Gay-Friendly Churches

October 14, 2005 by

Driving into work yesterday, I was listening to NPR. In the Market Place segment, they were doing a story on the loyalty factor that gays and lesbians have toward brands. I am not quite sure where the source for this data came from, but a Google search always returns some interesting fodder. I’m sure the October 10 cover of Time magazine also had something to do with the context and timing of this.

This got me thinking about the Church. Apparently there is interest in gay-friendly churches from gays themselves, along with a listing of churches who are gay-friendly.

Jeff Garber, president of OpusComm Group, an agency specializing in “diverse communications,” said “Loyalty is a direct offshoot of an emotional connection.”

I assume for the most part that gays would accuse many churches for being closed-minded, hypocritical, unloving, and accusational. All emotionally-charged responses for sure, but not the emotions I think Garber is referring to in terms of loyalty building.

Shouldn’t gay and lesbians feel most welcomed in the Church? In other words, shouldn’t every church be gay-friendly, just like every church should be adulterer-friendly, liar-friendly—in short, sinner-friendly? Me-friendly? I realize conviction may play a part in diverting the connection, but that didn’t stop the woman at the well from being in the presence of Jesus, not to mention compelled by his compassion, right?

I want to be a part of a church overflowing with grace and unrelenting in its pursuit of costly discipleship.

Post By:

Brad Abare

Brad Abare is the founder of the Center for Church Communication. He consults with companies and organizations, helping them figure out why in the world they exist, why anyone should care and what to do about it.
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57 Responses to “Gay-Friendly Churches”

  • Steve
    October 14, 2005

    Every church should be “gay-friendly”. Unfortunately, I think many in the church have lost faith in Christ. It appears that we have, in many ways, lost faith in Christ’s ability to convict someone of their sin. We have placed the burden on our backs…we must lead them to Christ…we must expose their sin. I have a hard enough time just loving people.
    I think the church needs to focus on loving and serving gays with no other reason than to obey God. God will do what only God can do. It is not our job to slam others, but to love them.

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  • Michael
    October 14, 2005

    The problem stems in what you consider ‘gay-friendly’ is not what the gay community means by ‘gay-friendly’…at least from what I can tell.
    They are looking for a church where being gay is okay and permissable. That being gay isn’t considered sin.
    I just don’t know how we would do it.

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    • GMS
      October 28, 2010

      Well, being gay is not any more of a sin than eating shrimp or cutting the hair by your temples. After all, all of these “laws” come out of the same area. In the day that these laws were written, eating shellfish could kill you from disease. In those days, the Jewish people were a small group of people hoping to survive exile. They needed babies. I think God loves everyone and is happy when people just try to follow the command of “love your neighbor as yourself.” That being said, I am cool with whatever anyone believes, but I do wish people wouldn’t try to convince others that there is something horribly wrong with them when they just want to find love in this world like everyone else.

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  • Anthony
    October 15, 2005

    If, in order to be “friendly” we have to take a “come as you are and feel free to stay as you are” attitude, then the church cannot afford to be “friendly” to anyone – including me. The woman at the well came to Jesus – but she did not know who He was — and after her encounter with Him, she was challenged to make a definite and dramatic change in her life. We cannot afford “greasy grace” — the kind that makes it easy for people to slip into pews and slide through the service without having to confront the person and power of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

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  • Steve
    October 15, 2005

    Comments on what Michael said…
    I understand your concern with churches promoting “gay is OK.”
    My concern is this: Christians spend more time talking about the sin of homosexuality than they do reaching out and loving gays. This is wrong in every way.
    We should be a light to the gay community. There is nothing heretical about this statement. Are we? Why not? Because we are drawing lines of separation instead of opening doors.

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  • Dave J.
    October 15, 2005

    Didn’t you post an article about some young men not being welcomed at a church because they were wearing hats? There’s a long way to go before gays are welcomed. Not that I don’t agree with you.
    But on a more practical level, just as there are churches that are more suited to certain demographics and tastes, so we can’t expect gays to fit into every church.

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  • Michael
    October 15, 2005

    It’s just a difficult task and one I’ve not heard of anyone doing a very good job at.
    I want more gays drawn to the church so they can hear and respond to the word of God (and prostitutes, etc etc).
    The difficult lies in how do you make them feel welcome while also addressing the sin that afflicts them? Maybe we make it to complicated, maybe it’s no difference than anyone else with any other sin.
    I guess the reson it concerns me is that some churches, in light of being gay friendly, are taking a new stance and saying being gay is not sinful. That movement of morality is scary to me.

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  • anonymouse
    October 16, 2005

    great post! and this is exactly why I consider many church sects, even as a practicing Roman Catholic myself, to be so full of it, hypocritical, and out of touch with real people. the people don’t want to be preached to, they just want to be loved and accepted. and “gay-friendly” churches have already accepted this self-evident truth. not that they are gay-friendly, but that they are sinner friendly.

