In a country that doesn't (officially) recognize state-sponsored religion, whose Constitution says "all men are created equal," where bigotry and bias are abhorred — why do otherwise intelligent and sensitive people feel they can engage in hate speech against gay people?

Despite tenets such as [More...]



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Thursday, October 20, 2005

HRC Set to Change the Conversation

I received this today from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). It's not
often that I think the work of some of these agencies is novel and
truly destined to make a difference. This effort, however, is a giant
step in the right direction. Please contribute if you can.

<excerpt><fontfamily><param>Verdana</param><smaller>It's easy to be
angry when... </smaller></fontfamily>

<fontfamily><param>Verdana</param><smaller>...the Vatican instructs
Catholic Seminaries to look for "evidence of homosexuality" in
seminarians and priests. </smaller></fontfamily>

<fontfamily><param>Verdana</param><smaller>...pastors in West Virginia
and Massachusetts are ousted by their churches for supporting GLBT
rights. </smaller></fontfamily>

<fontfamily><param>Verdana</param><smaller>...a child is expelled from
a Christian school because her parents are lesbians. </smaller></fontfamily>

<bold><fontfamily><param>Verdana</param><smaller>The truth is,
religious fundamentalists are controlling the conversation about
values in America. And right now, it is only getting worse. </smaller></fontfamily></bold>

<fontfamily><param>Verdana</param><smaller>The Human Rights Campaign
is done with being angry about the hateful actions of so-called
religious leaders. And we're done with letting them do all the
talking. We're launching an unprecedented campaign to "change the
conversation" with our new Religion and Faith Program. Will you help?
<bold><color><param>0000,3333,6666</param>Click here to make a
contribution to take the program from a plan to
reality</color></bold>. </smaller></fontfamily>

<fontfamily><param>Verdana</param><smaller>The Religion and Faith
Program is best described by a conversation I had earlier this year,
when I began crossing the country to talk about equality. When I spoke
with a legislator from a heartland state about marriage between
same-sex couples, he said, "Joe, I am ready to help you. But you and I
will get nowhere if we can't start really talking to the people in my
state, and talking to them in the language of values and faith. Until
you can do that, we won't make a difference." </smaller></fontfamily>

<fontfamily><param>Verdana</param><smaller>When I returned to DC, we
got back to work. It wasn't easy - but we were determined to start
changing the conversation. You see, for many of us at HRC, religion
has not been a source of solace but, rather, a place of rejection and
anger. But we've had to put those powerful emotions aside in order to
work with courageous, fair-minded faith leaders from all walks of life
to put together a plan for this program. <bold>Every day the need for
this work becomes clearer. And here's what we're doing, with your
help: </bold></smaller></fontfamily>

<fontfamily><param>Verdana</param><smaller> Finding and promoting the
many equality-minded faith leaders like Bishop Gene Robinson of New
Hampshire, Dr. Susan Thistlethwaite of Chicago, Bishop John Selders of
Hartford, CT, and Rabbi Denise Eger of Los Angeles. It's time we heard
their courageous voices in the media to counteract the closed-minded
sound bites of extremists like Pat Robertson, James Dobson, and Fred
Phelps. </smaller></fontfamily>

<fontfamily><param>Verdana</param><smaller> Creating preaching guides
and resources about how to talk about GLBT equality with
congregations, and then putting them in the hands of pastors, priests
and rabbis who are hungry for this help. They WILL preach fairness if
they have our help. </smaller></fontfamily>

<fontfamily><param>Verdana</param><smaller> Under the leadership of
our new Religion & Faith Program Director Harry Knox, we are working
closely with individuals and groups who attend temples, churches, and
mosques across the country, people who are changing their religions
from within. They need our materials, our strength, our support. They
need to know that HRC members are standing with them.</smaller></fontfamily>


<excerpt><fontfamily><param>Verdana</param><smaller>This program is
the most important campaign that HRC has launched in a long time — and
we're doing it on top of our other critical work. Please help us hit
the ground running with the full force of HRC's membership — make a
contribution today. <bold><color><param>0000,3333,6666</param>Click
here</color></bold>. </smaller></fontfamily>

<fontfamily><param>Verdana</param><smaller>I am personally so excited
about "changing the conversation." I hope that you are, too. I believe
this is the right strategy to fling open the doors of our nation's
churches, synagogues and mosques, and to open minds and hearts as
well. Thank you in advance for your support, once again. </smaller></fontfamily>

<fontfamily><param>Verdana</param><smaller>Warmly, </smaller></fontfamily>

<fontfamily><param>Verdana</param><smaller>Joe Solmonese, HRC
President </smaller></fontfamily>



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