LGBTQ Faith Based Allies
McKinley Presbyterian Church has proved itself to be a pillar of the community in Champaign-Urbana ever since the middle of the 20th century, with its presence in protests around the country ranging from civil rights Selma to demonstrations against the Vietnam war right here on campus. Naturally, these stances progressed to the open support of gay people, dating back as early as 1977. Since then, its involvement with the LGBTQ community was a much needed bastion for the queer community, not only in a religious context, but as a place where they could gather to feel safe. McKinley was, and still is, a place where members of the queer community can socialize and belong, as there were not many safe or healthy places for people to socialize without being forced to do what they were not comfortable with. McKinley provided an outlet, not only for people to express themselves through the environment they fostered and the events they produced to help people, but as a way for queer people to reach out to others who might be looking for somewhere they feel like they can belong, or a place they can feel safe. With the sponsorship of organizations like Amasong and the CU Gay Men’s Chorus, it’s obvious that McKinley has, and continues to play an important role in the growth and the foundation of the queer community in Urbana-Champaign.
University of Illinois has been home to many faith based institutions in its history. Throughout the years, there have been organizations such as Illini Hillel, Chapel of St. John the Divine, and examples of faith-affirming practices that have been offered at UIUC.