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  • Stu Mcgregor
    October 16, 2005

    it’s a complicated issue. i will come back to the simple fact that if the golden rule is ‘love God, love people, love yourself’ then, how does much of the church rhetoric about homosexuality fit into this? frankly it doesn’t. here in new zealand there have been churches marching against the gay community.
    it’s with ignorance though. the bible has nothing explicit to say about homoerotic attraction or orientation. but it has very explicit things to say about same sex intercourse. but in total there are around 7 texts that deal with it.
    how many talk about exuberant affluence, pride, double standards at worship? it’s not that it minimises the magnitude of a sin if it’s not mentioned much, but thematically, we ought to be aligned with scriptures in our rhetoric.
    my gut feeling is that every movement needs to demonise something, and for many christians the homosexual has become that. our unease with their lifestyle has forced us to legitimise our distance from poor hermeneutic.
    oh, if only we were to have the same thematic quantities as the bible being expressed in our fat churches, what a different world this would be…

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  • Michael
    October 16, 2005

    Maybe that’s exactly how we (the church) should be addressing it, as sin. Not as the bad yucky sin that we hate, but as sin.
    We do tend to turn a blind eye to the sin that we commit and circle the sin other’s commit with red pen.
    The bible is clear on homosexuality…and gossip, and hate, and ….
    I hate the protests, the marches and all the hate that seems to be attached to them…but how do we combat a marching force of sin that does look to overtake and ultimately to kill, steal and destroy?
    Above all we must love and as a church we can certainly fall short…

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  • Stu Mcgregor
    October 16, 2005

    hear hear! good comments michael. got me thinking back to some comments from Paul Tillich (ultimate concern) where he describes not so much as a series of acts, but a coercive force. it changes the way we would consider fighting it and puts us all in the same boat.
    And in the same boat we will remain until heaven. i’m yet to meet a holy christian, a lot of ’em look good on paper, but it doesn’t take much to go deeper and find out how broken we all are…

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  • Justin Broome
    October 17, 2005

    “If the gates of hell cannot prevail against the church, the contemporary political scene hardly offers much threat.” – Philip Yancey
    Why are we so worried about this? The emergence of a “gay-friendly” culture is not enough to topple the church. Nothing is. I think sometimes we spend too much time defending the Bible, and defending Christ from all the “bad” people in the world. Why don’t we just stick to the task He gave us (love others… immensely and guide them to a personal relationship with HIm), and let Him do the rest? The gospel stands its own. It doesn’t need our help. It doesn’t need us to find new ways to justify it, it doesn’t need us to find new ways to explain it. It can and does hold its own.
    The more I learn the more I realize that following the pattern Jesus set is the absolute best way to do things. I can’t recall Jesus ever saying to someone: “repent from your sins and then we’ll work on that whole blindness thing.” Jesus met people where they were – problems and all – and met their physical needs before addressing their spiritual needs. John 8 is a perfect example of this. The adulterous woman had a physical need of not being stoned to death. It wasn’t until Jesus met her physical need that he approached her sin. Why do we insist on doing things out of order? Why do we insist on condemning a lifestyle without first doing everything in our power to meet the needs of people who choose that lifestyle? Are we somehow more inteligent than God? Are our methods more effective than His? Condemnation is not our responsibility but loving others immensely is.

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  • danutz
    October 17, 2005

    Traditional Churches are comfortable with any kind of sin as long as the sinner will…
    A) hide it so no one has to deal with it.
    B) admit they are right and you are wrong so there won’t be any debate.
    There has not been room in traditional Church for open discussion of anything. The Church has asked us to have “faith like a child” and “don’t think, just follow”. It is no wonder that those left in the church are immature and ignorant. Like most things in life you get what you ask for.

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  • JQ
    October 17, 2005

    I think there needs to be more discernment in this area. The tendency for Christians is to either reject any and everyone who even hints at being gay and holding them at arms length or accepting the gay lifestyle and letting it come into the church.
    In I Corinthians 5, Paul addresses this situation. Verses 9 through 11 read:
    “I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people – not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral…In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral…With such a man do not even eat.”
    (There is more before and after, but I am trying to keep it short.)
    Now here are the 3 scenarios I can think of:
    1) gay but not saved – we need to understand that they need salvation first, love them as they are (“while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”)
    2) saved yet tempted by homosexual thoughts (but trying to resist) – we need to realize that temptation in itself is not sin and try to support these individuals in love and prayer
    3) saved (professing at least) and openly embracing the gay lifestyle – we need to understand that these people have decided to give themselves over to sin and that the most loving thing we can do is to discipline them by removing them from fellowship (as per God’s word)
    Lastly, I’d just like to say that these scenarios pretty much apply to any sin, not just homosexuality, and I wish the church at large would not be so fixated just on homosexuality – though admittedly, it is a particularly perverse sin. (Romans 1:26-27)

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  • danutz
    October 17, 2005

    Here’ an idea….
    Leave it to homosexuals to figure it out. It is non of our business because we are not gay. If it is really a sin then it will cause pain and if they want the pain to stop they will stop the behavior.
    It is NOT our responsibility to figure this thing out. God is capable!
    I think there are people in the church that are honestly afraid that it might not be a sin and these people might actually live a happy life and still be gay so they think we should make their life sucks anyway. Personally I think it will bring the same kinds of pain and guilt that other sins cause so I don’t feel a need to inject artificual pain and guilt.

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  • Scattered Words
    October 17, 2005

    Me friendly

    Shouldn’t gay and lesbians feel most welcomed in the Church? In other words, shouldn’t every church be gay-friendly, just like every church should be adulterer-friendly, liar-friendly—in short, sinner-friendly? Me-friendly? from this guy…

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  • Stu Mcgregor
    October 17, 2005

    how about:
    1) wealthy but not saved – we need to understand that they need salvation first, love them as they are (“while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”)
    2) saved yet tempted by wealthy thoughts (but trying to resist) – we need to realize that temptation in itself is not sin and try to support these individuals in love and prayer
    3) saved (professing at least) and openly embracing the wealthy lifestyle – we need to understand that these people have decided to give themselves over to sin and that the most loving thing we can do is to discipline them by removing them from fellowship (as per God’s word)
    seems a lot harsher now? but as i said before, imagine the world if this was what the church was inclined to say…
    (incidentally, i’m not endorsing the logic of JQ…just using it for parody).

