Marriage equality gaining ground with young evangelicals

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There’s a movement for equality building among evangelicals, particularly younger ones. Forward-looking evangelicals are forging connections with each other and creating spaces in which it’s okay to be evangelical and pro-equality.

Approximately 50 people were flown from around world (including Canada, China, Nigeria and South Korea) to a 4-day Bible boot camp dedicated to discussing, and embracing, gay relationships. The gathering was organized by Matthew Vines, who created a YouTube video in 2012 in which he delivers an hour-long lecture arguing that the Bible does not, in fact, condemn all same-sex relationships. The video has gone viral, with more than 730,000 views to date, landing Vines on the cover of the New York Times Sunday Styles section and helping him raise $100,000 for the conference, where he launched The Reformation Project, a nationwide network of pro-gay evangelicals committed to ending their church’s longstanding hostility toward gay people.

“We must prepare people for what the future holds, when Christian beliefs about marriage and sexuality aren’t part of the cultural consensus but are seen to be strange and freakish and even subversive,” Russell Moore, chief political spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention, wrote in an April blog post. As if in confirmation of Moore’s warning, the following month, a Southern Baptist congregation outside Los Angeles became the first in the 16 million-member denomination to vote to accept gay worshippers even if they are in relationships. “I realized I no longer believed in the traditional teachings regarding homosexuality,” the church’s pastor, Danny Cortez, wrote in an online statement.

via Daily Kos