Outreach & Interfaith Initiative
The current national debate regarding equal rights for LGBT people has been punctuated by the rhetoric of “love the sinner, hate the sin” coming from certain sectors in the faith community. This rhetoric is supposedly based on the believe that homosexuality is wrong. The terms in which this current debate is conducted blatantly go against our nation’s constitutional mandate of separation of church and state. More than ever, people are now questioning whether the arguments espoused by the religious right bring politics into religion and don’t represent the mainline tradition of all faiths. Accordingly, many mainline traditions are moving toward the theology of justice and equality as it applies to the rights of LGBTs and have placed this theology at the forefront of the movement to restore the essence of religion.
Forum For Equality believes in building bridges between the LGBT community and the religious community through education, research and dialogue. Our Interfaith Initiative seeks to both elevate the conversation with the clergy and bring a better understanding, from a theological perspective, of the equality of all people, including LGBT people, under the tenets of all religions. We believe on the need to educate ourselves and others about issues at the intersection of religion, politics and sexual orientation. We also believe that the next chapter of the equality movement will be written jointly between LGBT people and allies from the faith community. We hope you would join us to discuss the state of religion and equality with members of the clergy and propose different strategies for creating a society in which religion does not interfere with the civil rights of all Americans.
This year, the Outreach and Interfaith Committee will focus primarily on its Interfaith Initiative. Among the activities of this initiative is the outreach to members of the clergy to invite them to a forum in the fall of 2011 to discuss the state of religion and equality for LGBT people and come up with concrete ways to build a bridge between religious communities and us.
Objectives of the Interfaith Initiative:
1. Identify members of the clergy who are willing to meet with the Outreach and Interfaity Committee and start a formal dialogue with them.
2. Build a bridge, from a theological perspective, between the LGBT community and religious communities through education, research and dialogue.
3. Program a forum in the fall to hear from religious leaders and LGBT voices what each of these communities needs in order to work together in our struggle toward full equality.
Contact Charles Sevin the Chair of our Outreach and Interfiath Committee to work on this important initiative (see below)
Chair of the Outreach and Interfaith Committee