Rev. Gary Hall of the National Cathedral: Being gay is not "just OK" -- it is good

"Homophobia is a sin. Heterosexism is a sin. Shaming people for whom they love is a sin," says Rev. Hall

By Katie McDonough
October 8, 2013 5:08PM (UTC)
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The Very Rev. Gary Hall (National Cathedral)

The Very Rev. Gary Hall of the historic Washington National Cathedral did not mince words in a recent sermon denouncing anti-LGBTQ discrimination. Unlike some faith leaders who use evasive language about "love the sinner, hate the sin" -- or even Pope Francis' recent "Who am I to judge?" -- to dodge questions about full acceptance and full rights for LGBTQ people, the dean and chief ecclesiastical leader of the National Cathedral made his views crystal clear.

It is pretty amazing (emphasis added):


In its wisdom, the church came to its senses and labeled both racism and sexism as sinful. And now we find ourselves at the last barrier -- call that barrier homophobia, call it heterosexism. We must now have the courage to take the final step and call homophobia and heterosexism what they are. They are sin. Homophobia is a sin. Heterosexism is a sin. Shaming people for whom they love is a sin. Shaming people because their gender identity doesn’t fit neatly into your sense of what it should be is a sin.


It is not only just OK to be gay, straight, bisexual, or transgendered. It is good to be that way, because that is the way God has made you... Only when we find a way fearlessly to speak just that clearly and boldly to LGBT kids, their families, their schools, and their communities, will the world be a safe and nurturing place for the Matthew Shepards and Tyler Clementis of our own day. We don’t need more faith. We just need some faith -- faith in a God who is bigger and deeper and more loving and compassionate than we are.

It really is OK for you and me to be who we are.


Amen, indeed.

Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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Gay Rights Lgbtq Equality Lgbtq Rights Matthew Shepard National Cathedral Religion Tyler Clementi