Friends and Family Plan guides you through conversations about LGBT equality

The television premiere of Love Free or Die on PBS tonight provides a perfect opportunity to speak with friends and family about why LGBT equality is important for you. The film, which won a special prize at the Sundance Film Festival this year, follows Bishop Gene Robinson as he remains a constant presence and witness in The Episcopal Church and the United States.

Love Free or Die filmmaker Macky Alston has always been clear in his goal to make the film a tool for LGBT equality. Through telling the story of Bishop Robinson, Alston is inviting other people to tell their own stories about LGBT equality. To assist with that, Macky Alston and Groundswell have launched the Friends and Family Plan.

The Friends and Family Plan is a digital resource to help people who want to speak with their loved ones who are Christian and conflicted about supporting LGBT folk. Incorporating modern research, the Plan draws on Bible passages, insights and conversation strategies to suggest the most effective ways to have constructive, transformative conversations. 

The process is totally personalized.  People simply have to follow prompts to describe who they plan to speak with, and they will instantly receive customized reports.  

Take a look at a sample report. This is for someone who wants to prepare to speak with a 36-year old cousin, William, who is from Georgia, is white, and Southern Baptist.  The customized plan includes strategies and links to reports by Center for American Progress, Freedom to Marry, MAP, GLAAD and many others. Give it a try yourself.

With just over one week to go before MarylandMaine, Minnesota, and Washington vote on marriage equality, now is the time for such conversations. If you have not already, reach out to friends or family who live in those four states, use the Friends and Family Plan, and tell them why their vote for equality is important to you. You can also encourage them to watch Love Free or Die tonight at 10PM eastern time.

2012 Macky Alston: "Love Free or Die" from Auburn Seminary on Vimeo.

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As a Major League Baseball umpire for the past 29 seasons, Dale Scott has worked three World Series, three All-Star Games, two no-hitters and numerous playoff games. He is also the first out active male official in the MLB, NBA, NHL, or NFL, and the first Major League Baseball umpire to publicly say he is gay while active.