Gay Christian launches Our Bible app to promote inclusiveness among LGBT believers

A gay Christian has launched a mobile app called Our Bible to promote inclusiveness among LGBT believers who feel marginalized in the mainstream Christian community.

(REUTERS / Adrees Latif)Activists stand under an umbrella in the colors of the LGBT pride flag as they take part in a protest against Westboro Baptist Church members demonstrating nearby in downtown during the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania July 26, 2016.

Crystal Cheatham, a member of the Seventh-day Adventist, was told by their ministers when she came out as a lesbian that being a Christian was in conflict with being gay. Because of that experience, she was determined to do something to help LGBT people feel included in the Christian community, which led to creating the Our Bible app, PBS detailed.

The Our Bible app aims to offer users at least 20 Bibles and over 300 devotional readings, articles, podcasts, and even mediation exercises made for LGBT Christians. Cheatham said there are a lot of Christians who want to welcome LGBT people into their fold but do not know how because they do not have the proper resources.

To achieve her goal, Cheatham raised thousands of dollars in funding for Our Bible through online donations. A beta version of the app will be released to selected people including those who have donated at least $10. It will then be launched to a wider audience in September.

Based on a 2015 survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality, among almost 28,000 respondents, 39 percent used to be part of a religious community but left because they feared rejection "because they were transgender." The same trend was observed among people of color.

Popular Jesuit priest and author James Martin wrote a book titled "Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter Into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity" to discuss the possibility of the inclusion of LGBT people in the Church. He also urged Catholics to stop removing gay ministers from their positions, Religion News Service reported.

Martin told RNS that based on Catholic teachings, simply being an LGBT is not a sin and that the catechism teaches the faithful to welcome these individuals with respect and sensitivity. He also hopes that in 100 years, the Catholic Church will be more welcoming towards the marginalized and to people who feel excluded, especially the LGBT community.