A lesbian pastor in Alabama
On 9 October, the church in Birmingham, Alabama., founded in 2000, voted 34-0 to elect Sanders, openly lesbian community minister, as its pastor.The church is affiliated with the United Church of Christ, one of the more liberal mainline denominations, reports AL.‘I’m a woman, a lesbian, a member of a progressive faith tradition,’ Sanders said.
The 47-year-old who’s currently working on a master of divinity degree commented that on top of gay rights, the church will continue to push for other aspects of social activism.‘It’s part of who I am, but it’s not the whole of what we do,’ she said. ‘My commitment to racial justice, to people with disabilities, my commitment to economic justice and environmental justice, are part of that, just as much a part of my commitment to rights for LGBTQ people.’Sanders and her partner, a clinical psychologist, have a daughter who is a high school sophomore.
Sanders is not the first lesbian pastor elected in a church in Birmingham, reports AL, but since marriage equality passed in 2015, it is becoming easier for people to come out as gay and religious.‘There’s a generation of us coming behind that first generation of pioneers who helped create that space in theology and local congregations, for us to say you can be a faithful person and be LGBTQ,’ Sanders remarked.