Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International (Kinship) is a diverse, multigenerational worldwide community of individuals who are connected to the Adventist community.
SDA Kinship is the only organization for current or former Adventists who identify as LGBTIQ+. Kinship is not a change-oriented ministry. Our mission is to create a safe community for those who find us. For some, this is an online community; for others, it is a face-to-face community. Much of this depends on the location of the member and how many other members are in their vicinity. Some members still attend Adventist churches and others have moved on in different directions.
Kinship isn't here to be a moral or religious belief police. We encourage everyone to have an individual and personal relationship with their God. It is also part of our mission to educate church leaders (pastors, teachers, and administrators, etc) to understand our community better and to learn how to create a safe space for us.
For nearly 40 years, Kinship has worked worldwide with current and former Seventh-day Adventist lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people and their families, friends, and allies.
Kinship members today are as diverse as the rest of the Adventist community is. What we share is the conviction that God loves all His children equally and unconditionally, no matter our gender identity or sexual orientation.* God created each of us with the healthy desire for companionship (Gen. 2:18), and He uses our social and intimate relationships to teach us what daily lives of love and self-sacrifice look like (Eph. 5:1-2, 1 Jn. 4:11-12, Col. 3:12-14, 1 Cor. 13).
From Colin Cook’s Quest Learning Center and Homosexuals Anonymous (established in 1980) to today’s Coming Out Ministries, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has subsidized or promoted reparative or change “therapy” and so-called “ex-gay” ministries that target vulnerable LGBTIQ people, same-gender couples, and the congregations they are part of.
Kinship members who’ve graduated from these ministries know their teachings and accounts of abuse, addiction, and “change” through spirituality or divine intervention. We also know these ministries’ outcomes all too well. We will never confuse destructive patterns of substance abuse, domestic violence, or sex addiction with a person’s underlying gender or sexual orientation, and we’re happy for those who, with therapy, have lessened their distress about who they are. Having picked up the pieces these ministries left behind, however, we also know that “interventions” based on treating non-heterosexual orientations as essentially sinful, deviant, or inferior have devastating psychological, relational, and spiritual impacts on youth and adults alike.
We appreciate the consensus of the American Medical Association (2003), National Association of Social Workers (2000), American Psychiatric Association (1998), American Psychological Association (1997), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (1993): Non-heterosexual orientations are not in themselves problematic and so do not merit therapy, suppression, or change. These clinical and medical professionals and scientists have learned from study what Kinship members have learned from experience.
Because of God’s work in our lives and families, our knowledge of change organizations, and our experiences with thousands of LGBTIQ and heterosexual people since 1976, we encourage our members to accept their baseline orientation, and we affirm loving, committed same-gender or mixed-gender relationships for members who choose them. At a recent Kinship Kampmeeting, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of one same-gender couple—not because of their gender or orientation but because they’ve sustained a time-tested relationship of loyalty, mutual care, and healthy affection, and they’ve done this despite persistent demonization from their religious community.
We respect our members enough to honor their consciences about faith and what they believe God requires of them. Some have chosen committed relationships, some have built families with children, and others are celibate; all must be convinced in their own mind as the Lord leads them. Whatever our members and friends choose, we believe love is worth celebrating, and we support all of them as they grow in grace.