Gays & Religion Timeline: Third Millennium B.C., "The first joint homosexual burial take place. The Tomb of Two Brothers at Thebes is an Egyptian sepulcher that contains the remains of two men, Niankhnum and Khnumhotep, who are believed to have been lovers. The walls of the tombs have bas reliefs that show the two men embracing."
Gays & Religion Timeline: 1900 B.C., "According to the Book of Genesis, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed with fire and brimstone. This is interpreted by Philo of Alendria centuries later and then by religious writers to have been a wrathful God's punishment for the homosexuality of the inhabitants."
Gays & Religion Timeline: A.D. 60, "Saint Paul writes certain biblical passages, particularly Romans 1:26-27 and I Corinthians: 6-9 which are often used to prohibit/protest homosexuality. As twentieth-century scholar John Boswell indicates, this interpretation does not necessarily reflect Saint Paul's original meaning, which has been changed through translations."
Gays & Religion Timeline: 533, "Homosexuality and blasphemy are proclaimed to be equally to blame for earthquakes, famines, and pestilences by Byzantine emperor Justinian I when he combines Roman law and Christian ethics. Castration is ordered for any lawbreaker."
Gays & Religion Timeline: 650, "Priests are issued The Cummean Penitential, a manual that spells out repentance for different levels of homosexual sin. The age of the offender and the nature of the offense are taken into consideration."
Gays & Religion Timeline: 1252, "St. Thomas Aquinas begins his theological teaching. Aquinas pronounced that God created genitalia for no purpose other than reproduction and decreed that homosexual acts were "unnatural" and heretical. Though he did not originate these ideas, he had powerful influence with the church and the narrow-mindedness he espoused continues today."
Gays & Religion Timeline: 1310, "All French members of the Order of Templars are arrested and charged with sodomy, heresy and being in league with the Moslem' many are tortured and executed. King Phillip the Fair of France, who ordered this action is said to have benefited enormously from property confiscated as part of the arrests. The accuracy of the allegations is still debated by present-day scholars."
Gays & Religion Timeline: 1450-53, "The Spanish Inquisition is empowered by Pope Nicholas to investigate and punish homosexuality."
Gays & Religion Timeline: 1583, "A pronouncement of Christianity by the Third Provincial Council of Peru tells the native Indians of Lima that `sodomy, whether with another man, or with a boy, or a beast... carries the death penalty... and the reason God has allowed that you, the Indians, should be so afflicted and vexed by other nations is because of this vice that your ancestors had, and many of you still have.'"
Gays & Religion Timeline: 1620-1725, "Approximately 350 persons are accused of witchcraft in colonial New England, of who 78 percent are women and a number of those thought to have been lesbians. In total, 35 people are executed, 28 of whom are women. More than half of the accusations, trials and executions took place in the town of Salem, Massachusetts, from 1692-1693."
Gays & Religion Timeline: 1641-42, "The Massachusetts Bay Colony becomes the first of several New England colonies to incorporate into its laws the language of Leviticus 20:13: `if a man lieth with mankinde, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed abomination, they both shall surely be put to death.'"
Gays & Religion Timeline: 1916, "The first gay church, an Anglican-derived Liberal Catholic Church is founded in Sydney, Australia, by Charles Webster Leadbeater."
Gays & Religion Timeline: 1946, "George Hyde, a youth minister in the independent Catholic Movement, forms a church in Atlanta which is thought to have been the first American church organized primarily for homosexuals."
Gays & Religion Timeline: 1956, "The first documented gay church, the Church of ONE Brotherhood, is founded in Los Angeles by Chuck Rowland. It lasts only one year."
Gays & Religion Timeline: 1957, "The Catholic Church, while emphasizing that it believes homosexuality to be a sin, recommends its decriminalization by endorsing the Wolfden Report. This report published by the British government, recommended the legalization of homosexual acts between consenting adults."
Gays & Religion Timeline: 1964, "The Council on Religion and the Homosexual is founded in San Francisco by the Reverend Ted McIlvenna and other clergy members `to promote continuing dialogue between the church and the homosexual.'"
Gays & Religion Timeline: 1967, "The Glide Methodist Church and the Glide Foundation of San Francisco launches one of the first economic boycotts on behalf of gay rights by not only stating that they will not buy goods and services from companies that discriminate against homosexuals, but encouraging others to follow their lead."
Gays & Religion Timeline: 1968, "Rev. Troy Perry, a gay Pentecostal minister, conducts a service for twelve people gathered at a house in Huntington park, California. This was the first meeting of what was to become the United Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, a nondenominational church for the gay community. Only two years later, MCC had over five hundred members."
