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Gender and Sexuality News Roundup (6/25/19)

June 25, 2019

One mission of CBMW is to help Christians think through secular and ecclesial trends on gender and sexuality. Through this work, we pore over a lot of different news reports and articles as we attempt to wade through the ceaseless flow of information on the web. In our weekly Gender and Sexuality News Roundups, we aim to distill some of the more pertinent information for you.

The articles below are from a wide variety of sectors and publications, organized generally into three categories. They are presented in aggregate, not necessarily endorsed.

If you see an article that you think should be featured in future CBMW News Roundups, you can send it to [email protected] with the subject “News Roundup.”


Ecclesial Trends on Gender and Sexuality

Minnesota Methodists vote against LGBT restrictions, Star Tribune (Jean Hopfensperger)

“The vote, taken at the Minnesota annual conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC) in St. Cloud, rejects the decision by the global UMC earlier this year to continue its ban on same sex-marriages and LGBT ordinations. The resolution states that the LGBT restriction ‘does great harm to the witness of the United Methodist Church’ and vows that the Minnesota conference ‘will not perpetuate this harm in any form.'”

Drag queen Sparkle Leigh brings LGBT storytime to Cincinnati church, Cincinnati Enquirer (Rachel Berry)

“Dan Davidson can usually be seen around Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church sweeping the floors and getting the building ready for worship services. On Sunday, June 16, though, church caretaker Davidson woke up before the sun to get ready for a new role at the church that morning. He spent hours applying layers and layers of makeup and glitter to transform himself into Sparkle Leigh…The church service began with a hymn, as the choir sang, ‘God welcomes all.’ When it was time for the ‘moment with youngest disciples,’ out came Sparkle wearing a pink, flowing dress, with green curls adorning her head. Sparkle then read a book telling the story of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay politician to be elected in California.”

The Continuing Downgrade in the Christian Reformed Church, The Aquila Report (Aaron De Boer)

“Though some would point to evidence of eroded Scriptural authority earlier, the acceleration of decline is clearly marked by a flirtation with a ‘broadened’ feminist hermeneutic, ultimately embraced by many in the 1990s and 2000s. Since the rapid push to deliberately train and ordain women for pastoral ministry under a so-called ‘local option,’ the CRCNA has witnessed a conservative exodus which prompted the formation of the United Reformed Churches (URCNA), as well as a drastic shift in the culture at Calvin Theological Seminary and the encroachment of liberalism in every area of denominational focus.”

Taylor Swift’s new video slams anti-LGBT Christian ‘hate’ protesters; ex-gay Christians respond, The Christian Post (Jeannie Law)

“Swift’s music video is an ode to the LGBT community and features a star-studded cast including professing Christian R&B singer Ciara, and preachers’ kid pop star Katy Perry. Others featured in the video include daytime TV host Ellen DeGeneres, actor Ryan Reynolds, transgender actor Laverne Cox, and the cast of Netflix’s ‘Queer Eye.’ The pop star’s message, as described in her lyrics, is that people need to stop spewing hate. The song’s lyrics include lines such as: ‘And control your urges to scream about all the people you hate, ’cause shade never made anybody less gay.’ She also sang that those who oppose the lifestyle ‘would rather be in the Dark Ages.'”

Cathedral High School terminates gay teacher to stay in Indianapolis Archdiocese, The Indianapolis Star (Arika Herron)

“Just days after the Archdiocese of Indianapolis cut ties with one Catholic high school over its decision to continue to employee a gay teacher, another school is firing one of its educators to avoid the same fate. The archdiocese made it clear, the letter said, that keeping the teacher employed ‘would result in forfeiting our Catholic identity due to our employment of an individual living in contradiction to Catholic teaching on marriage.'”

How L.G.B.T. Catholics are celebrating Pride Month, America Magazine (Michael J. O’Loughlin)

“Dozens of Catholics are expected to gather for an outdoor Mass on June 27, just steps from the Stonewall Inn, the New York City gay bar that is considered the home of the modern L.G.B.T. rights movement because of an uprising against police brutality there 50 years ago this month. In some circumstances, a group of Catholics meeting near a celebrated gay bar could cause anxiety or puzzlement for L.G.B.T. people, but this group plans to mark Pride by meeting for worship and then moving to Stonewall or another nearby gay bar for fellowship. They plan to offer thanks that they have been able to embrace their sexual identities while remaining part of the church.”


