

TAGS: Judaism, LGBT

Jewish Mosaic: The National Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jews and allies are our relatives, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. LGBT and allied Jews span the denominational and political spectrums. The Jewish communal world is full of LGBT and allied educators, cantors, rabbis, social workers, activists, and synagogue members. All too often LGBT Jews “assimilate” and hide their identities in order to participate in the Jewish world or “separate” and distance themselves from Jewish life, representing a collective loss in terms of the strength and vibrancy of the community.

Many in the Jewish world are ready to redefine the boundaries of the community to include Jews of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. Jewish Mosaic’s work is to contribute to and build on that momentum and to foster a process of transformative integration. LGBT Jews should not have to choose between their sexual and religious identities; we can transform Jewish institutions to accommodate all forms of Jewish difference. LGBT Jews can and should participate fully and equally in Jewish communal life and its core institutions.
TAGS: Judaism, LGBT

JQY
JQY is a nonprofit organization supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Jews and their families in the Orthodox community.

Our mission is to address the unique needs of LGBT frum* and formerly frum Jews. JQY is dedicated to cultivating a Jewish community where no one feels alone, bullied or silenced because of their orientation or gender identity. Special attention is given to youth, young adults and their families; however we have programs for all ages.
TAGS: Judaism, LGBT

Keshet
Keshet is a national grassroots organization that works for the full equality and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Jews in Jewish life. Led and supported by LGBT Jews and straight allies, Keshet strives to cultivate the spirit and practice of inclusion in all parts of the Jewish community. We began as a small, grassroots group working for change in the Greater Boston area, and we are now a national organization with offices in the Bay Area and Denver, in addition to our national office in Boston.
TAGS: Judaism, LGBT

The National Council of Jewish Women
The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.
TAGS: Judaism

 

Web Resources/Blogs

I Am Not Haraam
Welcome to the home of the “I am not Haraam” project – a blog created for LGBTQ Muslims by LGBTQ Muslims.
Haraam is an Arabic word used in Islam to mean “forbidden”. This project has been started as a way for LGBTQ Muslims to stand up and proclaim that we will not allow our existence as LGBTQ Muslims to be erased any longer. We are not kafirs, we are not deviant, our existence is not a sin. This is our space to say: WE ARE NOT HARAAM.
TAGS: Islam, LGBT

Inside Out Faith
In an effort to continue to create a positive and constructive dialogue on behalf of LGBT people of faith Jennifer is now presenting Inside Out Faith. Having experienced, first hand, the devastating effects of rejection and judgment, Jennifer knows full well the challenges of being “out” in certain faith communities. However, it is in the sharing of her journey through story, music and conversation that she has discovered the healing that comes from breaking the silence. See a related article.
TAGS: Christianity, LGBT

Movies

A Jihad for Love
In a time, when Islam is under tremendous attack-from within and without-‘A Jihad for Love’ is a daring documentary-filmed in twelve countries and nine languages. Muslim gay filmmaker Parvez Sharma has gone where the silence is strongest, filming with great risk in nations where government permission to make this film was not an option. A Jihad for Love is the first-ever feature-length documentary to explore the complex global intersections of Islam and homosexuality. With unprecedented access and depth, Sharma brings to light the hidden lives of gay and lesbian Muslims from countries like Iran, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, France, India, and South Africa. The majority of gay and lesbian Muslims must travel a lonely and often dangerous road. In many nations with a Muslim majority, laws based on Quranic interpretations are enforced by authorities to monitor, entrap, imprison, torture and even execute homosexuals…
TAGS: LGBT, Islam

The Wise Kids
A vivid, dynamic Southern coming-of-age drama, takes place in the transitional space between high school and college, when life seems to be all questions and no answers, and the future is scarily wide open. Set in and around a Charleston, SC Baptist church, weaving through this ensemble piece are three main characters – Brea, an introspective pastor’s daughter experiencing debilitating doubt, the hyperactive Laura, Brea’s best friend and a devout believer, and Tim, the open-hearted son of a single father, confronting his homosexuality for the first time. Tensions and buried feelings abound, as colleges are chosen and adults behave badly, as Brea, Laura and Tim attempt to hang onto what they have, all the while yearning to break free.
TAGS: Christianity, Baptist, LGBT

 

Other Media

Podcast: Taoist Beliefs on the Importance of Sex
by The Relationship Guides, Dr. Janelle and Rob Alex
TAGS: Taoism, relationships