LGBTQ Christians Embracing celibacy

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LGBTQ Christians Embracing celibacy

No joke. Progress has been made on federal and state levels concerning LGBTQ civil rights but many churches, especially in certain religious conservative circles, are far behind.

For example, at their 221st General Assembly this June, the Presbyterian Church removed the provision (Amendment 10-A)  prohibiting the ordination of sexually active unmarried Presbyterians as church officers. The ratification came with a scolding and heterosexist caveat - church officers must be either celibate (allowing for non-celibate LGBTQs to be ordained) or be active with a member of the opposite gender.

While such a proviso on how church officers are to be sexually active or celibate is laughable to anyone living in present time, the governing body of the Presbyterian Church isn't kidding.

And neither are many church conservatives- both straight and , surprisingly, LGBTQ.

For those heterosexual Christians who embrace the theological qualifier "to love the sinner but hate the sin" homosexuality is merely on the laundry list of transgressions.

But for  LGBTQ Christian conservatives the debate has literally taken sides - with celibate LGBTQ Christian bloggers referring  to themselves in shorthand as “Side A” Christians and “Side B” Christians. "Side A" Christians support marriage equality and queer  sexual orientations whereas "Side  B" support an hardline Biblical literalism.

Last year, the "ex-gay" ministries would have had both  Side A” and “Side B” Christians in their folds. 

But in 2013, Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International, announced the closing of the organization.

At the 2012 Exodus International annual conference Chambers stated, "I do not believe that cure is a word that is applicable to really any struggle, homosexuality included.... For someone to put out a shingle and say, 'I can cure homosexuality'—that to me is as bizarre as someone saying they can cure any other common temptation or struggle that anyone faces on Planet Earth." Chambers, a married man with two adopted children, and a purported ex-gay convert himself.

What appeared as a seismic shift, or a closing chapter in the harmful history of ex-gay ministries was neither. His new modus operandi - that has both monetary and ideological backing - is to peddle the theological rhetoric of celibacy. And it's working.

Just this year the 50,000-member American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) released its revised 2014 Code of Ethics replacing  reparative therapies with celibacy.

“Counselors acknowledge