May 10, 2017: A closely-followed news source for LGBTQ affairs published a story today of an Adventist pastor, his wife and their public declaration of love for their trans daughter.
LGBTQ NATION profiles the latest film in the Outspoken series in which Adventist minister Kris Widmer and his wife Debbie Widmer talk about their love for their trans daughter, Teagan.
The couple also discusses the difficulty, given Widmer’s position in the denomination, to accept and reconcile their family’s reality with their faith.
Kris and Debbie Widmer told the publication in an email that their church “only promotes the message that being LGBTIAQ [sic]is a choice, and a sinful one at that.”
They added that Adventism doesn’t claim that having an alternative sexual orientation is a sin but that “acting on it in a relationship (or in a (trans) case having surgery or cross dressing) is a sin.”
The LGBTQ NATION mentions the recent Adventist official statement on transgenderism, noting that the term transgenderism itself is considered offensive within the trans community.
The term is seen as offensive because it “reduces the experience to a clinical term, as if it is an illness, to be treated.”
The Adventist statement is described in the LGBTQ NATION article as “far less than the ideal that the Widmers expressed in their film.”
The Adventist statement advises trans members to adopt celibacy and await redemption at the Second Coming of Christ.
“We would like the church to continue to grow and change and to become the community of Christ, where love is more important than law and people are more important than policy,” said Debbie Widmer.
Her husband has decided to resign his post as a pastor in Antioch, California this Saturday and become a health care chaplain.
The Outspoken series is produced and directed by Stephen Eyer and Daneen Akers, who also created the films
Seventh-Gay Adventists and Enough Room at the Table.
The series of short films features the stories of LGBTQ Adventists and others closely connected to the faith.
It recently profiled the story of former Adventist Pastor Alicia Johnston coming out as bisexual.