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Towards a Welcoming and Inclusive Church

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The following links may offer helpful information and links to additional resources on LGBT communities, support, and spirituality. The Institute for Welcoming Resources is not responsible for materials or links beyond those listed below. The links below will open in a new browser window.

Multi-Faith LGBT Organizations

Al-Fatiha Foundation
Dedicated to Muslims who are LGBT, intersex, questioning, those exploring their sexual orientation or gender identity, and their allies, families and friends. Al-Fatiha promotes the progressive Islamic notions of peace, equality and justice.
Be' chol Lashon, In every Tongue: Advocating for the Growth and Diversity of the Jewish People
Imagine a new global Judaism that transcends differences in geography, ethnicity, class, race, ritual practice, and beliefs. Discussions about "who-is-a-real-Jew" will be replaced with celebration of the rich, multi-dimensional character of the Jewish people.

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Council on American-Islamic Relations
CAIR's mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
Gay Buddhist Fellowship
The Gay Buddhist Fellowship supports Buddhist practice in the Gay mens community. It is a forum that brings together the diverse Buddhist traditions to address the spiritual concerns of Gay men in the San Francisco Bay Area, the United States, and the world. GBFs mission includes cultivating a social environment that is inclusive and caring.
Gay/Lesbian Baha'i Story Project
To tell, listen to, and reflect upon stories of Gay/Lesbian Baha'is and their supportive friends/family.
Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation
The Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) is the first and only institute of its kind in the Jewish world. It is unique in its place at the juncture of academia and professional training at the Jewish Reform Movement's seminary.

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Inter-Denominational Conference of Liberation Congregations & Ministries
A multi-faith, ecumenical fellowship of pastors, clergy, ministers, ministry leaders and congregations that have an interest in advancing the Good News of Gods Radical Inclusivity.
Interfaith Working Group
Religious diversity and social issues.
Interweave Continental: Unitarian Universalists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns
Interweave Continental is a membership organization actively working toward ending oppression based on sexual orientation and gender identity, recognizing that we will not be free until all oppression is a thing of the past. We are a Unitarian Universalist organization and UU principles guide our work. We value and affirm the lives and experience of Queer people of faith, regardless of their age, race, ethnicity, income level, and ability. By providing and supporting leadership and working in collaboration with other organizations of similar vision, we strive to connect and nurture all Queer individuals, communities, and groups and their allies.
Islamic Society of North America
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) has served the Muslims of this continent for well over forty years. During this period ISNA has provided many invaluable services to the Muslim community of North America. Most manifest of course, is the ISNA Annual Convention, which, since its very inception has been a meeting place of people and ideas. In addition to building bridges of understanding and cooperation within the diversity that is Islam in America, ISNA is now playing a pivotal role in extending those bridges to include all people of faith within North America.
Jeff Herman Virtual Resource Center
The largest online gathering of articles, texts, and websites on Judaism and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender topics in the world. From the Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation at Hebrew Union College.
Jewish Mosaic
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.

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Jewish Transitions: Celebrating the Sacred in Every Gender
An organization focusing on transgender jewish resources provided by Noach Dzmura, editor of the anthology, Balancing on the Mechitza: Transgender in Jewish Community, [North Atlantic Books, June 1, 2010] has an MA in instructional design and an MA in Jewish Studies. He has been working for the past six years as an educator and activist on behalf of transgender inclusion in the Bay Area. Noach co-authored (with collective Kol Tzedek) the "Transgender Inclusion Report" presented to the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties, and is a member of the Transgender Task Force at the JCF that emerged from that work. Dzmura also started the East Bay Transgender Chevra, and created and manages the website for Jewish Transitions. He has written for the Forward, Sh'ma, the Jewish Chronicle (UK) Tikkun (forthcoming) and Zeek.
JQ International: A Space for GLBT Jews
JQ International is a Gay, Lesbian, Bi and Transgender (GLBT) Jewish movement founded to serve as an infrastructure and community building space for GLBT Jews. It provides an opportunity to connect with others and build programs and services that foster a healthy fusion of GLBT and Jewish Identity. JQ Programming offers GLBT Jews the opportunity to reconnect to Jewish communal and spiritual life with a strong sense of self. Pride in a GLBT Jewish identity is established through a wide variety of programs and services developed by JQ to foster and strengthen leadership, activism and social action. Programming is thematically built around the GLBT Jewish lifecycle; however, our programs are open to all supportive community members regardless of sexual orientation or religious affiliation. All are welcome and encouraged to join us. JQ International utilizes years of successful GLBT Jewish community building to produce best practice resources. These easy to replicate program kits are available for other GLBT Jewish institutions and grassroots projects. Through programming and marketing consultation, GLBT identity education, and safe school training seminars, JQ provides training for any Jewish institution seeking to further understand the needs of its GLBT community members.
Keshet

Keshet's mission is to ensure that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Jews are fully included in all parts of the Jewish community. In the Greater Boston area, Keshet offers social and cultural events for LGBT Jews ranging from Jewish text study to an annual LGBT Jewish speed-dating gala, Keshet Quick Dates. Nationally, Keshet offers support, training, and resources to create a Jewish community that welcomes and affirms LGBT Jews.

