Religion and Politics

“Polite” LGBTQ-Exclusion Is Here

Part 1: The Gospel Coalition and “polite” discrimination

Eric Sentell
Backyard Church
Published in
7 min readMay 15, 2024


Photo by James A. Molnar on Unsplash

Homophobia and queer exclusion have entered their “polite” phase in American religion and politics.

Just as we condemn racist and sexist language that used to be commonplace, we no longer accept people using homophobic arguments to justify excluding LGBTQ+ people. Yet those who would discriminate manage to find more “polite” ways to make the case for their discrimination.

The recent Gospel Coalition article, “Why Gentile Inclusion Doesn’t Affirm Same-Sex Marriage” by Rebecca McGlaughlin, is a scary example of “polite” discrimination against LGBTQ people.

To appreciate why this article scares me, you must first understand how anti-LGBTQ rhetoric has evolved during my lifetime.

Homophobes used to compare gay marriage to bestiality

I’m old enough to remember when some Americans openly worried that gay marriage could lead down a slippery slope to polygamy, incest and child abuse, and bestiality. I’m 40 this fall. I’m talking about the 2000s.

The general argument went like this: “Where’s the line?!” If we allow gay marriage, then what will stop people…