How Can Inclusive Theology Not Affirm LGBTQI+ People’s Sexual Lives?

By Brett Degoldi | M.Div. Candidate ’20
It was my first time attending the Gay Christian Network (GCN) conference and I was excited about attending a conference where I would be “included”.  More than 1000 gay Christians came together at the Denver Convention Center in January, from all over the U.S. and from what seemed like an endless variety of Christian denominations, Protestant and Catholic (although largely protestant). I expected the Christian Rock band and a lively bunch of progressive Gay Christians, but what I was not expecting was the ideological divide among the attendees.
When I arrived at the registration check-in, I was asked to fill out a voluntary survey. One of the questions was whether I considered myself Side-A or Side-B.  I had never heard this terminology before and came to discover that it referred to different sides of a debate about just how inclusive God is of Gay Christians having sex.
Before the conference I had heard of the concept of so-called “ex-gays” (i.e., gay Christians who say they have removed their gay yearnings or been “reoriented”).  I had also heard horrendous stories of people trying to reorient gay children and family members with various brutal forms of therapy and physical, medical and social interventions.  What I had not heard before was that between gay Christians who are happy with their sexual identity (Side-A gays) and the so-called “ex-gays” there was a third group; the so-called “Side-B gays”.
I would come to discover that Side-B gay Christians identify as gay and

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