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GAYS & LESBIANS REDISCOVER CHRISTMAS SEASON

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Sponsored link.


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Derived From: The Globe and Mail (Toronto ON), Article by Michael Grange, 1996-DEC-26

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This article explains to a typically heterosexual audience how the Christmas season can be a particularly difficult time for gays and lesbians, because:
bulletit is looked upon as a family holiday, and many gays and lesbians have "lost their birth families"
bulletit is also perceived by some as a religious holiday, and many gays and lesbians have been "excluded from the church"
Psychotherapist and lesbian Nancy Ross was interviewed. She has found that "for many people, this time of year brings pain, not joy, as the emphasis on religious and family values heightens the sense of difference and isolation that many of her patients struggle with."

But for the past 7 years, the Metropolitan Community Church has organized a Christmas Eve service at Roy Thompson Hall. The MCC was described as having "grown to 300 congregations in 17 countries" and as having as it role to minister "to the homosexual community and other Christians alienated by what they see as a lack of compassionate theology of sexuality in mainstream churches."

The service featured "carols, a sermon, and a rousing rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's 'Messiah'." 30 minutes into the service, minister Brent Hawkes asked members of the congregation to stand if they had lost a "lover, friend or relative" over the past year. Nearly half of the 3,000 present rose.

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