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  • richard
    October 17, 2005

    first of all we are to go and preach the gospel of jesus christ i.e that all mankind does not meet god’s requirement because of sin and the consequence of sin is eternity in hell. we are to preach this message to the world. the church or congregation is a special place where people of “like” believe and practice get together to practice what they believe… is a FAMILY gathering….the family of god……not a gathering for everyone. homosexually is the one sin that is MOST OVERT. an adulterer or liar etc does not look or behave contrary to nature (romans 1). it is open defiance of god that cannot be allowed or tolerated in a gathering called to honor god in respect and humbleness…….that is confusion.
    rev. richard h. walker

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  • Natalie Jost
    October 17, 2005

    In some sense, richard, you’re right, but if the church i was saved in had been only for those ready to worship God and admit their sin, I wouldn’t be reading this right now. I was saved because people opened their church to me, a sinner, to welcome me and teach me about sin. Had they not been so ‘me-friendly’ who knows where I’d be today.
    Of course, I think it’s important that ever church not focus SO much on being sinner-friendly that they accept the sin without attempting to guide the sinner away from it.

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  • JQ
    October 17, 2005

    “If it is really a sin then it will cause pain and if they want the pain to stop they will stop the behavior.”
    The problem with that is that if you sin enough, you stop feeling the pain. In the Old Testament, leprosy is often used to symbolize the problem of sin. What happens when you have leprosy is that you are no longer able to feel anything physically so you often hurt yourself without knowing it. You wear away parts of your limbs against the ground or burn yourself without realizing it because you can’t feel anything. When someone is deep in sin, it is like having the spiritual equivalent of leprosy. You will do things that hurt yourself spiritually because you can longer feel pain. (Isn’t that what happens when you continue to do wrong? You get numb to the guilt and your conscience desensitizes. You then begin to rationalize what you are doing.)
    I don’t know if you caught the last part of my last post. I actually clipped some parts out of my quote from I Cor. 5:9-11 (to try to keep it short). The parts that I clipped actually refer to other sins including things such as drunkennes, idolatry, slander, swindling, and, yes, greed. What I tried to say towards the end of my previous post was that church discipline should not be so selectively focused on issues like homosexuality. It should include these other acts of sin as well. (It’s not a sin to be wealthy – else Job would have been a heck of a sinner – but it is a sin to covet and be greedy.) This is just what the Word of God says.

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  • Stu Mcgregor
    October 17, 2005

    jq, and i would agree with you on this. it was just an idea, and sure Job was wealthy, but it is harder for a rich man to enter into heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. waddya reckon?
    my point was to say that our message needs to be about really important stuff.
    as for the reverend. nope. there’s nothing more overt than fat middle class do gooders, but we are often virtually embracing them in their sin. consistency is the key here. i’m not saying tolerate anything, i’m saying raise the bar or don’t even approach it.
    there was a tax collector and a pharisee who went to pray…which one was made right with God?
    you know what i think? err on the side of mercy and you can’t go wrong. at least homosexuality doesn’t ‘rub’ off on other people like greed and gossip and all these other sins. if you want a fuller view of my opinions, there’s a 10,000 word essay on my website called “the great mudwrestle”.
    surely mercy is one of the greatest marketing strategies the church has in its possession. shame we stuff it up so much.

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  • Norm!
    October 18, 2005

    Brad Abare: “Shouldn’t gay and lesbians feel most welcomed in the Church? In other words, shouldn’t every church be gay-friendly, just like every church should be adulterer-friendly, liar-friendly—in short, sinner-friendly? Me-friendly?…”
    Most churches have already changed their doctrines to be divorce-friendly. The bible speaks much more strongly and clearly about divorces than same-sex relationships. Also, divorces are a much great “threat” to straight marriages than gay marriages. However, many churches are more vocal about opposing gay marriages than no-fault divorces. Afterall, opposing gay marriages alienates a tiny market opportunity whereas opposing no-fault divorces and second marriages alienates a huge market.
    In a related story, there seems to such a thing as being too welcoming. According to an article in the gay magazine The Advocate, Viacom’s CBS TV network again rejected a television ad from the United Church of Christ. The rejected ad mentions that UCC welcomes gays and lesbians. According to UCC, a CBS executive claimed that “it would have to become commonplace across the United States for churches to welcome gays and lesbians” in order for CBS to allow the ad to air. So according to the alleged comment from the CBS executive, it’s commonplace for US churches to NOT welcome gays and lesbians.

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  • Jim Benenson
    October 18, 2005

    In my bible (NIV), Romans 3:21-24, it says “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Prophets and the Law testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to ALL who believe. There is no difference, fall all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” [emphasis mine, of course)
    I don’t see where anybody, including gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and all others (including people such as Osama Bin Laden), are excluded. If some are excluded, then ALL are excluded, and the cross means nothing.

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  • Tony Vetrano
    October 19, 2005

    Come as you are but don’t stay that way. Jesus said it among the sinners (which is everybody): REPENT for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. That means change. Me, you, gay, straight: CHANGE!
    ACTS 2:38 SUMS IT UP. It is what the duly authorized apostles were given to spread to the world: Faith, Repentance, baptism IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, the ONLY name by which we must be saved, and acceptance of the initial sign of the receipt of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. The example is plain. But all you experts can just jump on me for pointing out to you what the bible plainly says in addition to confessing with your lips and believing in your heart. Paul said this to believers who came to JESUS Christ in this manner. Go ahead give the devil his satisfaction and beat on me just like you do anyone who doesn’t agree with you “experts” who seek the word of God primarily outside the bible. If i’m lying I’m dying. Simple as that. NO MORE MYSTERY!

