National Cathedral Dean: Homophobia is a Sin

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 4.23.51 PMAs part of a weekend honoring LGBT young people at the Washington National Cathedral, Rev. Gary Hall (pictured right) spoke out against homophobia and heterosexism, denouncing both as 'sin.' The Huffington Post reports:

"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," said Dean Hall. He continued, "Only when all our churches say that clearly and boldly and courageously will our LGBT youth be free to grow up in a culture that totally embraces them fully as they are."

He criticized the role that some churches have in advancing oppression of LGBT youth, saying, "It's more than tragic – in fact it's shameful – that faith communities, especially Christian ones, continue to be complicit in putting out children at risk and abetting the attitudes that oppress them, thereby encouraging the aggressors who would subject our children to pain, humiliation, and violence."

Hall's sermon marked the 15th anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard and the third anniversary of the suicide of Tyler Clementi. Both Judy Shepard and Jane Clementi were at the Sunday service to honor their sons' lives. 

Back in January, Rev. Hall announced the prominent Episcopal cathedral would begin celebrating same-sex marriages.

(photo via National Cathedral


  1. TODD says

    Oh blah, blah, blah, blablah. Is he saying anything new? More valid? Or even remotely unusual to the usual gay is a sin blah, blah? Of course not…this is just another one note dead horse broken record.

  2. TomTallis says

    The correct form of address for the Dean of an Episcopal cathedral in the United States is “Very Reverend.” His full title is “The Very Reverend Gary Hall.”

    Now I’m going to another blog to pick some other nits…

  3. TomTallis says

    BTW, all three major Episcopal Cathedrals in the United States are in venues where same sex marriage is legal and all three, St John the Divine (NYC), the National Cathedral (DC), and Grace Cathedral (SF) are now marrying same sex couples.

  4. EP says

    After a good sermon he enjoys reading his latest copy of “Boys Life.” I was an Episcopalian choir boy at thirteen. Don’t be fooled by all the syllables, though Catholic only has three.

  5. Francis #1 says

    The Episcopal Church is clearly far, far ahead of the other major denominations regarding homosexuality and other social issues. Unfortunately it’s led to the church losing membership fast. But if you’re religious and liberal, gay, etc, then this is the denomination for you.

  6. KJ says

    Uhm, the story is about the Episcopal Church, not Catholic, Terry. As one who serves as an acolyte, I feel that I should also point out that it’s “altar” and not “alter.”

    St. Mark’s, Seattle, Cathedral of the Diocese of Olympia can be added to Episcopal cathedrals at which same sex marriages are conducted.

  7. Mike TTG says

    Wow. I wish the Anglican Bishop of Toronto would say that, or have gay marriages, but he would tolerate it, not would the Dean of the cathedral here.

  8. Bear says

    IMHO We should support our brothers and sisters of faith who understand our position is about love. Not sex. Sex enhances my love for my husband. But We are more than the ‘act’ most xtins wrongly define us for.

    I applaud the episcopalians for their understanding of my capacity to love the same as they do. I am a dyed-in-the-wool Atheist, but I know a real olive branch when I see one.

  9. ian says

    Bigotry in all it’s forms is a sin. Bigotry is the attempt to dehumanize the “other”, the belief that the person at whom bigotry is directed is subhuman. Less human than the bigot at any rate and that belief is expressed by derogatory terms and discriminatory actions. Religion is often cited by bigots as supporting those attitudes. Many white suprematists will use the bible to justify their racism (mud people in Genesis) and homophobia and misogyny etc. Bigots never understand they are harming their own humanity in seeking to harm others; and that is the sin. They sin against themselves as much as those they seek to harm. So it’s nice to hear that from a pulpit.

  10. Kieran says

    I’ll never forget visiting the National Cathedral in Washington DC. All one can say is “WOW, magnificent!”. The Church is a beautiful and majestic work of art, inside and out. If you’ve never seen it, put it on your bucket list.

  11. GreatLakeSailor says

    “Both Judy Shepard and Jane Clementi were at the Sunday sermon to honor their sons’ deaths.”

    Wow, that’s an awkward sentence.
    How about, “honor their sons’ lives” or “morn their sons’ deaths” ?

  12. DB says

    Hallelujah and amen, brother. Wonderful that the Episcopal Church (the oldest Christian church in America) and other mainstream Christian denominations are speaking out with the message of Christ’s love. My husband and I were married in the United Church of Christ and have seen that about 10 percent of Christian marriages lately have been gay marriages. It is always a struggle to fight against the sins of bigotry, hatred, and selfishness, but we as Christians can do so with God’s help.

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