In what may be a sign of the times, the Creekside Community Church seems to be toning down its anti-gay rhetoric. Most conspicuously, it has redesigned the website of its Celebrate Recovery “Christian based” 12-step program to remove mention of “same sex attraction” as one of the addictions that it covers. Indeed, Creekside is going as far as having its Coordinator of Children’s Ministries, Peggy McGregory, deny the existence of that part of the program (alas, an archived version of their website from 2009 clearly shows it listed among other “addictions”, the page describing the program is not archived, but this is the standard CR same-sex attraction brochure). There is no other mention of homosexuality or same-sex attraction on its website, though its statement of faith suggests it continues holding the same fundamentalist beliefs it’s used to justify homophobia.
I can only speculate as to what is behind Creekside’s apparent retreat from condemning homosexuality. Locally, Creekside anti-gay stance came into play last year when a number of Roosevelt Elementary parents refused to let their children attend theatrical events at the Church. Creekside’s children theater program was started in order to provide an alternative to the theater program at San Leandro High School, which at the time was ran by a gay teacher. It had expanded to include elementary school kids and for a number of years, Roosevelt Elementary students would be taken to the church to see these plays during the school day. Last year, gay parents and their allies complained, given the church’s homophobic positions, and Roosevelt has now ended its association with the Church. Creekside counts as members several pillars of the San Leandro community, including a City Council member, and it may also be the negative attention the Church was drawing was starting to embarrass them personally.
But the issue may be a broader one. Homosexuality is becoming more and more accepted in the United States (at least among adults). Polls show a growing acceptance of gay marriage, with a majority of Americans being in favor of it. The surge of gay teen suicides last year, meanwhile, has brought attention to the deadly consequences of the homophobic rhetoric of churches like Creekside.
Whatever the reason for it be, I welcome the change.