A growing presence in the LGBT rights movement: The religious

Supporters of gay marriage react outside the James R. Browning United States Courthouse after a federal appeals court declared California’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012 in San Francisco. (Lea Suzuki – AP)

Big GLBT pride events like the parade and festival happening in D.C. this weekend have been going on for so long and are so ubiquitous, they can seem barely newsworthy. Except for the fact of one growing segment: the religious.

Churches, synagogues and other faith-based groups are stepping up their outreach to gays and lesbians, part of a general opening of doors that have been firmly shut, including in the U.S. military (which dropped “don’t ask don’t tell” in late 2011) and the Boy Scouts of America (which dropped its ban on openly gay boys last month).

Organizers of this weekend’s Capital Pride named 14 faith-based groups participating in Sunday’s festival for the first time. They include Baptist, Lutheran and Quaker churches as well as the country’s largest Buddhist denomination, a Conservative synagogue and a Mormon advocacy group.

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