Soulforce Events Urge Methodists to Open Hearts, Minds, and Doors

UM General Conference Can Make a Historic Shift Toward Justice for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People

For Immediate Release

Contact: Paige Schilt, 
Media Director
Cell: 512-659-1771

In 2006, the highest court in the United Methodist Church granted sole authority to local United Methodist pastors to deny church membership to lesbian and gay applicants. On April 23-May 2, 2008, delegates to the United Methodist General Conference in Fort Worth will have the opportunity to revisit this exclusionary decision, to reconsider bans on same-sex unions and the ordination of gay clergy, to make new policy regarding transgender clergy, and to reexamine language in the UM Book of Discipline that describes homosexuality as “incompatible with Christian teaching.”

Soulforce has been a voice for justice at General Conference since 2000, when Yolanda King and Arun Gandhi lead 200 people in an act of civil disobedience to call attention to the suffering caused by the UMC’s anti-gay policies.  One hundred ninety-one people were arrested on a single day, including two United Methodist Bishops. In 2004, Soulforce and its allies led a negotiated disruption of General Conference business.

Preliminary Soulforce Schedule for General Conference 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008  

Picnic in the Park with Transgender People of Faith (open to delegates and the public) * General Worth Square (9th and Main)


Saturday, April 26, 2008  

Nonviolent Response to the UMC’s Anti-LGBT Violence: a Training with Rev. Jimmy Creech and Rev. Dr. Mel White * General Worth Square (9th and Main)



Vigil outside the Fort Worth Convention Center * 9th St. entrance



Free outdoor screening of For The Bible Tells Me So. Producer Dan Karslake, Rev. Dr. Mel White, Rev. Jimmy Creech, and Mary Lou Wallner (all featured in the film) will be in attendance * General Worth Square (9th and Main)


Sunday, April 27, 2008  
12:30pm The Struggle Continues: Racism and Heterosexism in the Church with Rev. Dr. James Lawson, Bishop Melvin Talbert, Rev. Phil Lawson and Rev. Gil Caldwell * General Worth Square (9th and Main)
April 28-May 2, 2008  

Ongoing morning vigil at the Convention Center * 9th St. Entrance


12-2:30pm Ongoing lunchtime vigil at the Convention Center * 9th St. Entrance

Soulforce is a national social justice and civil rights organization. Our vision is freedom from religious and political oppression for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people through relentless nonviolent resistance.

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