What Are the Different LGBTQ+ Theologies?

LGBTQ+ theology is frequently split into two broad categories: Non-affirming Theology and Affirming Theology

Non-affirming theology commonly appears in two different ways:

  1. The first  affirms the existence of LGBTQ+ identities, but adheres to a ‘traditional’ view of marriage and sex as designed for one man and one woman. This version requires that LGBTQ+ persons remain celibate and is a conviction imposed upon others by cisgender, heterosexual persons. Example: Tiffany’s son Lionel just came out as gay. She tells him she accepts his identity, but urges celibacy as the only way to be acceptable to God as a gay Christian. More about Q Christian’s hope for parents and their LGBTQ+ children can be found on our FAQ page.
  2. The second views LGBTQ+ identities themselves as aberrant, disordered, or in some other way illegitimate and therefore inherently outside God’s approval and blessing. This view implicitly or explicitly supports efforts to alter someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity through conversion therapy practices, and is sometimes referred to as Side X or Ex-gay ideology. Side X/Ex-gay ideology is both dangerous and medically discredited. Q Christian addresses the ramifications of this theology through the UNCHANGED Movement.Example: Jane schedules a meeting with her pastor, Robert, to discuss her anxiety over reconciling her faith with her bisexuality. Robert counsels Jane to start attending the church’s new support group for congregants desiring to change their orientations. He assures her she will be “free” from her wayward attractions.

Affirming theology maintains that the gender identities, sexual orientations, and sexual relationships of LGBTQ+ individuals are equally as good and holy in the sight of God as those of cisgender, heterosexual people.

Proponents of this view extend an unqualified invitation to our LGBTQ+ siblings to participate fully in the life of the church, including weddings, membership, and leadership positions. Members of the LGBTQ+ community may espouse different variations of affirming theology according to each individual’s personal convictions. These can be broadly grouped into two categories, although individuals may hold convictions somewhere between these definitions:

  1. Side A Theology: Any theology which fully affirms both LGBTQ+ identity and same-gender sex. Side A theology fully affirms same-gender relationships, marriage and sex as good and acceptable to God. Side A theology also recognizes that celibacy may be freely chosen for many reasons, including by individuals who identify along the spectrum of asexuality. Individuals within this theological framework may hold a broad range of sexual ethics.Example: Antonio, an Anglican priest, just celebrated his sixth wedding anniversary with his husband Jeff.
  2. Side B Theology: Any theology which affirm LGBTQ+ identities, yet maintains that Christians should refrain from same-gender sex for a variety of personal and/or theological reasons. This includes single, celibate LGBTQ+ Christians as well as those in celibate partnerships and mixed-orientation marriages. These are marriages wherein at least one person is married to a person of a differing sexual identity, such as a heterosexual man married to a gay woman. Within the Q Christian Fellowship community, Side B refers to a theological viewpoint reserved for LGBTQ+ persons only. When celibacy is imposed by cisgender, heterosexual people onto others, it is referred to as non-affirming.Example: After struggling with internalized shame about her sexual identity, Mia came out as a lesbian this year. In full acceptance of who God created her to be, Mia embraces celibacy as a faithful expression of her personal theological convictions.

Source: https://www.qchristian.org/resources/theology#bible

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