Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

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Engendering Community forum addresses religion

Aaron Waggoner, a UTEP doctoral candidate, said that with churches being the center of some Hispanic communities being exiled from a church also exiled some from social life.

Concluding the Engendering Community forum Wednesday was a discussion on religion and how it ties to the LGBT community. One of the main themes in the discussion was reconciling faith with sexual orientation and identity.

“If there is something in you that you feel is missing, then be who you are,” said Rev. Kati Houts, pastor at the Metropolitan Community Church.

Houts explained that just because a congregation may not want a person as part of their church, not all congregations are hostile towards those with differing sexual orientation or gender identity.

“If the church you are at won’t accept you then go shopping, someone will,” she said.

Aaron Waggoner, a UTEP doctoral candidate, explained that with churches at the center of Hispanic culture, being thrown out of a church is more than a spiritual problem.

“If you are rejected from that you’re just not rejected from God, you’re rejected from community life,” Waggoner said.

Juarez seminarian and 2013 UTEP graduate Arturo Adame, expressed that the Catholic Church could do a better job of reaching out to gay and transgender people instead of excluding them.

The forum concluded with messages on the importance of finding spirituality even when not accepted by congregations. Some attendees expressed that their desire for being part of the community went beyond the stigma of not fitting in. They follow through with going to church anyway.

The Engendering Community exhibit, and exhibit detailing lives of  LGBT involved people, will be shown in the Centennial Museum until Sept. 19.

Julio Cesar Chavez may be reached at [email protected].

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Engendering Community forum addresses religion