Friday, September 25, 2009

Prominent Religious Leaders, Faith Communities Endorse National Equality March

A press release from the National Equality March:

Seventy religious leaders added their names this week to the growing list of endorsements for the National Equality March. The March has provided leaders from America’s broad religious spectrum a vehicle to demand full and equal protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in all matters governed by civil law in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

“Part of what hinders our reality of full federal equality is the notion that one religious freedom trumps another,” said Robin McGehee, co-director of the March. “It is heartwarming to highlight that there are multiple areas of faith, within many different religious communities, that believe in full equality.”

Just as there are LGBT people of faith who worship in nearly all religious denominations and practices, the March has gained growing support from religious leaders within many of the nation’s religions and faiths.

“In every case in this country's history when misguided church teaching was used to justify prejudice and discrimination it has been judged as a moral failure of our society. The greatest obstacle to reaching full civil equality for LGBT American’s today is this same kind of religion-based bigotry,” said Mitchell Gold, founder of Faith In America. “The National Equality March gives all people of faith an important opportunity to speak out about this injustice and the irreparable harm it creates in our lives… and to say the time to end the harm is NOW.”

The Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, gave the March a resounding endorsement: “The Unitarian Universalist Association strongly endorses the National Equality March and the goal of achieving full legal equality for bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people. The inherent worth and dignity of every person is a foundational principle of our Unitarian Universalist faith. Unitarian Universalists from around the country will be standing together on the side of love on October 11th when we will take one more step towards the day when the laws of this country protect the basic human rights of all Americans.”

Rev. Morales will preach at a service prior to the March at All Souls Church Unitarian and then gather everyone after the service to join the March route.

Leaders from the faith community who endorsed the March include:

Rev. David Bahr, Park Hill Congregational Church UCC
Pamela Baldwin, Interfaith Alliance of Idaho
Nelson Bock, Interfaith Alliance of Colorado
Rabbi Stephen Booth-Nadav, Aytz Chayim/Tree of Life
Dr. Richard C. Bozian, TIA-Cincinnati-First Unitarian Church
Rev. Elizabeth Braddon, Stony Brook Community Church
Dr. Phil Campbell, Iliff School of Theology
Rev. Tom Capo, Peoples Church Unitarian Universalist
Carol Carlson, Social Justice Committee of First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati
Rev. Cynthia Cearley, Montview Blvd. Presbyterian Church
Hospice Pastor Angela Cesa, Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock
Rabbi Carl Choper, The Interfaith Alliance of Pennsylvania
Rev. Hal Chorpenning, Plymouth Congregational UCC
Rev. Samuel Chu, Interim Executive Director of California Faith for Equality
Dick Clark, St. Timothy’s United Methodist Church
Rev. Paul Collier, First Presbyterian Church
Rev. Greg Cummins, Montview Blvd. Presbyterian Church
Douglas Cunningham, New Day United Methodist Church
Rabbi Mark Diamond, Exec. Vice President of the Southern California Board of Rabbis
Maureen Doherty, Episcopal Church
Anne Dunlap, Comunidad Liberacion/Liberation Community
Rabbi Denise Eger, President of Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis
Rabbi Dr. David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College
Rev. Eric Fjeldal, United Methodist Church
Rev. Vicki Flippin, Diamond Hill United Methodist Church, Cos Cob, Connecticut
Rabbi Steven A. Fox, Exec. Vice President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis
Paul Fraser, Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Rev. Dr. C. Weldon Gaddy, Interfaith Alliance
Gregory Garland, United Church of Christ
Dan Geslin, Sixth Avenue United Church of Christ
Mitchell Gold, Faith in America
Rev. Galen Guengerich, All Souls Unitarian Church
Elizabeth Gull, Universal Life Church
Susan Guy, Walnut Hills United Methodist Church
Rev. Debra W. Haffner, The Religious Institute
Edward Hawley, United Church of Christ
Rabbi Steven B. Jacobs, Chair of the Progressive Jewish Foundation
Ellen Johnson-Fay, Unitarian Universalist Association
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, NYC
Noel Koestline, United Methodist Church
Rev. Eric Lee, President of the Los Angeles Southern Christian Leadership
Rev. Eun-sang Lee, First United Methodist Church, Salt Lake City
Rev. Mark J. Lukens, Bethany Congregational UCC/ LI Chapter of TIA
Whit Malone, Collegiate Presbyterian Church
Rev. Matthew J. Mardis-LeCroy, Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ
Sister Maureen McCormack, Interfaith Alliance of Colorado
Rev. Nancy Nelson, Metropolitan Community Churches
Richard S. Parker, United Methodist Church
Rev. Emily Peck-McClain, United Methodist Church
Rev. Troy Perry, Metropolitan Community Churches
Douglas Peters, United Methodist Church
Richard Pleva, Iowa Conference, United Church of Christ
Julia Rendon, Crossroads United Church of Christ
Bishop Eugene Robinson, Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire
Paul Rolig, Humanists of Idaho
Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center, Washington DC
Rev. Susan Russell, President of Integrity
Connie Ryan Terrell, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa
Walter Schenck, United Methodist Church, NY Annual Conference
Rev. Catherine Schuyler, Duluth Congregational Church
Rev. Jeremy Shaver, Interfaith Alliance of Colorado/Park Hill Congregational Church
Rev. Charles H. Straut, Jr., New York Annual Conference, United Methodist Church
Rev. Mark Stringer, First Unitarian Church of Des Moines
Nadine Swahnberg, UUA
Rev. Neil G. Thomas, Chair of California Faith for Equality
Kenneth Thurow, ELCA
Joel Warner, United Methodist Church
Rabbi Ellen Weinberg Dreyfus, President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis
Dana Wimmer, United Methodist
Rabbi Eric Yoffie, President of the Union for Reform of Judaism
Ani Zonneveld, Co-founder and President of Muslims for Progressive Values

"For people of faith, the National Equality March is an expression of our most deeply cherished values—that we are called to love, do justice, seek equality and act with compassion,” said Rev. Debra W. Haffner, executive director of the Religious Institute, who also has endorsed the March. “The Religious Institute is proud to endorse the March and the values it upholds."

“The importance of the National March for Equality for LGBT civil rights is being articulated through the Religious and Faith communities,” said Rabbi Denise Eger, president of the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis. "Jewish national leaders and faith leaders understand that equality and justice stem from the message of welcome and love. We are joining together to lift up this message of full civil rights.”

To date more than 250 notable leaders from the arts, entertainment and media industries as well as political leaders, elected officials and community activists have endorsed the March and are urging people to join them and make their way to Washington.

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