Seven Straight Nights for Equal Rights Garners Grassroots Momentum

Vigils Across the Country October 7-13, 2007 Illuminate Straight Support for Equality

For Immediate Release
Contact: Paige Schilt, Director of Public Relations and Media
Cell: 512-659-1771

Standing at the tomb of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Atlanta, Georgia, and on the steps of the Statehouse in Augusta, Maine, straight Americans kicked off Seven Straight Nights for Equal Rights, a nationwide campaign to illuminate the breadth and depth of political support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans.

Across the country this week, in small towns and major cities, straight people are demonstrating their commitment to equality with nighttime vigils for equal rights. To date, more than thirty-five vigils are planned in places like Greenville, South Carolina, and Ames, Iowa.

As word of the project has spread over the past several months, straight men and women have stepped up to organize vigils in communities outside the usual strongholds of LGBT acceptance.

Last week, Seven Straight Nights vigil plans emerged in Salt Lake City, Utah, and in Little Rock, Arkansas, where a right-wing group recently began collecting signatures for a referendum to ban all unmarried couples from adopting or becoming foster parents.

"We knew that many straight Americans were disgusted by divisive anti-gay politics and were looking for a venue to express their beliefs," says Jodie Eldridge, Executive Director of Atticus Circle. "But we have been overwhelmed by the excitement this campaign has generated in the Bible belt and the heartland."

Atticus Circle and Soulforce are the national sponsors of Seven Straight Nights for Equal Rights, which also aims to help straight equality supporters make meaningful connections with LGBT equality organizations. For a complete list of partner organizations, go to:

"It’s not just a 90-minute cocktail party, and then everybody goes home," says Soulforce Executive Director Jeff Lutes. "By giving up a few hours of sleep, these straight Americans are symbolizing their willingness to sacrifice for the rights of others, for the larger goal of equal rights for all."

To find out if Seven Straight Nights for Equal Rights activities are planned in your community, go to:

"Seven Straight Nights for Equal Rights" is a joint project of Atticus Circle and Soulforce. Atticus Circle is a national non-profit that is dedicated to achieving equality for all partners, parents, and their children regardless of sexual orientation. Soulforce is a national social justice organization that seeks freedom for LGBTQ people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance. For more information, visit

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