(Photo: Catherine Swan)
A group of several pro-LGBT Christian groups along with outspoken gay rights advocate Dan Savage have launched a website devoted to reaching out to LGBT youth.
Known as the NALT Christians Project (NALT being short for "Not All Like That"), the site was launched Wednesday and features video testimonies from Christians supporting gay rights.
"The purpose of the NALT Christians Project is to give LGBT-affirming Christians a means of proclaiming to the world-and especially to young gay people-their belief and conviction that there is nothing anti-biblical or at all inherently sinful about being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender," reads the About section.
John Shore, author and NALT Christians Project cofounder, told The Christian Post that the website was launched "because the time for it has come."
"So many Christians…are struggling with…the idea that they must essentially choose between their faith in God--which in many real ways is to say their belief in the Bible as the word of God--and their natural loving compassion," said Shore.
"The NALT Christian Project proves that dichotomy is an illusion. One needn't choose between the Bible and the acknowledgment that there is nothing at all inherently sinful about same-sex relationships. Some people are born gay. Some people are born straight. Neither is any indication, either way, of morality."
According to the NALT website, which already has over 40 videos uploaded, the Project is deemed a "joint venture" between Truth Wins Out, Johnshore.com, and Savage's It Gets Better Project.
Several religious pro-LGBT groups are involved, including Reconciling Ministries Network, Methodists in New Directions, Dignity USA, and the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists.
"Before we launched the website we reached out to those organizations, and told them all about what we were doing," said Shore.
"We did some dialoguing with each of them, and were gratified when each signaled their support for The NALT Christians Project."
Conservative Christian groups have taken issue with the newly launched website, including its portrayal of their intentions and the connection to Savage.
"Our position is entirely motivated by Christian love," explained Peter Sprigg, Family Research Council's Senior Fellow for Policy Studies in an interview with The Christian Post.
"But love does not require that we allow people to do whatever they want (and subsidize it). Love requires that we seek the best for people, and work to bring that about," said Sprigg.
"We sincerely believe that it is in the long-term best interests of such people to abstain from engaging in sexual relationships with others of the same sex, and therefore love requires that we encourage such abstinence."
The FRC has also expressed concern about the NALT Project regarding Savage, given his past statements toward Christians.
Last year, at a journalism convention Savage called parts of the Bible "bull****", prompting a large group of Christian high school students to leave in protest. As they did, Savage called them "pansies."
Later on, Savage would apologize for calling the students names, but reaffirmed his negative view of the Bible.
While involved in an online Christian project, later this month Savage is scheduled to receive an award from the Freedom From Religion Foundation at the atheist group's annual convention.