Profiles Gallery

Identifying leaders in religious movements for justice for LGBT persons.

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Rev. Armando Sanchez

Rev. Dr. Armando Sanchez Bermudez was born in Nicaragua (Central America) in 1966. He has theological and humanistic formation--since entering formation for clergy and religious consecration in the Roman...   Read More

Rev. Elder James E. Sandmire

James Sandmire was raised in northeastern Oklahoma. His family, descended from Mormon pioneers, and most of his relatives are still devout, active Mormons. His family was a close and loving one, and during his...   Read More

Rabbi Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah

Rabbi Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah is a radical feminist and writer/editor, who was active in the Women’s Liberation Movement in Britain during the late 1970s and early 80s. She was a member of the Lesbian Line...   Read More

Barbara Satin

Barbara Satin, a transgender activist around issues of aging, faith and gender justice, was born in...   Read More

Rev. James Schexnayder

The Rev. James Schexnayder was born in 1937 in south central Louisiana to Leon & Ethel Schexnayder. He was the youngest of four children, having a sister and two brothers. The Southern Cajun culture of...   Read More

Dr. Bernard Schlager

Bernard Schlager, PhD, is Executive Director at The Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies (CLGS) at Pacific School of Religion (PSR) and Associate Professor of Historical & Cultural Studies at PSR and a member...   Read More

Pastor Bradley Schmeling

Pastor Bradley Schmeling is a Lutheran minister who led the push for acceptance of LGBT clergy with partners in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. He was a native of Ohio and attended undergraduate...   Read More

John Schott

John H. Schott III, long-time leader of Dignity USA in Philadelphia and nationally, was born on June 25, 1938, in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania into a family with two sisters and two brothers. He was active with Boy...   Read More

Jim Scurlock

Jim Scurlock was born James Mayo Scurlock in Eureka, California on May 11, 1939 to Dorothy (Dot) Zelma Zenglein. He grew up on a farm in El Sobrante and spent most of his adult life living in Richmond. He died...   Read More

Rev. John L. Selders, Jr.

The Right Rev. John L. Selders, Jr., is an ordained minister serving the United Church of Christ (UCC) as the organizing pastor of Amistad UCC in Hartford, Connecticut. John was born and raised in an extended...   Read More

Dr. Phillis Isabella Shepard

Phillis Isabella Sheppard, Associate Professor of Religion, Psychology, and Culture at the Divinity School and the Graduate Department of Religion of Vanderbilt University, was born into a large military family...   Read More

Vanessa Sheridan

Vanessa Sheridan is a pioneering author in the field of transgender Christian theology.  Since 1991 she has been speaking, writing, researching, consulting, and providing training on transgender issues for...   Read More

Rev. Jeffrey Michael Shirilau

Deacon Jeffery Shirilau (1953-1993) was the co-founder of the Ecumenical Catholic Church along with his husband Mark. The ECC is a Christian denomination combining the theology and liturgy of the Church Universal...   Read More

Archbishop Mark Steven Shirilau

Archbishop Mark Shirilau is the founder of the Ecumenical Catholic Church, a Christian denomination combining the theology and liturgy of the Church Universal with a liberal approach to social issues.    ...   Read More

Fr. Zachary Shore

Fr. Zachary Shore was born Joseph Michael Shore in 1937 to William and Birdie Shore, along with his two brothers in an observant Catholic household. His involvement with the church began early on in attendance to...   Read More

Rev. Dr. Robert E. Shore-Goss

Robert E. Goss was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1976, and he resigned the Society of Jesus as an unlaicized priest in 1978. He served as a chaplain for Dignity Boston until 1982. Goss was co-founder of Food...   Read More

Rabbi Sheila Shulman

Rabbi Sheila Shulman was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1936 into a largely Yiddish-speaking environment, though many folk in her parents’ generation were so anxious to become "American" that they ended up in a...   Read More

Rev. James Siefkes

James Siefkes was born in Iowa into a fourth generation Lutheran clergy family. His early childhood was spent in a parsonage in Ohio. His teen years, secondary and college education were completed in San Antonio,...   Read More

Bill Silver

Bill Silver (September 8, 1947- May 26, 2007) was the first openly gay candidate for the ministry of word and sacrament in the United Presbyterian Church in the USA (now the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)). When his...   Read More

Archbishop Bruce Simpson

Bruce Simpson was born and raised in Audubon, New Jersey. At the age 18, he enlisted in the United States Air Force during Vietnam and was assigned to nuclear security. Upon receiving an honorable discharge,...   Read More

David Sindt

David Bailey Sindt (1940-1986), founder of the major Presbyterian lesbian and gay organization, was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on December 8, 1940, and grew up in the Twin Cities area.    As a youth,...   Read More

Rev. Elder Freda Smith

Freda Smith was born Mary Alfreda Smith on November 22, 1935, to Alfred and Mary Smith in Pocatello, Idaho. Alfred and Mary had married while at college in Enid Oklahoma, and moved to Idaho shortly before was...   Read More

Richard Smith

Rev. Dr. Richard Smith, openly gay priest serving at the Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist in San Francisco, was asked by a parishioner to relate his life journey.  This is what Richard wrote: ...   Read More

