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On gay equality, arc is bending toward justice

January 22, 2014

Guest post by Cheri Holdridge

Dr. Martin Luther King once said: “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” For those who are working for full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons, the arc is bending toward justice. On Saturday (Jan. 18), at a Faith Summit in Columbus, about 40 faith leaders from across Ohio gathered to be trained and inspired for the work ahead in our state. David Beckwith, from Toledo, reminded us of Dr. King’s words. Beckwith said that the arc is already bending toward justice. The fight is won; it is just a matter of time. The question for people of faith is this, said Beckwith: “Which side of history will people of faith be seen on? Because right now we are seen on the wrong side.”

About forty people participated in the statewide Faith Summit at Summit United Methodist Church, Columbus, Ohio. Photo by Cheri Holdridge/Toledo Faith & Values

About forty people participated in the statewide Faith Summit at Summit United Methodist Church, Columbus, Ohio. Photo by Allen V. Harris/Toledo Faith & Values

The loudest voices in the faith communities are the voices of judgment against LGBT persons. However, the people attending Saturday’s Faith Summit at Summit United Methodist Church represented people of faith who have another vision. These leaders represented a variety of “Welcoming Church” movements: The Reconciling United Methodists and Lutherans, Open and Affirming United Churches of Christ and Disciples of Christ Churches, Integrity related Episcopal Churches, and others. We were clergy and lay leaders committed to our state becoming a state where no one can be fired or denied housing for being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or even perceived to be one of these. Over the next several months, a massive campaign is unfolding and people of faith who believe in equality are going to be visible and engaged in the conversation.

The training was sponsored by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force along with the Reconciling Ministries Network, a program of United Methodist-related ministries and the United Church of Christ’s Open and Affirming Program. Three trainers from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force helped lead the event, including Kathleen Campisano, who is the Faith Manager for the Task Force. Campisano, who is based in Washington DC, will be working extensively in Ohio this year, leading trainings and helping to educate faith communities.

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