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Help Pastor and Lesbian Mom Cover Church with Pride Flags in Response to Theft

Photo credit: Ludovic Bertron

The First Church Congregational in Rochester, New Hampshire, part of the United Church of Christ (UCC), has had two rainbow Pride flags stolen in the past week. In response, Pastor Eliza Buchakjian-Tweedy, who is raising two children with her spouse Marcey, is asking for people to send them rainbow flags so they can cover the church building and lawn with them.

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Religion and LGBTQ Families

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Religion and LGBTQ equality are often portrayed as incompatible. That’s why I was so happy to see people of several faith traditions take part in Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day, reminding us that faith and being LGBTQ (or loving and supporting someone who is LGBTQ) can, for many, go hand in hand, even if it may take some effort. Here are some of their posts.

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Moses Has Two Mommies

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Tonight is the first night of Passover, when Jews around the world gather to celebrate freedom from slavery in Egypt, under the leadership of a man who had two mommies.

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A Mormon Sister, a Lesbian Sister, and a Happy Ending

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Here’s your must-read pair of essays for the day, by two sisters: one an observant Mormon and one a lesbian activist. Oil and water? Only at first.

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Jewish Book Project Offers Free Purim Picture Book with Gay Dads

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One of the more delightful recent picture books featuring a child with LGBT parents is Elisabeth Kushner’s The Purim Superhero, about a child with gay dads celebrating the Jewish holiday of Purim. I wrote about the book last year when it was first published — and am pleased to see that PJ Library, a project that sends free children’s books to Jewish families, is offering free copies of the book to subscribers who request it.

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Lesbian Moms Named to “Sexiest Rabbis of 2013″ List

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Jewrotica, “a relationship and sex ed resource for the Jewish community,” has released its annual “Sexiest Rabbis” list, and two of the 10 honorees are lesbian moms.

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Catholic Educators’ Group Bans Books with Same-Sex, Divorced Parents — Pope Should Say Something

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A Catholic educators’ group responsible for developing Catholic school curricula based on the Common Core State Standards has removed three books from its first-grade plan because they include same-sex and/or divorced parents.

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Songs for Peace and Justice

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Yesterday, I wrote about Julie Silver, a well-known Jewish singer-songwriter and lesbian mom. As we approach the start of Yom Kippur this evening, it seems only appropriate to post a clip of her singing. The first song, “This Train,” is a beautiful metaphor about social justice that people of all traditions should appreciate. And for extra-special lesbian goodness, it’s the song of hers that Ellen DeGeneres said was her favorite, according to a blurb on Silver’s Web site.

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Julie Silver: A Journey of Faith, Family, and Song

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It’s the season of the High Holidays for Jews around the world—and that means that Julie Silver, one of the most popular singers and songwriters of Jewish contemporary music — and a lesbian mom — is very busy. She took time, however, to speak with me about being a mom, balancing family and work, coming out, living as an interfaith family, and doing good in the world.

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On 9/11, a Wish for Understanding

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Once again, we remember 9/11.

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For a Sweet New Year: Meet Some Jewish Lesbian Moms

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Today is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, so I’m honoring the occasion not only by baking (and eating) ridiculous amounts of challah and honey cake (a low-carb people we are not), but also by rounding up a few recent stories about Jewish lesbian moms.

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Parenting Is Love (and a Little Nagging)

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There was so much good stuff going around for Mother’s Day that I neglected to share this great one-minute video from The Righteous Conversations Project, which brings together Holocaust survivors and teens to speak up about injustice. The video isn’t about the Holocaust, though; if anything, it’s about parental nagging in the age of social media. It comes via Keshet, the organization for LGBT inclusion in Jewish life—but I think it speaks to a commonality of many families.

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Passover Books from Author of “Heather Has Two Mommies”

You likely know about Heather Has Two Mommies, the classic children’s book featuring a girl with lesbian moms. But did you know author Lesléa Newman is also the author of two Passover-themed picture books?

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Rabbi and Lesbian Mom Marks 20th Anniversary at NYC LGBT Congregation

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Hanukkah starts this weekend, which means my yearly request to my spouse that we celebrate our combined traditions by buying one of those plastic Santa-and-sleigh lawn ornaments and making the reindeer noses all light up over eight nights. (Rudolph himself, of course, would be the shamash.) Timely, then, is this video from Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, senior rabbi at the largest LGBT congregation in the world, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in New York City—and also a lesbian mom.

