Since 1972 David & Jonathan gathers together LGBT people (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Trans people) who are involved in some form of spiritual quest: it is an association according to the French law of 1901.
By acting for oneself, by acting for and with others, LGBT people are brought to live out fully and combine harmoniously their affectivity and their spirituality and find a place in society.
David & Jonathan’s groups (both national and local) are committed in this process through the presence of both sexes and through the wide variety of their members: some partnered and some not, with diversity in age, in social or geographical origin, in spiritual background (Protestants, Catholics, agnostics and seekers of all sorts) and in social commitments (in other associations, in trade unions, in professional life).
History, composition and policy
David & Jonathan (D&J for short) is a Christian LGBT movement open to all: it was founded in 1972 and so is the oldest LGBT association in France. Gathered together in about 19 local groups, its 550 members include 22% of women. At the head of the association, there is a masculine-feminine co-chairing.
After its foundation by a group mostly Catholics, David & Jonathan soon felt the need to open out and offer to a wider population its activities that encourage each person’s spirituality and affectivity to blossom: two thirds of the members now define themselves as Christians, the others seeing themselves as ‘spiritual seekers’ or ‘agnostics’. Often David & Jonathan is considered as the interface between the LGBT community, the world of Churches and citizen commitment
Activities and values of David & Jonathan
Some activities are planned and executed within each local group: convivial meetings and parties, discussion groups, spiritual activities, solidarity, welcoming and listening (with listeners on duty either physically or by telephone).
Activities of general interest are organised on a national level. This includes the national weekends devoted to major themes of the association: young people, women, spiritual diversity, leadership training… The yearly conviviality gathering (with the French acronym of JAR), during which the AGM takes place, brings together about 200 participants.
School visits on the theme of ‘witnessing against homophobia’ began in 2000. Since 2007, David & Jonathan has been supported by the StrasbourgAcadémie (regional education administration). Visits are now performed in many regions of France: Nice, Île-de-France, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Rhône-Alpes and Brittany.
David & Jonathan also visits some youth groups such as scouts or students chaplaincy, and prisoners to raise awareness about homophobia and sexism.
Presence and role in the homosexual community
Since its creation, David & Jonathan has remained strongly visible within the LGBTcommunity. David & Jonathan took part in creating Chrétiens & SIDA (Christians and AIDS) and numerous local branches of the association AIDES (Support groups for seropositive people). It is also a member of Sida Info Service (AIDS information service).
It is a member of InterLGBT in Paris and of many other local inter-associative movements. David & Jonathan has close ties of friendship with Beit Haverim (Jewish homosexuals) and HM2F (Muslim homosexuals of France), a group that David & Jonathan helped to create. In this way, a journey to Auschwitz was organized in 2009 together with the Oubliés de la Mémoire (the ones commemoration forgot) and a visit to LGBT associations in Israel/Palestine took place in 2011 (with the help of the Paris municipality).
On the international level, David & Jonathan is a founding member of the European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups and was the first French member of ILGA-Europe (International Lesbian and Gay Association).
Finally David & Jonathan plays an active role (through militant actions, organization of prayer meetings, …) in Gay Pride marches throughout France, in the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) on the 17 May, in the World AIDS Day on 1 December…
Presence and role in the religious world
David & Jonathan is not an official Church movement and is not attached to any particular denomination. However many of its members are personally involved in various Churches and some of them are church ministers: priests, pastors or religious. David & Jonathan makes no secret of its Christian affiliation and is often challenged about the positions of the Churches.
We analyze what do Christian Churches say about homosexuality (see link)?
Despite the difficulties of the task, David & Jonathan insists on maintaining a rigorous dialogue with religious authorities. This dialogue is pursued in local or national meetings, in prayer sessions in various places of worship, in lectures with theologians and by a strong public stance expressed in press releases and publications.
The association is especially concerned with opening up a calm and well-argued debate within the Churches concerning civil marriage and homo-parenthood. David & Jonathan is a founding member of the Réseaux du Parvis (a network of Christian associations working for Church reform which is part of International Movement We Are Church) and in 2009 it published, at L’Harmattan press, a set of testimonies Les homosexuels ont-ils une âme? (Do homosexuals have a soul?).
Presence and role in society
For a long time now David & Jonathan has been attentive to its position in society and it has been involved in citizenship work : sexual equality, assuming responsibility, equality of rights, PACS (civil union), marriage, the struggle against discrimination and distress, school visits… This committed role in society was honoured in 2010 when the Ministry of Education gave David & Jonathan its approval for ‘youth and mass education’. David & Jonathan is now a member of the CNAJEP (national committee of associations for youth and mass education).
David & Jonathan takes an active part in the debate concerning the extension of civil marriage to same-sex couples and concerning homo-parenthood, where it intervenes in a serious, calm and well-argued manner. The association was consulted by the concerned ministers and by the parliamentary commissions during the debate about the 2013 law.
Means of communication
The web site www.davidetjonathan.com presents the public stances adopted by David & Jonathan as well as the activities and reflections of the association. The association’s quarterly magazine Dossiers David & Jonathan is sent out by e-mail to more than a thousand people.
Articles in English
All articles in English -> link