Boswell, John. Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1980. An overview of early and varied Christian experiences of same-sex love. This book launched historical debates that continue four decades later.

Brooten, J., Bernadette, Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism. London: The University of Chicago Press: 1996. An erudite and accessible study of women’s love in the Early Church. The real issue was love between equals not simply same-gender love, that is, power not sex.

Gramick, Jeannine and Furey, Pat (Eds). The Vatican and Homosexuality: Reactions to the “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons”. New York: The Crossroads Publishing Company, 1988. An early and useful collection including essays by Mary Jo Weave, Margaret Traxler, Joan H. Timmerman, Sarah M. Sherman, Ann Patrick Ware, J. Giles Milhaven, and John Coleman among others. These “reactions” are worth reading.

Gramick, Jeannine (Ed.). Homosexuality and the Catholic Church. Chicago: The Thomas Moore Press, 1983. Groundbreaking essays by Theresa Kane, Ann Bordon, Barbara Zanotti, Charles Curran and others who were pioneers in Catholic sexuality studies.

Gramick, Jeannine ( Ed.). Homosexuality in the Priesthood and the Religious Life. New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company: 1989. “Daring to speak love’s name,” these writers, including Eileen Brady, Jo Louise Pecoraro, Judith Whitacre, Daniel C. Maguire, John Boswell and many who used pseudonyms paved the way for contemporary work.

Hunt, Mary E. Fierce Tenderness: A Feminist Theology of Friendship. New York, NY: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1991. Friendship and not marriage is the normative adult relationship available to all. As such, it can be a font of revelation about the Divine, the world, and how to live in right relation.

Jordan, D., Mark. The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology. London: The University of Chicago Press: 1997. Medieval texts provide this historical detective with lots of material to figure out how the Roman Catholic Church got so focused on male homosexuality. In his later Silence of Sodom: Homosexuality in Modern Catholicism (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2000) he explores homosexuality and holiness, concluding that breaking the silence will open the church to being church.

Jung, Patricia Beattie and Ralph Smith. Heterosexism: an Ethical Challenge. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1993. No one was talking about heterosexism, much less in religious circles, when these two thoughtful colleagues penned this analysis. It has endured.

Jung, Patricia Beattie and Joseph Andrew Coray, editors. Sexual Diversity and Catholicism: Toward the Development of Moral Theology. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2001. A solid collection of essays by Susan Ross, Mary Rose D’Angelo, Christina L.H. Traina, Thomas J. Gumbleton, Mary E. Hunt, among others that moved the conversation from response to church documents to constructive new work.

McNeill, J., John. Taking A Chance on God: Liberating Theology for Gays, Lesbians, and their Lovers, Families and Friends. Boston: Beacon Press: 1988. A dozen years into his very public work on the Roman Catholic Church and homosexuality, John McNeill sketched out the exhilarating consequences of living freely.

McNeill, John J. The Church and the Homosexual. Kansas City: Sheed Andrews and McMeel, Inc.: 1976. This is the first volume in Catholic circles that opened the door to future discussion on sex/gender.

Nugent, Robert (Ed.). A Challenge to Love: Gay and Lesbian Catholics in the Church. New York: The Crossroads Publishing Company, 1983. A helpful introduction to the experiences and struggles of LF Catholics in an unwelcoming church environment.

Nugent, Robert and Gramick, Jeannine (Ed.). Building Bridges: Gay and Lesbian Reality in the Catholic Church. New London, CT: Twenty-Third Publications, 1992. These early leaders laid out the contours of the Catholic landscape; good to read to see how far, with their help, we have come.

Zanotti, Barbara (Ed.). A Faith of One’s Own: Explorations by Catholic Lesbians. Trumansburg, New York: The Crossing Press: 1986. Powerful stories of dozens of women who found ways to live with inegrity as Catholic lesbians whether in or beyond church structures.