Dr. Sharon Smith

Dr. Sharon Smith (1962-2011) passed away on 13 March 2011, following a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. A dear and trusted colleague, Sharon was the author of an outstanding PhD thesis entitled Buddhism,...   Read More

Rev. Willie Smith

Willie Smith was born in Yuma, Arizona, where he was raised as a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. He was a part of the technical department as a teenager at the Seventh Day Adventist General...   Read More

Rev. Matthew Smucker

The Rev. Matthew J. Smucker was the first openly gay person ordained in the Church of the Brethren. In April 2002, the Michigan District Board recognized his call to ministry at Chicago Theological Seminary, where...   Read More

Randi Solberg

Randi Oklevik Solberg was born in September, 1963. She grew up by her loving parents in the town of Halden in southeast Norway, near the border with Sweden. Randi's childhood and adolescent years were...   Read More

Mel Soriano

Mel Soriano first came to this country as a child in 1969. Raised in a traditional Filipino Roman Catholic home, he was raised in the Chicago area before his family settled in Los Angeles. He is the product of...   Read More

Rev. Jorge Sosa

 The Rev. Elder Jorge Sosa was the second of a three children family, the only son with two wonderful sisters. Sosa received a ministry call early in life and wanted to join the Missionaries of Our Lady of...   Read More

Ken South

Ken South considers himself one of the first of the Baby Boomers; he was born in December of 1945, shortly before the official start date of 1/1/1946 for that generation.

His childhood years were...   Read More

Rev. Dr. Jane Adams Spahr

The Rev. Dr. Jane Adams Spahr, Janie, as she prefers to be called, describes herself as a lesbian, feminist, Presbyterian minister committed to justice issues for the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community,...   Read More

Rabbi Julie Spitzer

Rabbi Julie Ringold Spitzer was born in Jacksonville, Florida, graduated from Wolfson High School, the University of Florida (Alpha Epsilon Phi) and received her Masters of Hebrew Letters and Masters of Jewish...   Read More

The Rt. Rev. John Shelby Spong

John Shelby (Jack) Spong was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1931. He was raised in a working-class household in the segregated South. His father passed away when he was twelve years old, and...   Read More

Rabbi Jacob Staub

Rabbi Jacob Staub serves as professor and spiritual director at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.  Staub was born in 1951 in New York City to an Orthodox Jewish family....   Read More

Kevin R. Steen

Kevin Russell Steen attended Abbey Prep School in Richardton, North Dakota, a Benedictine boarding school. He graduated from there in 1957 and joined the religious community, making temporary vows as a Benedictine in...   Read More

Virginia Stephenson

Virginia Stephenson was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1951. She was named William at birth and adopted at six months of age by a Southern Baptist minister and his wife. The family lived in Salisbury,...   Read More

Marsha Stevens-Pino

Marsha Stevens-Pino was born Marsha Carter in Pomona, California, in 1952. She grew up in a troubled household that was impacted by alcoholism. At age 16, she found solace and new life at a beachside evangelistic...   Read More

B.J. Stiles

B.J,. Stiles completed B.D. degree at Perkins School of Theology and was ordained elder in the Central Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church in 1957.  He was then invited to join the staff of the...   Read More

Rev. Canon Janine Stock

Reverend Canon Janine Stock, the daughter of a Hispanic immigrant and a Mohawk Indian, was raised to be the “non-traditional traditionalist” that most of her friends know her to be. Adamant that everyone has a place...   Read More

Rev. James Stoll

The Rev. James Stoll was born in 1936 in Connecticut. He studied at the Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts, at San Francisco State University and at the Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley,...   Read More

Rev. Sheikh Jamshed Ken Storer

Kenneth Mark Storer was born into a hard-working Mormon family of A & W Root Beer stand proprietors on March 19, 1940, in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Some of the very first sweetness he served came in a mug. His first...   Read More

Bishop David Strong

Bishop David C. Strong is a native of Cairo, Illinois. He was born to the family of the Rev. Elder Melvin & Mrs. Bertha Strong. He is the grandson of Ida Julius and Mattie Julius Brown, who raised him and...   Read More

Beth Stroud

Beth Stroud served as an ordained United Methodist pastor for six years before losing her clergy credentials in a 2004 church trial. In the trial, Beth was found guilty of “practices declared by the United...   Read More

Dr. Elizabeth Stuart

Dr. Elizabeth Stuart, was the first theologian in the United Kingdom specialising in lesbian/gay/queer theology to be appointed to a professorial chair when she was appointed Professor of Christian Theology at...   Read More

Dr. Diana Swancutt

Diana Swancutt is an award- and grant-winning author, teacher, and scholar who served as faculty in New Testament and Christian origins at Yale Divinity School for twelve years, from 2000-2012. She earned the...   Read More

Rev. Dr. Erin Swenson

Erin Swenson broke new ground within mainstream Christian Protestant faith groups on October 22, 1996, when the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, by a vote of 186 to 161, sustained her ordination as a Presbyterian...   Read More

The Rt. Rev. William Swing

Bishop William Swing was born in Huntington, West Virginia in 1936. He grew up involved with a sense of awe towards the outdoors, and his appreciation of the majesty of nature would inform his faith in the coming...   Read More