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The Sikh Temple Shooting and Learning to Listen

I was sickened by the news of the shooting this past weekend at a Sikh temple, or gurdwara, near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Few things scare me more than random shootings that occur in what are supposed to be places of safety, such as schools and houses of worship. There is little that can help us make sense of what are senseless acts—but one article that has helped me think about how to move forward is “Today, we are all American Sikhs” by Valarie Kaur at CNN.

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New Resource for Mormon Parents of LGBT Youth

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The Latter-day Saints (Mormons) as a group are not known for being particularly accepting of LGBT people. What happens, then, when a young person in a Mormon family comes out as LGBT? The Family Acceptance Project (FAP) at San Francisco State University, which has long studied and addressed the impact of family acceptance and rejection on the health and mental health of LGBT youth, has just released a new faith-based family education resource to help guide Mormon families in supporting their LGBT children.

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Heather — No, Miriam — Has a Sweet Passover

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Lesléa Newman is best known as the author of the first children’s book to feature LGBT parents, Heather Has Two Mommies, as well as other LGBT-inclusive picture books, such as Mommy, Mama, and Me; Daddy, Papa, and Me; and Donovan’s Big Day. The prolific author’s latest book, A Sweet Passover, does not feature an LGBT family, but is nonetheless a charming tale worthy of consideration by readers here.

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United Church of Christ Supports LGBT Parents and their Children

The United Church of Christ approved two resolutions recently in support of LGBT equality, including the first-ever one by a major Christian denomination affirming the right of LGBT parents to adopt and raise children. A second resolution was in support of international human rights for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. I […]

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Mazel Tov! Jewish LGBT Children’s Book Contest Winner Announced

Jewish LGBT organization Keshet has announced the winner of its first Jewish Children’s Book Writing Contest (mentioned here in February): The Purim Superhero, by Elisabeth Kushner, a public librarian in Vancouver, Canada—and a lesbian mom herself. Kushner told Keshet: When I heard about the Keshet contest, it seemed like a perfect fit: in the Purim story, […]

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Bullies Come in Adult Size, Too

Some of you may remember the great post last November by “Cop’s Wife,” the mom who blogs at Nerdy Apple Bottom. She wrote about her five-year-old son, who wanted to be Daphne from Scooby Doo for Halloween, and the intolerant comments from other moms at the son’s preschool. The son’s church preschool. Now, it turns […]

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The Theology of Anti-LGBT Bullying

For those of you interested in the ideas sparked by my post yesterday on coming out in a religious context, here’s another good read: “Why Anti-Gay Bullying is a Theological Issue,” by Baptist minister Cody J. Sanders at Religion Dispatches. Sanders writes: More difficult to address are the myriad ways in which everyday churches that […]

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Bullied Youth and Coming Out In a Religious Context

There’s been a lot written on the recent bullying-related suicides. I found this piece by Rabbi Victor Appell, “If Only Tyler Clementi Had Been to a Gay Synagogue,” particularly moving. Too often religion and LGBT rights are set up as opposites; Appell shows us how they don’t have to be, and how “coming out in […]

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The Sins of the Mothers?

Not this again. An Anglican elementary school in Bedford, Texas has denied admission to a girl because her parents are lesbians and married in Canada, reports NBCDFW. The head of St. Vincent’s School, Kenneth Monk, said that by allowing the the school would be “going off our canons” that say marriage is limited to one man […]

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LGBT Parenting Roundup

(No vlog this week. Helen’s been away on a business trip, and it’s too hard to sit there talking to myself.) Faith In an essay for Commonweal magazine, an anonymous lesbian mom discusses her Catholic faith, her and her partner’s decision to send their children to Catholic school, and the welcome they received there, in […]

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Weekend Reading: Reaching Across the Lines

Two stories caught my eye today that show the value of making personal connections, even when the barriers between people seem insurmountable. They make a good pair of pieces for weekend reading. One is Steven Goldstein’s piece at Blue Jersey, which I mentioned in my Political Roundup this week. Steven is the chair of Garden […]

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