Metro Weekly

Evangelical leaders’ anti-LGBTQ “Nashville Statement” slammed by city’s mayor

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and others criticized the statement's outdated views on homosexuality and gender identity

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry

A manifesto from a group of evangelical leaders is causing controversy for its anti-LGBTQ content.

The “Nashville Statement,” a manifesto from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW), outlines the group’s views on sexuality and gender in order to act as a guide of sorts for churches.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the results aren’t favourable towards LGBTQ people.

Comprising 14 articles, it opens with the declaration that “God has designed marriage to be a…union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife.” It adds, “We deny that God has designed marriage to be a homosexual, polygamous or polyamorous relationship.”

“We deny that adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception is consistent with God’s holy purposes,” the statement continues, adding, “We deny that sexual attraction for the same sex is part of the natural goodness of God’s original creation.”

The statement also notes that transgender individuals should embrace religion to “forsake transgender self-conceptions” and accept the “God-ordained link” between sex and gender identity.

And there’s no hope for those who support the LGBTQ community, as the evangelical leaders consider it “sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism.”

“The spirit of our age does not delight in God’s good design of male and female. Consequently, confusion reigns over some of the most basic questions of our humanity,” Council President Denny Burk said in a statement. “The aim of The Nashville Statement is to shine a light into the darkness — to declare the goodness of God’s design in our sexuality and in creating us as male and female.”

However, the use of Nashville in the name — due to a conference of the leaders in the city — has drawn fire from Nashville’s Democractic Mayor Megan Barry, who tweeted: “The [CBMW’s] so-called ‘Nashville Statement’ is poorly named and does not represent the inclusive values of the city and people of Nashville.”

And elsewhere on social media, users rallied against the views expressed in the manifesto. Comedian Kumail Nanjiani, who has spoken out against transphobic jokes, didn’t hold back in expressing his thoughts:

And the criticism didn’t stop there:

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at