Rest of the Best: Houston's 10 Best LGBT-Friendly Churches
It is a common media misconception that an attitude of acceptance and love for LGBT people and a sincere belief in the message of Jesus Christ are mutually exclusive terms. However, if you look at the number of people in the country that identify as Christian (78 percent) and the number of states that have embraced same-sex marriage and other equal rights for LGBT people you will quickly see that that idea is a statistical impossibility. Plenty of Christians tolerate, love, and respect LGBTs as equals, just as many LGBTs are people of faith.
As luck would have it we live in the most diverse city in the United States, and the only one of significant size that sports an openly gay mayor (who is also cool enough to honor a transgender metal musician with her own official day, so there). Those who want to bask in the church-y goodness of God's Love have plenty of options. Or at least ten.
10. St Andrew's Episcopal
1819 Heights Boulevard
Though St. Andrews was home to some minor controversy in 2004 when popular gay rector the Rev. Paul Fromberg left the church for a more-accepting diocese in San Francisco, the church has grown into a much more open institution on the subject of LGBT people. "We have many lesbian and gay couples in our church," parish administrator Trish Mehrkam told us. "Everyone is welcome."
9. St. Philip Presbyterian
4807 San Felipe
In 2010 St. Philip became the first Texas Presbyterian church to host the Covenant Conference, an annual symposium by the Covenant Network? Well, you sort of have to dig through the text a bit, but in essence they're an advocacy group within the denomination that seeks to advance equality for LGBT clergy and the sanctifying of same-sex marriages. The Presbyterian church has accepted LGBT parishioners since 2011, and clergy are allowed to bless unions if not out and out call them marriages, but the fight for reform goes on and St. Philip is a staunch ally in that battle. "While I have been pastor at St. Philip for just a year and a half, the church has long had a commitment to welcoming all people, regardless of category or label," said John Wurster. "The GLBTQ members of our community bear witness to God's boundless love, and our congregation is enriched by having a fuller representation of God's diverse creation."
8. Trinity Episcopal Church
1015 Holman Street
Though Annise Parker is the most prominent gay politician in Houston, we also got our first openly gay male city councilman in 2011. That was Mike Laster, who is an active member at Trinity Episcopal where he has served as a senior warden and parish delegate to the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. The trust and support that Trinity shows in its members of all orientations is an inspiration to us all.