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  • Stu Mcgregor
    October 19, 2005

    tony : WHY DO YOU WRITE IN CAPITALS? we’re all civilised here so there’s no need to shout. thanks for your expert opinion though

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  • cd
    October 20, 2005

    I think I might have missed something where one sin is greater than another to God. Would someone give me that scripture please.
    Does anyone get tired of hearing other peoples opinions about whats right and what we should or shouldn’t do. I just want to see Christians live it, not talk about it. See Christians operate out of the true Love of Christ. He is the example of who we should be?? Its not our job to condemn, judge other people. There is always a reason behind the sin, but do we take the time to find out what reason is?… We don’t take the time to find out that the reason someone is gay is because he was molested as child, we are to busy judging because everyone knows whats right. Its a wonder why people don’t what to be apart of “christians”. The church has be so caught in sin for so long now and look at well its working. Don’t get me wrong i’m not condoning sin in anyway but in a way its not important. Sin didn’t stop Jesus from using the disciples. Its unbelievable to me how people get so off track from who Jesus is. Its the GOODNESS of God that leads men to repentance.

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  • steph
    October 20, 2005

    The issue of gay-friendly churches is one where a church welcomes gays and lesbians and says it’s ok to be this. God in Scripture has condemned all sin, anything that is not of faith is sin. Being gay is just as sinful as being a bank robber. One sin is outside the body, the other is within the body, just like uniting oneself with a prostitute. Jesus calls all mankind to repentance through the law. all sin is wrong and all sin leads a person to hell.
    the Holy Spirit brings repentance and faith to a person to turn from the sinful lifestyle, whatever it may be and live a life pleasing to God.
    the church must love the sinner and proclaim the Word of God to them, both the Law which condemns the sinner and the Gospel, which tells us what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross. The gay and lesbian person needs to see the sinfulness of the lifestyle, just as much as the husband who cheats on his wife or the banker who “skims off the top” or the bank robber, etc. We in the world like to rate sin. God condemns it all.
    it is only by the Word of God can a person repent and change. A person who refuses to give up the sinful lifestyle is lost in his/her sin. A person who fights the sinful lifestyle, falling back and forth into sin and repentance is following Christ. Like each of us do. We desire not to sin, yet we daily sin and daily repent of our sin, receive forgiveness and before we know it, we’ve sinned again.
    a gay-friendly church that says homosexuality is ok is contrary to God’s Word, just like if a church said any kind of sin was ok would be contrary to God’s Word. The Church has a responsibility to preach the Word of God to all person so they can be converted and brought to Christ. Some will say that being gay is born into you, yet a doctor did a study on twins, one was gay and the other one wasn’t. I don’t remember the study’s name, but it’s out there.
    We are all born in sin as Ps. 51:5 says, yet do we let it win in our life or do we follow Christ? Following Christ means saying no to sin and yes to Him. Remember Paul, “the good I want to do, I don’t do and the bad I don’t want to do, that I keep on doing”

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  • Justin
    October 31, 2005

    I came across this site in search of the reasons people hate gay people. You may argue that you don’t hate gay people, that you just hate the sin, and of course love the sinner. Well from what many of you write and quote that certainly is not true. The bible is an extremely old and to be quite honest, outdated, text. Well now many of you are now up in arms, ticked off that I have called the bible outdated. Well, ask yourself, do you agree with the stoning of someone who has cursed, for according to Leviticus that is the sentence…
    Now an Israelite woman’s son, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the people of Israel; and the Israelite woman’s son and a man of Israel quarreled in the camp, 11 and the Israelite woman’s son blasphemed the Name, and cursed. And they brought him to Moses. His mother’s name was Shelo’mith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan. 12 And they put him in custody, till the will of the LORD should be declared to them. 13 And the LORD said to Moses, 14 “Bring out of the camp him who cursed; and let all who heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him…So Moses spoke to the people of Israel; and they brought him who had cursed out of the camp, and stoned him with stones. Thus the people of Israel did as the LORD commanded Moses.
    This is just one example out of many that are outdated and for that reason the church specifically stated that the laws of Leviticus need not be followed. Yet for some reason, people still call upon its text when discussing homosexuals. While other portions of the bible talk about Sodom, it is quite accepted by scholars that Sodomy did not mean the same thing as it does today. Religious Texts including the bible have been used to incite hatred toward many people. It was not long ago that preachers used the bible to preach against blacks and against inter-racial marriage. I ask you to read this from a religious periodical, The Messenger, in 1956.
    “Complete racial desegregation will cause intermarriage; intermarriage will cause hybridism; and hybridism will destroy the human race and Christianity. These are the laws of nature; Christians call them God’s laws. These laws cannot be changed by men. The church should use all its power to influence our lawmakers to adopt uniform segregation laws in every state. The race problem is not a case of hatred or discrimination; it is purely and simply a biological problem…”
    So you may personally feel that homosexuality is wrong and that you hate it, but maybe it’s because you don’t truly understand it. Maybe it is time that you take a moment to understand that it isn’t a choice and that people are born that way, just the same way you were born heterosexual. Take a moment to step away from stereotypes and look at the many stable same sex relationships that exist. Many same sex couples own homes, have adopted children and live successful, faithful and productive lives. Maybe it is time for the church to stop inciting hatred and look inwards at its own sins against humanity!!!

