Post-Election Panel Discussion
The Next Chapter in LGBT Justice:
A Faith Perspective
Thursday, November 15, 2012, 7pm
U.S. Capitol Visitors Center
The panel will examine the 2012 Elections for lessons learned about the future of LGBT justice and opportunities to collaborate with faith leaders and to integrate faith groups. The panel seeks to offer a more viable alternative to the familiar media frame that has conservative religious denominations and organizations on one side and the secular gay rights activists and organizations on the other side. “Gays vs God.” That frame assumes that there are no progressive people of faith committed to the full equality and inclusion of LGBTQ people or that LGBT rights groups place no value on communities of faith. Progressive people of faith, who have been active in the push for human rights for LGBT people, bring a wealth of experience to the cause of justice and an affirming religious message of radical inclusion and beloved community. A more robust partnership between these progressive religious voices and the LGBT rights community can serve as a powerful rejection of the “gays vs. God” frame and broaden the dialogue about civil rights for LGBT people beyond the current assumption that all religious voices are anti-gay. We hope for a lively discussion that, though rooted in the work that led up to Tuesday’s election, will serve as guidepost for the future.
Opening Remarks by The Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton (Delegate-Washington, DC)
Rev. Cedric Harmon (Co-Director, Many Voices)
Bishop Yvette Flunder (Fellowship of Affirming Ministries)
Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson (Metropolitan Community Churches)
David Stacy (Deputy Legislative Director, Human Rights Campaign)
Sarah Dreier (International Affairs Director, Episcopal Church USA and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America)
Rev. Dennis Wiley (Co-Pastor, Covenant Baptist UCC Church)
Sharon Lettman Hicks (Executive Director, National Black Justice Coalition)
Rachel Laser (Deputy Director, Religious Action Center for Reformed Judaism)
Please do come and join us, invite a friend, and forward to your networks. This important conversation should be witnessed by all.
Contacts: Jason O’Neill, MCC Communications,
Pastor Joseph Tolton, TFAM Communications646-765-6960
“Fairness Wins!” say Pro-LGBT Denominational Leaders
“The re-election of President Obama means fairness is still a core American value”
The Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, Moderator of the Metropolitan Community Churches, oversees ministries in over 40 countries. Dr. Wilson was in the first LGBT delegation to meet with a sitting president in 1979 and is now on the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
Bishop Yvette Flunder is the presiding bishop of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, a multi-denominational fellowship of 110 primarily African American Christian leaders from all parts of the United States Mexico and Africa.
Heads of the historicMetropolitanCommunityChurchesand The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries celebrate today and claimed a victory for a fair society in the re-election of Barack Obama, the election of Tammy Baldwin—the first openly lesbian Senator—along with the first ever wins on ALL four marriage equality ballot measures at the state level.
“Justice Prevails! For the poor, for women, for students, for people of color, for Same-Gender-Loving people, for our elderly, and for those who love peace and fairness, this is a great day! May God’s power and protection keep President Obama and his family,” said Bishop Yvette Flunder, head of a nationwide network of primarily African American churches that receive members regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
“The re-election of President Barack Obama means that fairness is still a core American value. Americaunderstands that Obama stands for every American rather than the few at the top of the economic heap,” said the Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, Moderator of the historic Metropolitan Community Churches with ministries in 40 countries. “We celebrate that ObamaCare, Social Security, Medicare, and education will continue to serve the people. Today, fairness wins!
“Fair-minded Americans took stock of comments about rape, 47% ‘entitled victims,’ tax cuts for the rich, vouchers for Medicare and we sent a message; show some respect for the people who are the backbone of this country!” said Dr. Wilson.
“Black Americans stood up and supported President Obama despite massive efforts to block our votes and get us to stay home. But African Americans know that Fannie Lou Hamer was beaten to within an inch of her life just for registering to vote. We do not forget! Our votes came through a civil war and civil rights marches. No one is gonna turn us around!” said Bishop Flunder.
“Voters of all races and classes supported President Obama knowing that he eliminated Don’t Ask—Don’t Tell so gay and lesbian soldiers can now serve openly.” said Dr. Wilson. “Obama signed the hate crimes law, he advocated to eliminate persecution internationally, he spoke out against bullying, and he gave his personal support to marriage equality. The next four years is another opportunity to show respect for all Americans, regardless of our race, economic standing, whom we love or how we express our gender.”
“The election of Tammy Baldwin as the first openly lesbian Senator and the most support ever for marriage equality in Maryland, Minnesota, Maine and Washington makes it clear that the tide is turning for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans and our families,” said Bishop Flunder. “We have more work to do! We will work in our communities and with national leaders to overturn DOMA and to protect human dignity around the world. Even while theUnited Statesstrides toward freedom, countries throughout the world are faced with a rising tide of Christian fundamentalist influences from theUnited Statesto create waves of discrimination and violence toward sexual minorities.”
“LGBT people know what it is to be targeted. We will never settle for just gaining and protecting our own rights,” said Dr. Wilson. “Everyone’s rights depend on protecting those who are most vulnerable. The words of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ring true today, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ The people won again with the election of President Barack Obama, but the work continues. We stand with LGBT people and suffering people in theUnited States and around the world. We work for a day when respect is the rule and discrimination is no more!”
Natural disasters can bring out people’s best. As Hurricane Sandy roared across the Northeast, people joined together to pile sandbags; they reached out to neighbors who needed a dry place; they risked life and limb to save strangers from a watery grave. Would that all neighbors be treated with such respect in political storms as well.
As the political storm season comes to a climax, there are unnatural disasters that speak of the human capacity to harm each other.