Title

Homonegativity and the Black Church: Is Congregational Variation the Missing Link?

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

The Counseling Psychologist

Volume

48

Issue

6

Publisher

Sage Publications, Inc.

Publication Date

5-27-2020

First Page

826

Last Page

851

Abstract

The Black church in the United States has historically functioned as a bastion for civil rights; however, it may also be a source of pain and suffering for sexual minorities. To examine the influence of individual and congregational variables on attitudes toward same-sex sexuality in the Black church, we collected a sample of 219 participants from 15 randomly selected congregations. Results of three hierarchical linear models indicated that congregation- and individual-level variables emerged as equally important predictors of individuals’ attitudes toward same-sex sexuality. Individual-level religiousness and congregation-level education emerged as significant predictors of homonegativity. Our results suggest that congregations may play a role in enacting homonegative attitudes. We encourage counseling psychologists working with religious Black sexual minority clients to help clients consider characteristics of congregations (e.g., education) and individual religious practices (e.g., overzealous service attendance) that may signal homonegativity. We encourage further work examining the influence of congregational factors on congregants’ attitudes.

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