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  • Michael
    October 31, 2005

    You’re right Justin, the bible is outdated and quite honestly not relevant…according to the worlds standards. The world’s standards has not absolutes, the world does not need God, the world will live for today and do anything as long as you are happy.
    Gay people are not bad people, you’re right. They’re tremendous people, created in God’s image. Unfortunetly they, like everyone, are tainted by sin. So am I, so is everyone. Just because we are born one way (sinners) doesn’t mean tht it’s okay or how God desires us to be.
    I don’t hate gays, I love them and hope that they will give all things to God including relationships that don’t please Him. We all have baggage, for some it’s homosexuality…for another it is pride…for another it is hate…the great thing is there doesn’t have to be, Christ paid the price, the sin that we carry is an option and a choice to carry.

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  • Emerson
    November 1, 2005

    Justin’s comment is a clear insight to the way our culture in America, and maybe throughout the West, thinks about the issue of homosexuality. I don’t know if Justin is a Christian, but he no doubt reflects the lack of understanding among many believers concerning the Mosaic Law, God’s character, the purpse/goal of creation and the order of relationships set out since the God created, and the situation we live in during the churchera. We live in a culture that formulates anthropology in secular naturalistic terms rather than looking to God’s revelation. Because most people think the bible is “out dated” they are angered that people (Christians) would use it to condemn them personally (because saying homosexuality is wrong to them is an attack on their identity in their mind and according to their anthropology). The only way we can reach people who do not define themselves in relation to God is by showing them through our communities (churches) what gospel living looks like. As we live and engage people outside the church, what we say and how we live will undoubtedly reveal that naturalistic anthropology is not consistent with who they are. The goal should not be to bring non-believers into the church building, but to go out to non-believers and pray that God brings them into the building knowing Him.

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  • Kent Shaffer
    November 10, 2005

    We all know that homosexuality is a touchy subject for a good number of people. Paul said that he tries to be all things to all people. He clarifies this by saying that he avoids offending people as long as it does not compromise God’s Word and its message. Its not practical for a church (even in niched outreach) to advertise gay friendly environments. There would be too many people offended, and they would create a lot of negative PR. What the church can do is create a friendly environment for any lifestyle by teaching its members to show the community God’s love and to encourage members to bring people (including gays) to church. It avoids controversy and provides identity to an otherwise faceless church.

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  • Rj
    December 5, 2005

    I think the problem isn’t with the church. Its with the gays. Why? Because gays don’t want to go to church to be reminded that they are sinning in the eyes of god, therefore they want a revisionist church that will change the rules so that it is ok – perhaps even virtuous to be a gay person.
    You know if you were an alien, and if all that you knew about mankind came from what you saw on the TV and heard on the radio, you would prbably think that damn near a mjority of all of us humans are gay. Gay people are a small minority of the whole scene in this world, yet for some reason they get media attention as if they were a majority.
    So why let a small minority revise and change what the majority of us hold dear? Why should the age old teachings of religion be forced to do a back step and change just so that it can be “fair” to a small minority of people?
    Answer? It shouldn’t.

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  • Kyle Gustafson
    January 4, 2006

    Whether or not one understands the Bible to be absolute truth (in translation), or a series of fruitful parables, or a bunch of baloney, one must admit that many Biblical commands make sense. It is dangerous to life and happiness and ultimately counterproductive to lie, steal, covet, kill, commit adultery, etc… The good reasons behind these commands are obvious. Now, can anyone provide a good reason why homosexuality is bad in principle?

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  • Ben
    January 10, 2006

    I don’t have a problem with gays in the church as long as I don’t know they are gay. Also, I am a sinner just like everyone else in the world and at my church. I sin and ask for God’s forgiveness and try to change my life so I don’t commit that same sin again. Homosexuals don’t acknowledge that they are sinning and therefore don’t change. That is why they don’t belong.

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  • Tim
    January 12, 2006

    I throughly enjoy things that get us thinking. I used to be so caught up in what i believed was right in my own truth, until i experieced pain and stupid mistakes in my own life. God brought me to places where i was helped by those in the church and those outside.
    I have come to the conclusion that, you know, i really dont have all the answers. I am tired of playing God to get the results that i want. If i can be daily giving myself to Gods will, and a help and service to those around me, then God leads us and directs us as He sees fit in His time.
    And you i know, it does not always look the way i want it to, or thought it would.
    Just be a hand of hope to those around us and we will do just fine.

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  • Gene Mason
    January 12, 2006

    As with any sinful behavior (and I do not separate homosexuality from any other sinful behavior), the church needs to extend hands and hearts to the individual, but at some point the cold, hard Truth will have to be told from the pulpit and a stand will have to be made.
    The Gospel is hope and love. But the Bible also says it’s not going to be popular and it’s a narrow road. Do I welcome homosexuals into our church to experience it? Certainly. Do I condone homosexuality and would I permit an openly homosexual person membership in the church. No.

