Advocates for LGBT inclusion in the United Methodist Church lovingly confronted the dismissive and hurtful words, actions, and attitudes of anti-LGBT delegates at its General Conference. Retired bishops and African-American church leaders joined voices to call for the inclusion of LGBT people in the United Methodist Church, while advocates for full inclusion addressed the anti-LGBT statements and actions of conference delegates.
Gay rights activists argue that the UMC must become more inclusive to attract young Americans who view the sexuality prohibitions as hypocritical. Conservatives counter that only churches that hold fast to traditional doctrines are growing. United Methodists who support gay rights have proposed about 100 resolutions this year that would lift the bans and excise the “incompatible” phrase from the Book of Discipline. Leading up to General Conference, they argued that momentum is on their side.
Joseph Amodeo, who recently resigned from the board of Catholic Charities and launched a Change.org petition to urge Cardinal Timothy Dolan to meet with and help LGBT youth in need, said that support “has been overwhelming.”
On Thursday, April 19, the board of the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies voted nearly-unanimously to reverse this ban and will start accepting gay and lesbian students beginning next year. Rabbi Mauricio Balter, President of the Israeli Conservative Movement Rabbinical Assembly, is supportive of the vote.
LGBT Mormons and their allies gathering at the Circling The Wagons Conference witnessed the premier of this video by Kendall Knox -- the same Kendall Knox who last month produced an It Gets Better video featuring gay Mormons at Brigham Young University. This vid, too, is part of the It Gets Better series. It, too, features Mormons. Only these are straightfolk -- het Mormons who maybe once disliked or feared the LGBT community, but were turned around after a friend or family member came out.
Joseph Amodeo, a 24-year-old New Yorker and openly gay Catholic, made a splash this month when he resigned from the junior board of Catholic Charities in response to Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s rude brush-off of a letter from Carl Siciliano, the founder of the Ali Fortney Center, a nonprofit that offers emergency help and ongoing support to homeless LGBT youth.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth across the nation are making a statement today through the annual Day of Silence organized by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). The Day of Silence encourages students not to speak in order to raise awareness about anti-LGBT bullying in schools.
Two prominent Catholic LGBT advocates spoke with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell about the disconnect between the Roman Catholic hierarchy and everyday Catholics in America who support LGBT people. Sister Jeannine Gramick of New Ways Ministry and Jeff Stone of Dignity USA reacted to recent anti-LGBT actions taken by the Roman Catholic hierarchy despite the fact that a growing majority of Catholics support LGBT people.
Wednesday at sundown marked the beginning of Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Day of Remembrance. Among the millions of people who were arrested, tortured, or killed during this tragedy were over 100,000 gay men. About half of these men were sentenced to prison or work camps, where they were forced to wear pink triangles.