Soulforce at the National Religious Broadcasters’ Convention

Rev. Dr. Cindi Love, executive director of Soulforce, will debate Joe Dallas at the National Religious Broadcasters’ Convention on March 1. We will be updating this page with links to news stories about the event and the issues.

WHAT: Rev. Cindi Love, the Executive Director of Soulforce, will participate in a Public Policy Debate on the church’s response to the gay rights movement.  The debate, to be held March 1 at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville, will be moderated by socially conservative radio host Janet Parshall, and will feature Joe Dallas, "former homosexual" and "ex-gay rights activist" and co-author of The Complete Christian Guide to Understanding Homosexuality, representing opponents of gay rights.

WHO: Rev. Cindi Love is the Executive Director of Soulforce, an organization advocating nonviolent resistance against religious oppression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. She brings a wide range of leadership, management and organizational experience to her leadership role. From January 2005 until April 2009, she served as the Executive Director of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC). Prior to MCC, she served as an Executive Dean in the third largest community college system in the United States, as a Senior Executive of The Toro Company (NYSE:TTC) and CEO and Founder of several award winning corporations, including one named to the INC 500 in 1990. In 1990, Dr. Love was named one of the "Top 50 Entrepreneurs" in North America by Inc. Magazine, the Young Entrepreneurs Organization, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Love is the creator of the Would Jesus Discriminate? campaign and author of a book by the same name.

Said Love:  "I’m grateful that the NRBC has offered me the opportunity to debate a prominent opponent of LGBT rights before an audience of Christian broadcasters.  Christian media has played a major role in spreading and heightening anti-gay sentiment in the U.S. and around the world.  The most recent horrific example has been in Uganda, where the use of media as a tool by American evangelicals to spread misinformation and inflammatory rhetoric about LGBT people and support anti-gay legislation has created a climate of hatred, violence and fear for the country’s LGBT population.  By participating in this debate, I intend to confront the rhetoric that has cost lives around the world, and attempt to open up an honest dialogue that has been absent for far too long."

WHERE/WHEN:
March 1, 2011
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Delta Ballroom C
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
2800 Opryland Drive
Nashville, TN

CONTACT: For any questions or to speak with Rev. Love, contact Cathy Renna (917-757-6123; cathy@rennacommunications.com)

 


"Christian Broadcasters Urged to Fight ‘Gay is the New Black’ Agenda"

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Pastor and cultural apologist Voddie Baucham challenged Christian broadcasters at their annual convention on Saturday to not buy into the "gay is the new black" propaganda, but instead to remain committed to defending biblical marriage on the airwaves.

Read full story from Christian Post

Mel White Speaking Engagement in Southern California

Covenant Network : The Future of LGBT Issues."
March 4-6, 2011
St. Mark Presbyterian Church
Newport Beach, CA

The Rev. Dr. Mel White, author of Stranger at the Gate and founder of Soul Force, provides the keynote.  The Rev. Mary Lynn Tobin, pastor of Davis [CA] Community Church and Covenant Network Co-Moderator, preaches the opening worship.

Together we’ll consider such issues as

  • Same-sex marriage
  • Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
  • Anti-bullying and hate crimes legislation
  • The Employee Non-Discrimination Act
  • Adoption by LGBT persons
  • The Presbyterian Constitution’s paragraph G-6.0106b (the ‘fidelity and chastity’ amendment)

SLDN Making History, Moving Forward Dinner

A message from our friends at Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN),

We are honored to welcome Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and former Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-PA), as co-chairs of SLDN’s 19th Annual National Dinner – Making History, Moving Forward – on March 19 at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC.

These tireless champions courageously led the fight last year in the Senate and House to pass "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" repeal legislation. And in less than eight weeks, we will salute their leadership in an evening of celebration and reflection. We hope you can be there.

Time is quickly running out to RSVP. Seating is limited and tickets will sell out very soon. Any day now invitations will hit your mailboxes, but you can beat the last-minute rush and register online.

RSVP today. www.sldn.org/dinner

Heroes of the repeal movement – veterans, legislative leaders and advocates, as well as supporters from coast to coast – will join as one to celebrate and recommit to achieving full equality for LGBT service members at this year’s National Dinner.

We hope you can experience this special time of inspiration with the SLDN family. Purchase your ticket now to ensure you have a seat at the table.

RSVP today. www.sldn.org/dinner

Your resilience through the years helped us pass the historic repeal bill in 2010, and your dedication will continue to change lives for LGBT patriots as we resolve to tackle new challenges this year.

We look forward to seeing you March 19.

Soulforce to hold rally in Philadelphia

by Matthew E. Pilecki
EDGE Media Network
Original article

LGBT activists from across the country will gather in Philadelphia on Friday, Nov. 5, to rally against homophobia in support of subjugated LGBT youth.
Soulforce, a non-profit that hopes to end political and religious oppression against LGBT people through nonviolent resistance, will sponsor the ‘Life Rally’ in Love Park. The event is part of a two-day initiative , which will include a symposium that is aimed at "debunk[ing] the myths that plague [the national conversation about homosexuality."