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  • Ned
    February 8, 2006

    Yes, I agree that every church needs to be gay-friendly but I really don’t know how that’s gonna work out. Being homosexual myself I can say that it is sometimes beyond painful to be both gay and Christian at the same time. Well, being gay just hurts in general…my church is nice to me since they do not know I’m gay but I doubt anyone would look at me the same if I spoke out. I’m assuming that this is so with most conservative church goers. I’ve been a christian since elementary school, not once did I see any pastor address this issue, except for organizing the anti-gaymarriage campaigns. It needs to start with the pastors. It’s extremely easy to call homosexuality a sin like any other sins: murder, adultery, stealing, etc. but it’s much more than that…much harder to deal with, since it’s not a one-time ordeal: sexual orientation lasts a lifetime…

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  • ML
    February 13, 2006

    I think the kind of ‘gay-friendly’ church the original article envisioned was one where Ned could go to his pastor and tell them what he was struggling with. Where Ned could ask for prayer, receive support and allow an inner circle of fellow believers from that congregation to encourage him in his walk with God knowing the challenges he faces.
    I don’t know whether these desires are from birth or learned, and I don’t think it changes how hard the struggle is. Homosexuality is an issue of very intimate personal longings that fall short of God’s ideals. A church should ideally deal with someone like Ned the same way that they (ideally) would deal with a married man who came to his pastor to say he was attracted to his secretary or didn’t love his wife anymore. It’s not a situation that the entire congregation needs to know about (although if the person does want to make it public, then they should be free to do so), but the person should know that there are key people that are available to listen, pray, support and encourage.

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  • Ned
    February 19, 2006

    I agree with ML’s very good analogy of a married man. That would be a good way for people like me to feel supported by a church.
    “I don’t know whether these desires are from birth or learned, and I don’t think it changes how hard the struggle is”
    I don’t know for sure whether it’s birth or learned either, but I agree that the struggle is hard either way. I remember that I’ve always been more attracted to men…since very little. Ever since I could remember, I’ve always found a man’s voice much more pleasant to listen to than a woman’s (except for my mother) whether this has anything to do with the fact that I barely saw my father till I was ten I have no clue (I have friends with single mom parents too but they’re all straight). By puberty, I was pretty sure that I was gay since I had no physiological reaction no matter how pretty a girl was but I’d blush in front of other boys. I didn’t think much about it then and firmly believed that if I prayed to God and had enough faith He would help me and I would eventually like girls and get married and have a family like everyone else. I’m now a 3rd year in college and I don’t see that happening. Being a premed student I can tell you that there are biological factors during human embryonic development that can possibly cause neural physiology in the matured fetus that may predipose it for an abherrant sexual orientation. However, many other factors (including social ones) play a role and may stimulate the brain in many ways after birth (though individuals are pretty much stock after the age of 10-13). As research is still being conducted I cannot declare that it is one way or the other, though you can be sure that sexual orientation has a physiological component: (see Chapter 29 pp. 711-731 of Neuroscience-3rd Edition. Purves, Dale, et al. Sinauer, 2004.) And it is certainly not a “choice”… at least for the majority of homosexuals (me included). If you think about it, it defies logic that one would make a choice at puberty that they would be something that will cause them to suffer through an unending chain of utter confusion, loneliness, rejection, self-hate, and in my case, life-long celibacy (not that being chaste for life is bad-I’m simply not monk material). I do not rule out that there are individuals perverse enough that they would “try out” “noval” sexual pleasures and engage in homosexual acts due to this reason but for the most part gays don’t have a choice. If they did they wouldn’t be gay. My point is that if churches need to be gay-friendly, the people conducting this ministry have to understand this aspect of homosexuals in addition to understanding that they “need salvation first” (as JQ said). Simply accepting them and empathizing with them is not gonna cut it if there are Christians who think that it’s a sin that can be “corrected.”
    Here I’d like to respond humbly to some comments made by various posters above, feel free to correct if I’m wrong:
    “Some will say that being gay is born into you, yet a doctor did a study on twins, one was gay and the other one wasn’t. I don’t remember the study’s name, but it’s out there.” Being gay has little to do with genes. There isn’t a “gay gene.” If there ever was, it would have been eliminated by natural selection. Plus, twins might not share the same genome 100%, otherwise brother/sister twins aren’t possible. The doctor simply showed that this is true. Moreover, many complex processes of development occur between fertilization and birth that are mediated by proteins and signals, they can be affected by the outside environment-not just the baby’s preborn genome.
    “homosexually is the one sin that is MOST OVERT…it is open defiance of god that cannot be allowed or tolerated in a gathering” Rev., are you talking about the act of sodomy of just being homosexual in orientation? You speak as if gays want to be defiant because they hate God or something. I need to emphasize that gays didn’t choose to be that way. I certainly do not want to defy God. I fear Him, that’s why I force myself to be celibate and not fall in love (ever), but i’m still a homosexual. I’m very straight in appearance, I guess I’m not contrary to nature in that regard…Question: are we allowed to fall in love? if we remain chaste in our relationship?
    “Homosexuals don’t acknowledge that they are sinning and therefore don’t change. That is why they don’t belong.” How do you expect us to change? Can you imagine yourself becoming a homosexual? It is just as impossible for us to try to become heterosexual, it’s like asking a Down’s Syndrome patient to not be a Down’s…well, close enough…
    These were some of the comments which I felt epitomized the misunderstandings Christians display toward gays and hopefully people would begin to realize this and strife to learn more about us before they condemn.

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  • annonym
    February 27, 2006

    yes, they should be welcome, just like the thieves, adulturers, liers, murdurers and all sorts of other sinners that go to church.
    Just because their sin is more visible than others doesn’t mean they should be rejected. it’s like jesus said:
    John 8:7
    …..”If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
    The point is, what they’re doing is sinful, even if they don’t know it, even if they don’t think so. God has already said it’s sinful – there’s no place for it in heaven.
    1 Corinthians 6:9-10:
    “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
    They need to be in church so they can understand how to get out of that sinful life, so that they can have a family to support them throught it. Church is not a place for them to find support to keep on living in sin!!!
    A church that supports/welcomes the gay or homosexual person should not also support the lifestyle. The goal is to get them out of that sinful life. And yes, Jesus is the only way!!!

