David P. Gushee, Ph.D.


LGBT Activism: Serving in Solidarity With LGBT Young Adults and their Families

With the publication of his book Changing Our Mind in 2015, Dr. Gushee immediately became catapulted into activism related to perhaps the most controversial issue in our nation today. Unlike many, however, Dr. Gushee is not primarily interested in policy issues vis-à-vis gays and lesbians. He believes the primary issue, or at least his primary call, is to address the fundamental basis of anti-gay sentiment at its religious taproot. He also is focusing both his service/activism and a growing personal ministry to LGBT young adults and their families. He believes the LGBT issue has been fundamentally misunderstood as a sexual ethics issue; actually, it is a youth health/mental health and family cohesion issue, especially for LGBT young people from religiously conservative families. Thus his commitments to work with the Family Acceptance Project and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. He also seeks to support the work of the Reformation Project and Level Ground.

Evangelical-Progressive Dialogue and Common Ground Activism

Working in partnership with Third Way (see video) and other contexts, Dr. Gushee has been and continues to be involved in numerous Evangelical-Progressive dialogue efforts to move toward creative common ground policy measures in contested "culture wars" arenas including LGBT rights, abortion reduction, and immigration. He supports comprehensive immigration reform, gun safety legislation, health care reform, common sense abortion reduction strategies, global women’s rights and health advances, and LGBT employment rights and relationship recognition within the context of religious liberty protections. 

Human Rights and Torture

For three years Dr. Gushee served as the President of Evangelicals for Human Rights (EHR) which supported and partnered with the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT). These efforts continued for several more years in his work with the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good. These groups pressed for full respect for human rights in U.S. counterterrorism policy and zero tolerance for torture. Dr. Gushee’s work on the torture issue culminated in his involvement in the national Detainee Task Force of the Constitution Project, which released its report in April 2013.

Climate Change

Dr. Gushee was the main drafter of the Evangelical Climate Initiative (2006). An initiative of the Evangelical Environmental Network, the ECI statement argues that human-induced climate change is a serious moral issue that requires Christians, policymakers, and others to take immediate action. He remains involved in climate-related efforts, and has worked with the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School on ongoing efforts ot bring the nation's leading scientists together with evangelicals for care fo creation. Today he remains in dialogue with various scientific, ethical, and religious leaders and organizations to work on these issues.

Nuclear Weapons

For nearly thirty years, Dr. Gushee has been involved in peacemaking efforts and concerned especially about nuclear weapons and nuclear proliferation. Today he is involved in the Two Futures Project, which aims at getting the United States to embrace a goal of zero nuclear weapons as a national policy, and to lead in international negotiations for a world without nuclear weapons.

Peacemaking in the Middle East

Dr. Gushee cares deeply about issues related to Israel and Palestine and is preparing to undertake his third trip to the region soon. He supports a balanced just peacemaking approach equally committed to the rights and the well-being of Israelis and Palestinians, and equally resistant to unbalanced American Christian approaches of either the right or the left. He is pro-peace, pro-justice, pro-Israel, and pro-Palestine, and believes this is the only way forward for all concerned.