In honor of Women’s History Month, GLAAD’s Religion, Faith, & Values program is profiling women from different faith backgrounds who have dedicated themselves to justice and equality for the LGBT community, both within their faith communities and in society as a whole. Today, GLAAD’s Religion, Faith, and Values Program would like to give a recap of a few of the ally women of faith who were highlighted on GLAAD’s blog in the last year.
Since 2004, evangelical ally Kathy Baldock has advocated on behalf of LGBT communities of faith. Baldock became involved in LGBT activism within Christian communities because of her own personal friendship with a lesbian whom she went on hikes with. Last year, GLAAD covered her Str8 Apology Initiative and her Spirit Day support. The mission of her ally organization Canyonwalker Connections is “To educate and create dialogue between the Christian Church and the (LGBT) Christian community.”
Sister Jeannine Gramick, founder of New Ways Ministries, is a Catholic nun who has been a part of the movement for LGBT inclusion in the Roman Catholic Church since the 1970s. She continually voiced her hope that Maryland lawmakers would vote for marriage for gay and lesbian couples and, along with other faith leaders in the state, saw that vote become a reality in February. She is currently an Executive Co-Director of the National Coalition of American Nuns.
Trinity Place Shelter is a “non-sectarian, 10-bed transitional shelter” run by Trinity Lutheran Church on New York’s Upper West Side. The shelter originated in 2005 when Trinity’s pastor, Rev. Heidi Neumark, responded to the plea of the Metropolitan Community Church of New York and opened the doors of Trinity Lutheran Church to ten LGBT young people for one week during the peak of winter. Within six months, the congregation had voted to open a permanent shelter for LGBT youth in the church’s basement. Last fall, Trinity Place Shelter was awarded a Union Square Award in the category of social justice.
Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber is the founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado. From adapting liturgical rites to become trans-inclusive to testifying in front of the senate judiciary committee in support of civil unions in Colorado, Bolz-Weber has continually supported LGBT equality.
GLAAD applauds Kathy Baldock, Jeannine Gramick, Heidi Newmark, and Nadia Bolz-Weber for amplifying the voices of the LGBT community in various struggles for LGBT equality. If you have suggestions of other women to highlight during Women’s History Month, please contact GLAAD’s Faith & Campaigns fellow, Miriam Lazewatsky. GLAAD also encourages interested parties to refer to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s directory of welcoming places of worship.