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  • ncu212000
    February 27, 2006

    I think that the issue here is one of basic evangelism and mission work. For many years American missionaries were having very little impact upon tribal people groups (my info comes from Africa but I understand it was in many other places too).
    The trouble was that the missionaries were trying to “Americanize” these people, not “Evangelize” them. The first order of business was to get them wearing clothes, to end polygamy, to cut away at the centuries of culture they’d grown up with – obviously, it wasn’t working.
    The Gospel will inform our “culture” if we let it. I don’t think churches have to be “gay-friendly” to be friendly to gays. Isn’t there sort of an unspoken “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy anyway? I mean, how do you know who is and who isn’t?
    The problem with any people group’s refusal to receive the Gospel usually has absolutely NOTHING to do with the Gospel or Jesus. It has everything to do with the person delivering the message. If homosexual people saw more authentic love and Christian service, they would respond to the Gospel – regardless of the church that it came from.
    When was the last time your church volunteered at an AIDS clinic? I know mine never has. Service – Kindness. Those are the things that will preach loader than words and will ultimately bring about the radical life change that any person must undergo in order to become “comfortable” under an atmosphere of worship and conviction.
    The church is supposed to be the gather place of the disciples. It’s top priority (as I understand Eph. 4) is not evangelism. It is discipleship, equipping. The Christian’s top priority is supposed to be evangelism. Win them and then bring to the place in which they can be trained.
    Those are my thoughts on this important and complicated subject.

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  • Gay Christian Hit Radio
    March 8, 2006

    While reading this thread, why not enjoy the music of your gay-friendly Gay Christian Hit radio station – Queeradio.
    Pharisees, while wading through your Grade 5 standard NIV translation of ‘arsenokoitai’ and ‘malakoi’ ‘homosexual offenders’…and while you prepare to stand up in the temple on Sunday..and ‘thank God you’re not like those (homosexual) sinners…….why not sample the delights of artists as diverse as KD Lang and Newsboys, Elton John and Jars of Clay?
    Can’t give up listening to The Fish eh?
    Oh well, your loss.
    By the way, ask God why He promised in Ezekiel 16 to RESTORE Sodom……why Ezekiel 16:49 makes it clear that Sodom’s destruction had nothing to do with homosexuality..and why God was more angry with Jerusalem than Sodom anyway.
    God, promising to restore Sodom?
    Heck, the things they don’t teach you in Pharisee Sunday School.
    By the way, to get back to the point of your website….
    I’ve been playing around with a concept of a Christian radio outreach to gay people…just using the free launchcast thing..and I think I’m reasonably happy with the music selection, after a lot of experimentation..(had to pull the music back from being a bit too heavy).
    I’m in Australia…so I’m not stuck with the (sucky) US Christian radio paradigms of programming …..
    Any (constructive) suggestions on name, format, music – all welcome by email at
    I would have thought that would be a good challenge for the churchmarketingsucks people.
    How do you market a Christian radio outreach to gay people?
    I work in commercial radio, and want to have a serious go at this, but not do it in a lame or half-hearted way…like most Christian things.

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  • Gay Christian Hit Radio
    March 9, 2006

    Oops…I forgot…Christians don’t want gay people in the kingdom of heaven.
    Sorry to distract you from your church games.

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  • Kevin
    March 9, 2006

    So what’s the problem, buddy? You comment on an entry from six months ago and expect immediate feedback? After calling everyone a bunch of Pharisees? Sorry, man. Might want to try a different approach.

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  • gayman with a deep faith
    March 22, 2006

    Thanks to the Uk government I have today been able to take advantage of the ‘civil partnership act’!
    No thanks at all to the church where I am spiritually fed, this wonderful occasion had to be almost a secret and quiet event.
    Do we ever learn?
    We placed a crown of thorns on our Lord and nailed him to the cross and realised we were wrong! and yet so many of my brothers and sisters would do exactly the same thing to me because my loving heavenly father has created me to be ‘gay’ and even dared to bless me with a loving and caring partner.
    I (as most of you) live my earthly life with the promise of eternal life in paradise with our loving heavenly father. I assume we will then understand, love and tolerate our differences! I expect to be there and pray that all of you will be too.

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  • pw
    May 29, 2006

    There is no problem with being gay, just as there is no problem with being heterosexual. All gay people are asking for is the same redemption offered to them as is offered to straight people – rather than a twisting of texts and a selective reading of levitical laws. If Jesus is worth anything this is the least the church can do. Or is the problem not with Jesus, but rather with the church itself? Perhaps it will be as Andy Partrige of XTC foretold in “The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead” that Jesus (Peter Pumpkinhead) comes back to find the church so awash in judgement that they judge him, and kill him again.
    If the church cannot see that of Jesus in the gay community how in God’s good name do you expect me to see anything of value for my family in that church? Thats not a place of love I would want for my kids. No, thats a house of lies. And I’m not going to raise liars who think that Jesus came only for the religious conservatives who can afford the entry fee (read big hair and classy outfits) to the mega-church cum country club that is modern christianity.

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  • Adam
    June 28, 2006

    Remember that Jesus never told people “don’t change, stay just as you are”. No, He said “Come just as you are and receive a new life.” He told sinners to forsake their families and leave their sinful practices to follow Him. The church needs to be loving to sinners, but not the sin. We can’t be setting up bars in church lobbies so every slosh in town feels loved and welcomed, and have pole-dancers on the platform so the perverts feel loved and welcomed. The church is set apart as part of God’s system in the New TEstament dispensation to reach the lost world with the LIFE-CHANGING truth of the gospel.