Secular Trends on Gender and Sexuality

Stonewall’s ‘Gift’, American Conservative (Rod Dreher)

“Stonewall’s legacy isn’t just about making queer people look more like everyone else. It’s also, perhaps more mutinously, about making everyone else look a bit more queer. The movement’s enduring celebration of difference, personal authenticity and norm-questioning has allowed straight people to recognize the closet that confines them, too — the outdated pressure to perform prescribed gender roles, inhibit certain emotions, conceal their true selves in a thousand ways — and to envision a way to step outside its walls. This is what Joe Biden was referring to when, as vice president, he thanked LGBT advocates for “freeing the soul of the American people.” It’s what Barack Obama meant when, on the day the high court handed down its marriage ruling, he said, ‘When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free.'”

Where LGBTQ Rights Stand Two Years Into the Trump Administration, Fortune (Renae Reints)

“Since taking office in 2017, President Donald Trump has not issued an official proclamation recognizing Pride Month (Congress attempted to pass its own measures declaring the celebratory month the past two years, but neither effort was successful). Trump has repeatedly voiced support for the community online and in public, but his administration’s policies appear to present an agenda with opposite goals.”

Warren Thinks LGBT Couples Should Get a Check to Make up for Lost Marriage Tax Benefits: 5 Things to Know, Independent Journal Review (Madison Dibble)

“Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wants to pay back LGBT couples for taxes they paid into the federal government, which they paid at a higher rate because they were denied joint status. While reparations for slavery were front and center during last week’s congressional testimony, Warren wants to see reparations paid to LGBT couples who were denied the marriage tax breaks.”

Pete and Chasten Buttigieg Are a Traditional Wonder, The New York Times (Frank Bruni)

“Although his sexual orientation breaks with presidential-campaign precedent, his emotional orientation hews almost unerringly to it. He is doing what Tipper Gore, Laura Bush, Michelle Obama and Ann Romney were supposed to: loosen, soften and warm up the images of their spouses, in part by veering away from politics. Chasten’s preferred topics are his dogs, Harry Potter and the power of love.”

It’s a Girl! It’s a Boy! And for the Gender-Reveal Cake, It May Be the End, The New York Times (Kim Severson)

“Molly Woodstock, a journalist in Portland, started a podcast called Gender Reveal in 2018 to tell the stories of nonbinary and transgender people. Mx. Woodstock, who is transgender and uses the pronouns ‘they’ and ‘them,’ has received messages from transgender people wondering how to handle invitations to gender-reveal parties from co-workers or family members…When people who post their videos and photos of gender-reveal parties on Instagram accidentally tag the Gender Reveal podcast, Mx. Woodstock sometimes uses it as an opportunity to provide a little education. ‘I might say, ‘This is a convenient time to remind you that the genitals of your baby don’t determine the baby’s gender.’'”


Gender and Sexuality Miscellany

Complementarianism? What’s in a name?, (Denny Burk)

“Complementarianism was not first and foremost a sociological descriptor or movement. Nor was it describing an ethos or a set of extrabiblical stereotypes. The term emerged as a shorthand to describe the theological vision of The Danvers Statement.”

How Should Christians Have Sex?, The New York Times (Katelyn Beaty)

“Occasionally I think about my purity pledge and the letters to my mystical future husband, and find those practices naïve and manipulative. But part of me wishes that the fairy tale of purity culture had come true. While I hate the effects that purity culture had on young women like me, I still find the traditional Christian vision for married sex radical, daunting and extremely compelling — and one I still want to uphold, even if I fumble along the way.”

Confronting Purity Culture or Christian Sexual Ethics?, Denny Burk (Denny Burk)

“Perhaps the biggest problem with Beaty’s essay is that she isn’t really clear about what she’s condemning in ‘purity culture.’ If unbiblical and unmerciful shaming is what she means to condemn, then she would have done well to say so. I can’t imagine serious Christians disagreeing with her about that. I certainly wouldn’t. But as I read the article, the Bible’s actual teaching about sexual ethics also seems to be thrown into the mix of what needs to be condemned. And this is a claim that no serious Christian can agree with. It is a claim that we are in fact obliged to contend against (Jude 3).”

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