Table of contents for Homosexuality and religion : an encyclopedia / edited by Jeffrey S. Siker.

Bibliographic record and links to related information available from the Library of Congress catalog.

Note: Contents data are machine generated based on pre-publication provided by the publisher. Contents may have variations from the printed book or be incomplete or contain other coding.

Preface	1
SECTION 1: Homosexuality and Religion: Synthetic Essays	7
Homosexuality, Religion, and the Law	8
Homosexuality, Religion, and the Social Sciences	42
Homosexuality, Religion, and the Biological Sciences	57
Homosexuality and Spirituality	71
SECTION 2: The Encyclopedia	98
Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons	99
African American Church Traditions	101
African Traditional Religion	105
AIDS and HIV	110
American Baptist Churches USA	
Anglican Church of Canada	123
Asian and Asian American Churches	125
Assemblies of God	131
Bah 'í Faith	134
Berdache	136
The Bible	137
Bisexuality	152
Bisexuality and Ritual	158
Buddhism	162
Catholic	172
Chican@ Church Traditions	172
Christian Science	173
The Church of England	190
Clergy and Ordination	196
Coming Out	205
Commitment Ceremonies	213
Dignity USA	219
 Disciples of Christ
Eastern Orthodox Christianity	227
The Episcopal Church	230
Evangelical Christianity	242
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America	253
Ex-Gay Ministries	258
Exodus International	262
First Nation Peoples	265
Genesis	269
Gomorrah	269
Hinduism	269
HIV	277
Integrity USA	277
Islam	277
Jainism	289
Jehovah's Witnesses	294
Jesus	296
Judaism	301
Leviticus	315
Latin@ Church Traditions	315
Latter Day Saints (LDS)	317
Lutheran	317
The Mennonite Church	324
Methodist	338
Metropolitan Community Churches	338
Mormonism	346
National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries	354
Native American Peoples	357
Natural Law	362
New Testament	375
Old Testament	375
Ordination	375
Orthodox Christianity	376
Paul, the Apostle	376
Presbyterian Church (USA)	378
Quaker Tradition	393
Queer Biblical Interpretation	403
Queer Theology	411
Restoration Church of Jesus Christ	416
The Roman Catholic Tradition	418
The Church of Scientology	439
Seventh-day Adventists	442
Sikhism	448
Sodom	457
Southern Baptist Convention	457
Taoism	462
Two Spirit Peoples	464
Unitarian Universalism	464
The United Church of Canada	471
The United Church of Christ	474
The United Methodist Church	484
 Welcoming and Affirming Faith Communities
The World Council of Churches	503
SECTION 3: Bibliography	508
Further Readings:	509
Web Sites:	548
Contributors	553
Jeffrey S. Siker
If the three traditional taboos for polite conversation include sex, politics, and religion, then the topic of homosexuality and religion is guaranteed to provoke strong reactions, polarizing rhetoric, and a series of conflicting claims that draw variously upon peoples' experience, sacred texts, established traditions, and human reason. The public and private debates over homosexuality have grown so heated in recent years that some religious groups have declared a moratorium on even discussing the topic, in order to let things cool down a bit. Others have thrown up their hands in utter frustration at the seeming impossibility of moving the discussion anywhere beyond a rigid impasse. This has led some Christian denominations to have serious discussions about simply dividing over the question of whether or not to include individuals committed to same-sex relationships (e.g., the Presbyterian Church USA, the United Methodist Church, and the Episcopal Church USA). While some have argued that the fight over inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual , and transgender people is just like prior fights over the status of African Americans and women in religion and society, others argue that the comparison is fundamentally different, and that the issue is different. Further, some religious traditions have long expressed a certain openness towards same-sex relations (e.g., Native American Spirituality, Hinduism), while other religious traditions have apparently always viewed same-sex relations as utterly sinful and against the will of God, especially in the Christian world (e.g., Southern Baptists, official statements of the Roman Catholic Church). 
On the political scene the situation is much the same, particularly in the United States. On the one hand the populace elects a very conservative President who makes no apologies about his intention to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages in order to protect the sanctity of heterosexual marriages. But on the other hand this same populace thrives on popular culture that often treats gay and lesbian people as the latest "cool" thing to come along. Such television shows as Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, The Ellen Degeneres Show, or Queer as Folk glamorize gay and lesbian individuals as acceptably different and more entertaining than traditional heterosexual relational models. 
Thus, western culture in particular is deeply divided over how to understand and to assess the status of people whose sexual orientation or gender identity is other than the heterosexual traditional norm. The role of religion in this divide is impossible to exaggerate. By and large most religious organizations oppose same-sex relations because they violate traditional understandings of scripture and centuries of teaching. Still, within virtually every religious tradition there is a vocal group (sometimes the majority) calling the rest of the tradition to wake up and see that these "otherly oriented/gendered" persons are also people of faith who have experienced significant suffering and persecution at the very hands of the people who claim to be reaching out in the name of a loving God. This internal divide within religious traditions is perhaps what has most shaken the social fabric of different faith communities at the beginning of the 21st century. 
For all of these reasons it is imperative that people become more educated about the issues surrounding the presence of homosexual persons, queers, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders (and more) within and without the many religious communities that comprise our world. Only by having greater understanding will people be able to engage one another in constructive dialogue and respectful interaction. Perhaps the time for polite conversation is over, but the time for engaged understanding could not be more urgent. My hope is that this volume will contribute to a deepening of that understanding. 
This volume is organized in three blocks of material. The first part contains several larger synthetic essays on homosexuality and religion. The topics addressed here include homosexuality, religion, ... and the law, the social sciences, the biological sciences, and spirituality. These general treatments should help to orient the reader to some of the larger issues that transcend particular religious traditions. The second part contains an A-Z series of entries in encyclopedia format. This section is far from exhaustive, but the goal has been to have articles on representative aspects of religion and homosexuality from a variety of traditions. The large majority of the articles address one or another aspect of responses to homosexuality within the Christian tradition. This is because the situation in the United States provides the most immediate context for this volume. Each entry in this section concludes with a few bibliographic references for further reading. The third part of the volume contains a complete listing of all Further Readings that appear in the book. Included here are various web sites that can be quite helpful to the reader - typically for quick reference. 
Let me conclude with a few words of thanks. My deep thanks and appreciation to Matthew Gaudet, my able editorial assistant without whose help this work would not have been completed. My thanks also to the very patient editor at Greenwood Press, Kevin Downing. I would also like to acknowledge the many individuals in the GLBTQ community who have been so gracious with their comments that have improved this volume significantly. It is more than humbling, I confess, to be a white, male, heterosexual, Protestant who has sought to enable constructive dialogue and conversation between other straight people like myself and the many different people within the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender community. How queer indeed. And what a privilege. Finally, my deepest gratitude to my wife and partner in all of life, Judy Yates Siker -- 

Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication:

Homosexuality -- Religious aspects -- Encyclopedias.