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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) affirming religious groups (also called gay-affirming) are religious groups that welcome LGBT members and do not consider homosexuality to be a sin. They include entire religious denominations, as well as individual churches and synagogues. Some are composed mainly of non-LGBT members and also have specific programs to welcome LGBT people, while others are composed mainly of LGBT members.
The Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, have traditionally forbidden non-heterosexual and non-vaginal sexual intercourse (both of which have been variously labeled as sodomy), believing and teaching that such behavior is sinful and derived from the behavior of the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah. Today, several denominations within Christianity and Judaism accept gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender members and permit the ordination of openly LGBT candidates for ministry. Examples are the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements in Judaism, the United Church of Christ, United Church of Canada, Episcopal Church in the United States, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (USA), Community of Christ, and the Metropolitan Community Church. Some of these traditions have made provision for same-sex unions or marriage. In Europe, a number of Lutheran, Reformed, United and Old Catholic churches have adopted increasingly accepting policies towards LGBT members.
A number of Christian ministries seek to create officially sanctioned "Safe-spaces" in a similar vein as gay-straight alliances in various schools. LGBT ministries differ from lay-lead movements for inclusion of LGBT parishioners in that most lay movements do not receive open and official support from clergy. They also differ from LGBT-oriented congregations (such as those of the Metropolitan Community Church) formed explicitly for LGBT parishioners in that the clergy of such congregations are not historically motivated toward opposition to LGBT dignity and equality upon establishment of the denomination.
The Inclusive Mosque Initiative is an international Muslim denomination that openly accepts LGBT members and attendees. Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed and Daayiee Abdullah are also openly LGBT affirming Imams, as is Amina Wadud. There are several LGBT accepting movements within Islam.
LaVeyan Satanism is critical of Abrahamic sexual mores, considering them narrow, restrictive and hypocritical. Satanists are pluralists, accepting bisexuals, lesbians, gays, transgender people, BDSM, polyamorists, and asexuality. Sex is viewed as an indulgence, but one that should only be freely entered into with consent. The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth only give two instructions regarding sex: "Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal" and "Do not harm little children", though the latter is much broader and encompasses physical and other abuse. This has always been consistent part of CoS policy since its inception in 1966, as Peter H. Gilmore wrote in an essay supporting same sex marriage:
Finally, since certain people try to suggest that our attitude on sexuality is “anything goes” despite our stated base principle of “responsibility to the responsible,” we must reiterate another fundamental dictate: The Church of Satan's philosophy strictly forbids sexual activity with children as well as with non-human animals.
In that essay he also stated:
The Church of Satan is the first church to fully accept members regardless of sexual orientation and so we champion weddings/civil unions between adult partners whether they be of opposite or the same sex. So long as love is present and the partners wish to commit to a relationship, we support their desire for a legally recognized partnership, and the rights and privileges which come from such a union.— Magister Peter H. Gilmore
The Pastafarian movement officially is supportive of gays and lesbians, holding the position that homosexuals are gay because "He (the Flying Spaghetti Monster) has touched them with his noodley appendage".
The Raelian Movement looks positively on sexuality including homosexuality. Rael recognized same-sex marriage, and a Raelian press release said that sexual orientation is genetic and likened discrimination against gays to racism. Some Raelian leaders have performed licensed same-sex marriages.
Wiccans are generally welcoming of LGBT people. Wiccans tend to view sex in a positive light without guilt. Some strands of Wicca go beyond welcoming gays and actively celebrate gay relationships.
Homosexuality was generally seen as normal in Ancient Greece and is today accepted in Epicureanism, as in other forms of secular humanism.
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