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  • Ned
    August 16, 2006

    That’s true. I’m in college and as a gay Christian, I’m trying to live a life of celibacy through Christ. I suppose that’s the only way to go about it. It’s just hard sometimes. I don’t believe in denying who I am so I’ve allowed myself to fall in love and I’ve been dating someone for a year now. Our relationship is like any regular Christian heterosexual relationship before marriage-you know, you’re dating but you’re not sexually active with each other. But it’s strange, it feels uneasy just holding hands sometimes and I would start asking myself: we ARE allowed to hold hands, right? I’m not even sure where the line should be drawn, as in, are kisses allowed? Any opinions? Sorry if my questions sound too Oprah. Just want some Christian perspective.

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  • Jay
    October 16, 2006

    As a 22 year old gay guy, I fully understand this topic, but won’t get too DEEP into this subject. I am gay. Always have been. Always will be. I’m in a wonderful relationship, and feel good about myself as a Christian, and a gay man. What I fail to understand is why this is even an issue to begin with. People “sin”, but why do you care if someone is gay or not. You don’t have a heaven or a hell to put them in so find other things in YOUR life to fix, and focus on that. If I wanted to point out faults amongst large groups of people I could do that for an eternity. My life is about having a closer PERSONAL relationship with God, and just like my mother used to tell me…if you’re worried about what someone else is doing with their life, chances are…you’re overlooking quite a few things in your own life. In conclusion: We should all mind our own business because in the end, we all have to answer for ourselves.

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  • Tom
    November 4, 2006

    you think you have direct access to god and those who don’t follow you’re religion are ignorant and need to be like you. you are blind and you’re beliefs and self righteousness cause so much suffering. the opposite of what jesus christ demostrated in his life on earth. But for you to change your perspective, that is cultural not divine, is like a camel traveling through the eye of the needle.

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  • Scott
    January 8, 2007

    What I am tired about is the amount of energy and vitrol that that spent on this subject. If we spent all the time condeming sins that are outlined in the bible that we do on this subject than our life mission is to get caught up in deciding how much of a sinner everyone is.
    Get over it and start acting like Christians and not as hypocritical faith-enforcers.
    This subject is being used for certain personalities to gain power and influence and is not a core tenant of the bible!
    Work in Christ’s mission for social justice, peace and acceptance.
    People, spend your time on that!

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  • Sara
    January 9, 2007

    Ah, the debate rages on. Is it right, is it wrong, is it a sin, are we to love anyway; if so, how?
    I personally know gays and bisexuals — fresh-outta-the-closet, celibate, and involved. I accept every one of them where they’re at. It’s not my job to preach; just to love and be a friend.
    There are a lot of sins and forbidden behaviors listed in Leviticus which is where many draw from. Let’s quit picking and choosing, though. Included in these sinful behaviors are:
    Lev. 19:27 – Taking a little off the sides and trimming the the edges of your beard forbidden (get rid of the goatees, guys).
    Lev. 19:28 – No tattoos. No cuts on your body for the dead (no memory tattoos or piercings to remember that friend or loved one).
    Lev. 20:10 – Cursing or speaking out against your parents regardless (consequence: death)
    Lev. 20:18 – Sex with a woman whose having her period (consequence: exile from society)
    Lev. 21:17-23 – Priests with deformities forbidden to approach G-d (consequence: defiling G-d’s holiness)
    And on and on.
    Slavery, racism, the inferiority of women, and manifest destiny were at one time condoned because of biblical references (they’re still there). I don’t want to start a heated debate; just through stuff on the table to consider.
    The example we are called to follow however is to love no matter what our opinion is.

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  • Craig
    April 10, 2007

    No one’s mentioned the last verse of Romans:1 yet. “Knowing that they who do such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same but take pleasure in those who do it”. So why are most Xians focused on being “Legal Scholars” when the truth is right there being passed by on a daily basis during “devotions”.
    If you don’t put down that Twinkie or start sharing with the poor (instead of accumulating for self) then don’t even pretend to have the moral authority to “teach the lost” (gays). If we can stop sinning then maybe they’ll listen to our ten-cent sermons. Many GBLTQ people grow up in “religious” settings and know the scripture better than we do.
    The “beam” is in my own eye and I know I just need to “Love God…Love my neighbors”.
    “Love covers all sin”.

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  • brandon
    December 27, 2009

    I am looking for a place to worship my savior in a ‘gay friendly’ church in my area in upstate ny 13850

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  • D
    March 1, 2011

    The bottom line in all of this is very simple. The church should welcome gays and lesbians just like they should welcome any other sinners who’ve fallen short of the glory of God. With that said, continuing to practice sin is a different story. Sin is not welcome in the church or with God, period. Regardless of what it is and this includes gays and lesbians.

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  • LGBT Church Los Angeles
    August 4, 2011

    Yes, there are indeed a large number of people searching for gay friendly churches. Freedom of assembly is a constitutional right, it goes beyond what anyone considers right and wrong in terms of morality. Thanks for posting this article!

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  • David Wells
    June 20, 2012

    Gay-Friendly is very different than Sin- Friendly. Is your church body prepared to deal with the conversion of your gay congregation? You will not be any use to them if you are not. You will just be powerless and eventualy give up and become apostate like the rest of the unprepared who do not believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to deliver a believer from bondage. Please read The Broken Image by Leanne Payne. Gay bashing makes everyone look ignorant and feeds the gay agenda, demon smashing on the other hand is an entrance into the Kingdom of God a place Jesus wills for us to be.

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