Gays & Religion Timeline: 1969, "The Church of Christ's Council on Christian Social Action adopts one of the first position statements on homosexuality, in which it calls for the decriminalization of homosexual activities between consenting adults.", "The first denominational religious organization for homosexuals begins as a rap group for gay and lesbian Catholics in San Diego. After moving to Los Angeles, the first chapter of Dignity is founded in 1970."
Gays & Religion Timeline: 1971-85, "Following a rap session at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Community Church, two gay men and two lesbians discover they are all Jewish and decide to form their own temple. Beth Chayim Chadishm holds its first service in July of 1972 and are chartered on July 19, 1974, by the union of American Hebrew Congregations, making it not only the first gay and lesbian synagogue, but also the first gay religious organization of any kind to be officially recognized by a national body. In 1977 the congregation acquired its own building, dedicated in 1981.", "The United Church of Christ in San Carlos, California, ordains William Johnson, making it the first Christian denomination to ordain an openly gay candidate. Johnson came out in 1970 while studying at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkely, California."
Gays & Religion Timeline: 1973, "The first bisexual religious organization, the Committee of Friends on Bisexuality, if founded by Stephen Donaldson in Ithaca, N.Y. They issue the `Ithaca Statement on Bisexuality' during their first gathering in June, 1972, which is thought to be the first statement on bisexuality-as well as pro-bisexuality- by any religious body. The committee ended in 1977.", "The Unitarian Universalists become the first denomination to establish a lesbian and gay office. Three years earlier, a resolution was passed by the general assembly banning discrimination against gays in the church."
Gays & Religion Timeline: 1978, "Rabbi Allen Bennet allows himself to be outed in the San Francisco Examiner, making him the first openly gay rabbi.", "Witchcraft and the Gay Counter Culture, by Arthur Evans, a historical view of heresy, gayness and the witch hunts of Europe and England is published."
Gays & Religion Timeline: 1979, "The Radical Faeries are established when Harry Hay, a pioneer of gay liberation, organizes a first gathering of approximately two hundred men in the Arizona desert. The Faeries are a national organization of free spirits and flower children known for their pagan-influenced celebration of what's different and special about gay men."
Gays & Religion Timeline: 1984, "The Unitarian Universalists become the first modern Christian denomination to perform gay and lesbian union ceremonies."
Gays & Religion Timeline: 1986, "A fourteen page letter issued by Pope John Paul II calls gay people `intrinsically disordered' and states that homosexuality can never be reconciled with church doctrine."
Gays & Religion Timeline: 1988, "Mary Elizabeth Clark takes vows of poverty, chastity and obedience at an Episcopal church in San Clemente, California, making her the first transsexual nun, though the religious community she founded, Sisters of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, remains unsanctioned by the bishop of the Episcopal Church. A man named Michael Clark until 1974, Sister Mary Elizabeth is also the only person to serve in the military as both a male and a female."
Gays & Religion Timeline: 1989, "Two-thirds of the sample of a survey of 101 gay Catholic priests estimated that 40 to 60 percent of the Catholic clergy are gay.", "A sample survey of 101 gay Catholic priests found that `Leading a celibate life' was reported by 63 percent as a frequent source of problems.", "36.6 percent of 101 gay Catholic priests surveyed had been occasionally sexually active with another person.", "82.2 percent of 101 gay Catholic priests surveyed said they would `probably' or `definitely' stay in the priesthood."
Gays & Religion Timeline: 1989, "Surrounded by controversy, Robert Williams is ordained as an openly gay Episcopalian priest. One month later he publicly comments that `monogamy is as unnatural as celibacy' followed by the remark that Mother Teresa would be better off `if she got laid'. In 1991, Williams resigned his priesthood."
Gays & Religion Timeline: 1992, "MCC's application for observer status within the National Council of Churches of Christ is voted to not be acted upon. The debate regarding MCC's status causes some NCC member churches to side with MCC, including the United Church of Christ, the United Methodist Church and the Swedenborgian Church. Several other groups indicate that they will pull out of the group if MCC's request is granted, particularly orthodox and predominantly black denominations.", "A four page letter from the Vatican entitled `Some Considerations Concerning the Catholic Response to Legislative Proposals on the Non-Discrimination of Homosexual Persons' is issued to the U.S. Bishops. Basically the letter states the Vatican's opposition to such legislation and urges bishops to actively oppose gay civil rights laws. Bishops in Seattle, Honolulu and other places make the surprising move of publicly dissenting."
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