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The History of Kinship

The History of Kinship

29 July 1970

THE VERY BEGINNING

In the early 1970s, several Adventist gay people independently began to look for other Adventists with whom they could discuss their feelings. One placed a single, small notice in the classified section of The Advocate, a national gay news magazine. It resulted in 37 responses from all areas of the United States and Canada; all were current or former Adventists.

29 July 1970

10 January 1976

KINSHIP WAS FOUNDED

Kinship was founded with a meeting in Palm Desert, California, as a result of an ad placed by two gay Adventist men. Within four months, Kinship had 75 members, a temporary chairperson, and four committees: membership, educational, social, and spiritual. The new group met twice a month.

Kinship soon joined forces with an individual in northern California who had established a gay SDA pen-pal list throughout the United States, and another group that had been meeting informally in New York City since 1974.

15 March 1978

FIRST KINSHIP NEWSLETTER

Kinship published an official newsletter, later to become known as the Connection. In 1985, the Connection was first produced on a computer.

15 March 1978

05 August 1980

FIRST ANNUAL KAMPMEETING

The first annual Kampmeeting was held in Arizona. At Kinship’s request, two Adventist pastors and three seminary professors attended as official delegates of the General Conference. Thirty-five courageous members attended this historic meeting, breaking ground for the larger numbers that now attend with less apprehension. 

18 March 1981

KINSHIP WAS INCORPORATED

Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International was incorporated by and in the State of California.

18 March 1981

07 December 1987

THE LAWSUIT

The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists filed legal action in a federal district court in California against Kinship for trademark infringement for using “Seventh-day Adventist” in the name.

05 October 1990

FIRST CHURCH-SPONSORED AIDS CONFERENCE

Kinship participated in the first church-sponsored AIDS conference. As the organization became impacted by the AIDS epidemic, we developed a quilt to memorialize members who were lost to AIDS. The Kinship AIDS quilt has been displayed in several Adventist churches and universities.

05 October 1990

03 October 1991

KINSHIP WON THE LAWSUIT

Kinship won the lawsuit brought against it by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, which sought to bar Kinship from using “Seventh-day Adventist” as part of its name. A California judge ruled in favor of Kinship, stating that there was no trademark infringement and allowing Kinship to continue using its official name. Read the Kinship News Release...

30 January 1992

KINSHIP’S FIRST ONLINE SERVICE

Kinship’s online service was developed, first as an email listserv and later as an online discussion and chat group called KinNet.

30 January 1992

17 April 1997

SOMEONE TO TALK TO

Carrol Grady, the author of My Son, Beloved Stranger (1995), started a support group for parents and families of gays and lesbians, which included a monthly newsletter and later an email group and the website Someone-to-Talk-To.

08 January 2000

FIRST IMRU? LAUNCHED

The first IMRU? group for gay Adventists ages 18-29 was launched. In 2001 it became an official Kinship program.

08 January 2000

17 August 2001

FIRST WOMEN & CHILDREN FIRST

The first Women & Children First weekend preceding Kampmeeting was held as a social time for Kinship women and their children.

19 July 2002

FIRST EUROPEAN KINSHIP MEETING

The first European Kinship Meeting was held in Tunhem, Sweden.

19 July 2002

25 June 2003

KINSHIP’S LOGO CREATED

In June 2003, Seventh-day Adventist Kinship announced a new logo, designed to help communicate its mission and outreach to LGBTIQ Seventh-day Adventists.

logo tag en 2016

06 January 2006

CONFERENCE ON HOMOSEXUALITY

The Kinship Advisory Council organized a Conference on Homosexuality at the Ontario Convention Center that was attended by over 300 denominational leaders.

06 January 2006

17 June 2008

CHRISTIANITY & HOMOSEXUALITY BOOK

Kinship coordinated the publication of the book Christianity and Homosexuality: Some Seventh-day Adventist Perspectives. The book has been sold and distributed to numerous pastors, educators, and libraries. It triggered a one-sided conference on homosexuality at Andrews University in October 2009, to which no book editors or authors or even Kinship members were invited or asked to participate.

28 June 2012

IAGC ORGANIZED

Groups of students at Adventist colleges and universities formed a network of official and unofficial gay-straight alliances to provide resources, programs, and support for LGBTIQ students. The Intercollegiate Adventist Gay-Straight Alliance Coalition (IAGC) was organized to bridge the gap between our Seventh-day Adventist faith-based institutions and the LGBTIQ students who attend them.

28 June 2012

30 December 2012

SEVENTH-GAY ADVENTISTS

Straight allies Stephen Eyer and Daneen Akers, professional filmmakers, produced the documentary Seventh-Gay Adventists: A film about faith on the margins and began screenings in strategic locations across the United States and in other countries.

28 February 2018

PASTOR'S CONFERENCE IN KENYA

Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International sponsored its first conference in Nairobi, Kenya where Rena, George, and Professor Mugerwa from Uganda presented to over 200 Adventist pastors on how to meet the needs of the LGBTQ+ members in their congregations. This launched a Kinship program to provide this training to all Kenyan pastors.

28 February 2018

11 July 2018

KINSHIP'S UPDATED LOGO

In July 2018, Seventh-day Adventist Kinship announced our refreshed logo that reflects our legacy, who we are today, and symbolizes our dynamic future.

SDA Kinship International crop 250

06 December 2020

WHERE WE ARE TODAY

Kinship has a board of directors, regional coordinators, and chapter leaders in the United States and in other countries. At the time of this writing (2020) SDA Kinship has 3,616  registered members, including both LGBTIQ and straight allies, plus many more individuals who benefit from our website and resources.

Kinship’s goals for the future are reflected in its stated mission: to [provide] a safe spiritual and social community to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex current and former Seventh-day Adventists around the world. This means reaching those rejected and sent away by the organized church with the news that a different view exists, a biblically sound view of love and acceptance.

06 December 2020