So, it is Pride month and I know some people have wondered: are there gay Amish or LBGQT+ Amish? Well, of course, there are. Now, in all of the years I have been visiting Amish settlements I have never met someone who openly identified themselves as much but, statistically, yes, there are gay and lesbian Amish.
My guess is that the more conservative the order, the more unique challenges the person faces. And because of the strict scriptural interpretation the Amish go by, my guess is that there is not much of a place for a gay person within the Old Order Amish. The New Order, my guess, is a bit more accepting. I know some wonderful New Order Amish who I can't imagine turning their back on someone because of their sexuality.
In 2019, a former Amish man named James Schwartz came out as gay in an interview with The New York Times. Schwartz had this to say: “Really the only choice you have if you’re gay and Amish and want to be true to yourself is to leave the Amish community,” said Mr. Schwartz, who now lives in Hawaii. “Otherwise, you are pretty much forced to stay in the closet.”
And that would be my guess, most gay Amish would probably leave or just live a relatively lonely, closeted life.
However, there is a growing movement within the Amish community - again, especially among New Orders - to accept and embrace gay people. In recent years, there have been a number of Amish churches that have begun to welcome gay people, and there are a number of Amish organizations that are working to raise awareness of LGBTQ issues within the Amish community.
And there are various Facebook groups devoted to sharing stories from gay, generally former, Amish
🏳️🌈 FAQ Gay Amish and LBGQT+ Amish
Yes. Statistically, 3 - 4 percent of Americans identify themselves as gay, so there is no reason to think that stat is much different among the Amish.
Yes, in some conservative Amish churches, if someone is discovered as gay, they can be booted from the church.
It is important to note that not all Amish communities are the same. There is a range of views on gay marriage within the Amish community. Some Amish communities are more accepting of gay people than others. However, the vast majority of Amish communities do not recognize gay marriage. Gay marriage is accepted and recognized more in progressive quarters of the Mennonite church.