The Rev. Dr. Cindi Love, executive director of Soulforce, told EDGE the recent media attention surrounding LGBT teen suicides and Dan Savage’s It Gets Better Project offers an opportunity to end bullying once and for all.

"While we completely support the idea of It Gets Better, we also know that young people need tools that help them get better right now, not someday," said Love. "The only good news about the recent focus on teen suicide is that everyone now knows something has to be done. We hope that our symposium is a catalytic event in the lives of individuals and our community so that concrete steps are taken to better support and empower young people."

The idea for the rally came after Jason Connor, community director for Soulforce’s, came out to his family during their annual Equality Ride, a bus tour that addressed anti-LGBT legislation at college campuses across the country. Connor’s Mormon family consequently disowned him, spurring him to address the alarming number of LGBT suicides within the faith-based community.

"He found a way out for himself and wanted to create a safe and vibrant space where we could not only think about our losses but also think about the ways in which we can celebrate our lives," said Love about Connor. "It was his idea to create the rally and our cohort of Equality Riders in Philadelphia joined with him to bring the event into being."

Love works closely with religious traditions to establish safe spaces for LGBT youth and conduct workshops on inclusion even when the places of worship have no intention of changing their ideology. She is confident networking with faith-based organizations can bring reform providing comfort to LGBT youth at odds with their faith.

"Fundamentalist religious belief is at the root of patriarchy and, therefore, at the root of sexism, homophobia, heterosexism, misogyny and the exclusion of LGBTQ people from full citizenship in society and in the church," said Love. "People in the faith-based communities are in the best position to advocate for the elimination of polity and policies within denominations that are harmful to the lives of LGBTQ people. They speak the language of the oppressor while not having to choose to be the oppressor."   

New Jersey lawmakers recently introduced an Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights that would create school safety teams and require annual reporting on bullying instances from school and district administrators. Furthermore, Garden State schools would be graded on how they handle bullying, harassment and intimidation.

While Love believes instances of bullying need to be addressed on an individual basis, she thinks the law will encourage some teens to stand up to their aggressors.

"I believe that we always need a law to enforce what is right when people don’t choose to do what is right in the absence of law," she said. "I also believe that the law is simply a tool to encourage people to think differently-perhaps to hesitate before they commit a crime of bullying. We only stop cruelty and rejection on a one-on-one basis when one person says ‘no more.’ I believe that laws support people who choose to stand up and be courageous and do what is right."

Symposium is three days away!

We are super excited to soon be convening in Philadelphia for the Soulforce Symposium. We hope that you will join us for two important events prior to the Symposium on Friday November, 5th. 

The first of these two events will take place at The William Way Community Center in Center City Philadelphia. There will be a reception at the center from 6-8pm. Free wine, beer, and refreshments will be served. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear music, and to meet and mingle with the staff and board members of Soulforce. The William Way Community Center is located at 1315 Spruce Street - Philadelphia, PA 19107 and is in within walking distance of the LIFE rally.

The second event on Friday will be our LIFE rally at Love Park also in Center City Philadelphia. The rally will commence at 8:30pm. The rally is the city’s response to the heinous amount of LGBTQ suicides and other hate crimes over the last several months. There will be music and local and national speakers. Love Park is located at the corner of 15th and JFK Boulevard. You can RSVP for the rally (although an RSVP is not required to attend) at our Facebook page.

Check back often over the next few days and throughout the symposium for frequent updates and additional content!
Even if you can’t make it to Philadelphia, please help us sponsor future events by donating today.

Mel White honored as GLBT Icon

A montage of photographs of famous GLBT people from modern USA history. The text at the top reads 'GLBT History Month October 2010'Our co-founder Mel White was recently honored by GLBT History Month as one of the 2010 Icons. The organization named a different person as an icon for each of the days during GLBT History Month. Mel’s inclusion was accounced this weekend along with Rufus Wainwright and Emanuel Xavier.

To view the full list of 2010 Icons, visit http://www.glbthistorymonth.com/glbthistorymonth/2010/

Soulforce American Family Outing Project Mention as CNN investigates Bishop Eddie Long

Soulforce received a mention by CNN’s Anderson Cooper during coverage on his show, Anderson Cooper 360, of the allegations against Bishop Eddie Long.

 

In 2008, Soulforce engaged in the American Family Outing campaign which visited anti-gay megachurches around the US in an attempt to meet with the pastors and congregations. Soulforce visited Eddie Long’s church and Rev. Troy Sanders, interviewed by CNN, participated in that visit. Photos from the visit are available at Other Sheep.

You can donate today to ensure that Soulforce will be able to continue bringing truth and justice to counter misinformation which fuels the oppression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people.

