A New York-based advocacy group called Parity is asking Christians who favor LGBT equality — “queer positive Christians,” in their parlance — to show their support by wearing “glitter ash” on their foreheads to mark Ash Wednesday (March 1).
Ash Wednesday kicks off the six-week somber season called Lent that leads to Easter, and is usually marked in churches with the color purple. Traditionally, plain gray ashes, blessed by a minister or priest, are smeared on the foreheads of Christians to symbolize repentance.
“This is a way for queer Christians and queer-positive persons of faith to say ‘We are here,’” said Marian Edmonds-Allen, Parity’s executive director. “It is also a way for other people to be a witness to that and be in solidarity with them.”
Not all Christian denominations welcome openly LGBT people. The Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ and Metropolitan Community Church all ordain LGBT clergy, and every mainline Protestant and Catholic denomination has some organization that supports openly gay members, though those organizations are not officially sponsored by the denomination.