The Winds of Change are Blowing in Utah – Join Us!
When the Supreme Court ruled in support of marriage equality last spring, many of us felt a huge sigh of relief blow through the LGBTQ and Progressive communities. That decision left many of us with the sense that our goals of justice and equal rights had been achieved.
But in the few months since then, a torrent of religious refusals has blown away any temporary sigh of relief. Individuals and organizations refuse to abide by the law, and cite faith and religious freedom as their reason.
We all saw media coverage of Rowan County Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis lauded as a hero of religious freedom. Compared to President Lincoln, Davis was heralded by her supporters as another Rosa Parks and a new Martin Luther King, Jr.. It is important that we see this disheartening episode for what it is: a calculated and dangerous re-framing of history. It is a sophisticated kind of depravity that is willing to plunder the legacy of Civil Rights icons, robbing descendants of their inherited birthright, in an attempt to suppress equal protection under federal law.
The constitutional rights of LGBTQ individuals and their families are at risk. The perpetrators of inequality are shrouding themselves behind a mantle of faith. America is plagued with a history of hucksters crying religious freedom to justify and maintain the status quo: the buying, selling, and ownership of human flesh, the subjugation of the female body, and separate and unequal for the LGBTQ community.
Now is the time for the Winds of Change. It is the time to transform a limited, stifling faith narrative – one rigidly framed in judgment and condemnation – into a conversation that reflects and engages reality: millions of LGBTQ people, as well as their allies, are also people of faith; we are members of families, and have families of our own, which are whole and enduring.
This is the purpose of the Faith and Family LGBTQ Power Summit, which is scheduled for Salt Lake City, Utah, this coming October 20 – 23.
The Power Summit is being held to train and mobilize people of faith and secular progressives to create positive change, to organize against this latest affront to equality, and to shine a light on the global exportation of homophobia and transphobia.
I am also very excited to share the news that renowned welcoming and affirming faith leader Bishop Yvette Flunder will provide our keynote address.
The Summit is also just a few days before the anti-LGBTQ World Congress of Families holds their first meeting in the U.S. Their intention is to promote their understanding of a “natural family,” defined by them as excluding LGBTQ families, as well as thousands of other families that do not meet their limited vision. The Faith and Family LGBTQ Power Summit will be the counterpoint to their discriminatory views of family, love, and faith.
We encourage you to be part of the Winds of Change by joining us in Salt Lake City in October. You can find more details and registration information at http://www.thetaskforce.org/utah-faith-family-lgbtq-summit/
We look forward to seeing you there!
By Rev. Rodney McKenzie, Jr., Director of the Academy for Leadership and Action, The National LGBTQ Task Force