Presbyterian Minister on Trial in Cincinnati

PRESS CONFERENCE and VIGILS ANNOUNCED FOR
TUESDAY, APRIL 8, at 4pm

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SOULFORCE MEDIA ALERT: April 3, 2003
For Immediate Release
Contact: Laura Montgomery Rutt
Cell: 717-278-0592
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(Cincinnati, April 3, 2003) – The trial of Rev. Stephen Van Kuiken, minister of Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church (USA), begins on April 8, 2003 in Cincinnati, OH. Dozens of people are expected to attend a vigil to protest the Presbyterian Church’s anti-gay policies and teachings and to support Rev. Van Kuiken.

Rev. Van Kuiken is being put on trial because he refuses to abide by the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) constitution’s ordination standard of fidelity in marriage/chastity in singleness, or the denomination’s prohibition against marrying same-gender couples. Rev. Van Kuiken has ordained and married people who are gay and lesbian.

Soulforce, a national interfaith organization committed to ending spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, will be conducting a nonviolence training on Monday April 7 at 7pm at Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church in preparation for the vigils outside of the trial. All are welcome.

A press conference will be taking place at 4pm outside of the trial location of Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3445 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati.

WHAT: A press conference in support of Rev. Stephen Van Kuiken’s pro-gay, pro-equality stand in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and in protest of anti-gay policies in church and society.

WHO: Speakers will include:

* Rev. Stephen Van Kuiken, pastor of Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church who is going to trial.

* Rev. Jimmy Creech, former United Methodist minister who was defrocked for performing a holy union for two men

* Rev. Sharon Dittmar, minister of the First Unitarian Church in Cincinnati

* Rabbi Emeritus David M Horowitz, Soulforce supporter from Akron OH.

WHEN: Tuesday, April 8, 4:00 pm

WHERE: Outside Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3445 Clifton Ave., Cincinnati Rain location: across the street at Clifton United Methodist Church

WHY: To shed light on the truth about Presbyterian Church policies and send the message that “We are all Equal in the eyes of God”

VISUALS: Dozens of Soulforce supporters and members of Mount Auburn will be gathered outside of Immanuel Presbyterian Church beginning at 4 pm. Large Banners and signs that proclaim: “EQUAL IN THE EYES OF GOD”, and “STOP SPIRITUAL VIOLENCE” will be visible during the press conference.

For more information about Soulforce and/or additional details about the trial, see www.soulforce.org

Information about Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church can be found at
http://www.mtauburnpresby.org/index.html

Soulforce employs the nonviolent principles of Gandhi and King to the liberation of sexual and gender minorities, and is asking supporters to join together in Cincinnati to support Rev. Van Kuiken and members of his congregation.

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