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Muslims for Progressive Values
MPV endorses the human rights, civil rights and civil liberties of LGBT individuals.
Muslim Public Affairs Council
The Muslim Public Affairs Council is a public service agency working for the civil rights of American Muslims, for the integration of Islam into American pluralism, and for a positive, constructive relationship between American Muslims and their representatives.
Nashville Coalition of Welcoming Congregations
Convened in November 2006 by pastors and a representative of four Nashville congregations, this coalition came about largely in reaction to the passage that month of a new amendment to the Tennessee constitution banning same-sex marriage. It is our desire to provide an online presence and central resource site, a local speaker's bureau, press releases for the media, responses for those discerning their feelings on the issues, and intergroup youth and senior events, among other ideas. The interfaith, diverse quality of the group is important to us and we continue to seek connections and partnership with non-Christian faith communities, as well as with those under-represented theologically, racially, ethnically, or culturally.
The National Union of Jewish LGBTQ Students
Welcome! NUJLS, the Nehirim Student Program, is the National Union of Jewish Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, & Queer Students. NUJLS was founded in 1997 by a small but dedicated group of thirty students. We are Jewish students and young adults of diverse sexual and gender identities who empower our communities and ourselves through education, support, and outreach.

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Nehirim: LGBT Jewish Culture and Spirituality
Nehirim ("Lights") builds community for LGBT?Jews, partners, and allies. Our retreats and other programs celebrate LGBT culture and spirituality, and empower LGBT?Jews to become active voices in their home communities. Through this work, we welcome LGBT Jews into the Jewish community, and in turn, build a more vibrant, diverse, and inclusive Jewish community by incorporating the gifts of LGBT people.
Office of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Concerns
Unitarian Universalist Association
Outspirit
A multifaith voice of compassion, inclusion and empowerment for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.
The Rainbow Center Jewish and Gay
The Rainbow Center was founded by members of the Atlanta Jewish Community. It is currently managed through Jewish Family & Career Services (JF&CS) and sponsored by Congregation Bet Haverim (CBH), a synagogue founded to serve the needs of Jewish gay men and lesbians. In 1999 Rabbi Joshua Lesser, CBH's first full-time rabbi came back to Atlanta where he grew up. He was inundated by questions from clergy and individuals. The clergy sought information and a support network for their congregants. Individuals wanted a safe place to question their faith and their feelings. As a new and very busy rabbi with a growing congregation, Rabbi Josh worked with the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta to address gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender inclusion. The Rainbow Center/Mercaz Keshet has been operating since 2001.
RitualWell
LGBTQI life passage rituals
Torah Queeries: Weekly Commentary on the Hebrew Bible
Welcome to Torah Queeries, offering creative and incisive "queer" takes on the weekly Torah portion or Jewish holiday since spring 2006. Read this week's essay, browse the archives, or check back each week for a new essay, brought to you by some of the Jewish world's most dynamic scholars, rabbis, activists and lay leaders.
Transgender Friendly Religious Alliance
Network for transgender friendly religious, spiritual workers of all faith and everyone who support religious, spiritual transgenders.
Transgender Religion Global Network
To build a bridge between religious transgenders, transsexuals and the different religions all over the world.
World Congress of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Jews
The World Congress of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Jews: Keshet Ga'avah consists of around 50 member organizations in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Mexico, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The World Congress holds conferences and workshops representing the interests of lesbian, gay, bisexual, & transgender Jews around the world. The focus of these sessions varies from regional, national, continental, to global.

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Organizational Partners

Affirm United/S'affirmer Ensemble The Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists Brethren-Mennonite Council for LGBT Concerns Open and Affirming Ministries of the Gay, Lesbian & Affirming Disciples (GLAD) Integrity Reconciling Works
More Light Presbyterians Open and Affirming Program of the United Church of Christ Coalition for LGBT Concerns (ONA) Reconciling Ministries Network Room for All - Reformed Church in America Welcoming Community Network - Community of Christ