Update on Bishop Christopher

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 30, 2010

CONTACT: Vaishalee Raja, Equality California
PHONE: 916-284-9187 EMAIL: vaishalee@eqca.org
State Senate Calls on Federal Government to Help Stop Uganda’s Bill Criminalizing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender People
Equality California-sponsored resolution condemns Uganda’s draconian law persecuting LGBT people

Sacramento – The California State Senate today passed a resolution (SR 51) condemning Uganda’s bill criminalizing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in 21-14 vote. Introduced by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and sponsored by Equality California, the resolution urges the U.S. government to intensify its efforts to eliminate the criminalization of homosexuality worldwide as well as to take more caution when funding faith-based organizations to ensure that U.S. government funds and resources are accessible to women, minorities, and the LGBT community.

"The U.S. government must do everything in its power to stop the bill before the Uganda legislature that would lead to the criminalization and even death of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Ugandans," said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California. "The California Senate has taken an important step in passing this resolution, which will help raise awareness of the crisis in Uganda and will put the state on record in support of the U.S. government strengthening its efforts to end the criminalization of LGBT people worldwide."

The resolution also encourages faith-based organizations in the U.S. to support the creation of policies in other countries that do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

"It is egregious that radical religious leaders from our nation are working to spread fears about and discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Uganda," said Sen. Leno. "These deplorable actions have encouraged violence, and even death against Ugandans.  This resolution is a simple human rights appeal urging President Obama and our federal leaders to call for the decriminalization of LGBT people, not only in Uganda, but across the globe."
Finally, the legislation commends Reverend Christopher Senyonjo, retired Anglican Bishop of West Uganda, for his work and ministry to create an inclusive church and society in Uganda free from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In the last year, Reverend Senyonjo has toured California, the United States and Europe to educate and bring attention to the hostility of the recent wave of religious-based homophobia in Uganda.

To find out more information about EQCA’s legislation, visit http://www.eqca.org/legislation.

Equality California (EQCA) is the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights advocacy organization in California. Over the past decade, Equality California has strategically moved California from a state with extremely limited legal protections for LGBT individuals to a state with some of the most comprehensive civil rights protections in the nation. Equality California has passed over 60 pieces of legislation and continues to advance equality through legislative advocacy, electoral work, public education and community empowerment. www.eqca.org

Rev. Dr. Cindi Love on Blog Talk Radio

Every Wednesday night, from 8-9 pm EST, the Gay Agenda broadcasts live on Blog Talk Radio with host James Hipp along with co-host Lyndon Evans of Focus On The Rainbow brings you an hour of LGBT talk with weekly special guest.

Rev. Dr. Cindi Love was on the show recently, you can listen here: Rev. Dr. Cindi Love of Soulforce Speaks OUT

Clergy Call for Justice and Equality, Washington, DC

April 16-17, 2007

 

I am Rev. Dr. Cindi Love, author of Would Jesus Discriminate?  The 21st Century Question, Executive Director of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) and an ordained minister of a gospel of good news delivered by a subversive Rabbi — a Teacher named Jesus Christ.  The good news Jesus delivered is this — the Divine is in each one of us — we are the beloved people and children and family of God and nothing can separate us from that love. And, as children of God, we are not to be muzzled like oxen. We are worthy of our labor — worthy for hire. (1 Timothy 5:18)
As a pastor, I am often the first person called after a partner or other family member when a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person loses a job.  People in our community get to process all of the same stages of grief about losing a job that other people do, but they have to do so without benefit of the protection of law and with the added burden of being fired just for being who they were born to be.  We get to go home and tell our spouses and our children the bad news that the pay check isn’t coming not because we did a bad job or even because of sanctioned layoffs in a down economy but because of whom we are.

As a pastor and a citizen of the United States, I believe we have a moral and civic responsibility to say once and for all, stop discrimination in the workplace against people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual  and transgender.  My great-grandfather would have said, "Let me earn my keep and you earn yours."  Let me share a personal story with you.

My spouse, Sue, and I have been together 29 years.  She retired early in 2005 from a small public school district in Texas after a life-time of distinguished service as an elementary counselor.  She decided it was time to retire when the superintendent of schools asked her to remove a Human Rights Campaign sticker from the back of her car. A school board member had suggested that this sticker meant Sue was gay. She told him that the sticker was about human rights and, by the way, she was gay and she wasn’t going to take the sticker off until there was no more need for it in this country. Until that incident, we never felt afraid for her — even though the neighborhood where she worked was a high-crime area.  Now the real risk of harm felt like it could come from her co-workers or supervisors or one of the fundamentalist church goers who represented a large population of the parents.  And, we knew and we know today that no one would do anything if someone hurt her—beat her up as she left school at night or raped her to prove that she could be "cured" of her lesbianism.

We are also here today to remind our neighbors and legislators that hate crimes legislation is not about limiting free speech, but about limiting real acts that terrorize, maim and kill real people in our communities. It is time for equal protection under the law for employment and for hate crimes protection to include sexual orientation, gender identity and disability.  Now is time to do the right thing.