Faith leaders are urged to break the silence on bisexuality, build inclusivity

This Wednesday, the Religious Institute is releasing a groundbreaking guidebook for faith leaders on welcoming bisexual people into religious congregations. Faith leaders and press are invited to join a press conference call for the book's release, tomorrow June 25 at 10:30 AM Eastern Standard Time.

The Religious Institute, based in Connecticut, is a multifaith-based organization that advocates for sexual health, education, and justice

The new guidebook, Bisexuality: Making Visible the Invisible in Faith Communities, answers questions such as: How can a congregation become welcoming and inclusive of bisexuals? What does Scripture say about bisexuality? Can a minister or rabbi be openly bisexual and serve a congregation? This multifaith compendium of stories and resources will help congregations they take the next step toward full inclusion of LGBT people.

Marie Alford-Harkey, co-author and deputy director of the Religious Institute, said of the book:

The invisibility and even direct silencing of bisexual people can lead to great harm. In the silence, bisexual people are left wondering who will stand with them. Both in the faith world and the LGBT world there are great gaps in understanding. This guide can help religious and movement leaders to serve the whole community.

The new book can be ordered for $20 from the Religious Institute or Amazon.

Presenters at tomorrow's conference call will include:

·         Marie Alford-Harkey, Deputy Director for the Religious Institute, is a graduate of the Episcopal Divinity School and is a provincial coordinator for Integrity USA of the Episcopal Church.

·         Rev. Debra Haffner, President and co-founder of the Religious Institute, is a Unitarian Universalist minister and was previously CEO of SIECUS, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (1988-2000).

·         Rabbi Debra Kolodny is the Executive Director of Nehirim, a national LGBT Jewish organization and the Rabbi of P’nai Or of Portland, Oregon.

·         Rev. Dr. Janet Edwards, leader in the Pittsburgh Presbytery and former Co-Moderator of More Light Presbyterians, is a leader in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the larger LGBT faith world.

·         Rev. Cedric Harmon of Washington, DC, is Co-Director of Many Voices, a Black church movement for gay and transgender justice.

You can register for the conference here.