WASHINGTON -- April 19 -- News Advisory: Timely Issue of Anti-Gay Religious Bigotry is the Focus of April 21 Forum; Leaders from All Faiths are Urged to Join the Effort and Reclaim the Notion of What it Means to be 'Moral' in America
Fed up with being portrayed by conservative and right-wing religious leaders as the antithesis of all things moral, lesbian and gay people are stepping forth to shatter the notion that they are somehow "ungodly," "unworthy" and incapable of possessing spiritual and religious values -- and they're urging leaders of all faiths and orientations to join them. This hot-button issue is the focus of a forum titled Turning It Around & Taking It Back: Religion Activism in a Time of Dissent, on Thursday, April 21, 7 p.m., at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, 208 West 13th Street, New York City. Suggested donation: $6.
How does one counter the anti-gay rhetoric, and what role should progressive religious institutions take in fighting bigotry? How can liberal people of faith reclaim what it means to be "moral" in America?
"Tough questions, but questions we absolutely must tackle," says Amy Lavine, co-founder of Out & Faithful: LGBT People, Religion and Spirituality, a program of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. "Rather than sitting by passively -- and getting pummeled by the right wing -- we're entering this national discourse and turning around the discussion to focus on what we see as unifying values. We hope this inspires others to work against the polarization in our country. We hope it encourages dialogue, rather than confrontation."
Panelists include the Rev. Jimmy Creech of Soulforce, Debanuj Dasgupta from Queer Immigrant Rights Project, Rev. Valerie Holly of Unity Fellowship of Christ Church and Jay Michaelson from Nehirim: A Spiritual Initiative for LGBT Jews.