A program offered Sunday, April 24 at Trinity United Methodist Church in Durham provided faith communities an opportunity to learn more about North Carolina’s HB2 legislation and why persons of faith in particular should be concerned about the law and its impact on citizens, particularly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals. Guest speaker for the event was Dr. David P. Gushee, president-elect of the American Society of Christian Ethics and a leader in the evangelical faith community. Other guests included Rev. Mykal Slack, a Metropolitan Community Church minister and a powerful voice for the transgender community; William Meyer, an associate clinical professor at Duke University Medical Center’s Psychiatric Department; and Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, president-elect of the N.C. Council of Churches and 3rd vice president of the NC-NAACP.
The event was sponsored by the 6,400-congregation N.C. Council of Churches, Equality NC, the Equality Federation and the National LGBTQ Task Force.
We encourage faith communities to share this video as an opportunity to learn why this uniquely discriminatory piece of legislation must be repealed and to understand why our faith families must stand against this type of legislation. Affirming faith families must let our voices be heard when such laws are endorsed and promoted by individuals and groups who misuse religious teaching to justify discrimination and prejudice toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals as well as other minorities.
We invite faith communities to share this video with their members on their websites or social media outlets. If you would like to inquire about obtaining a DVD of the presentation, please contact Brent Childers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828.612.4682.
Enriching the Lives of Individuals, our Communities and our State
Equality NC is very thankful for the growing number of affirming faith communities in North Carolina, many of whom have been on the front line of LGBT faith advocacy work.
It is unfortunate that faith communities have been divided by certain religious organizations and individuals who attempt to convince our citizenry that LGBT equality and faith are incompatible.
Today that is changing and Equality NC seeks to recognize and promote the many affirming churches and clergy for their commitment to full LGBT equality and their desire to uplift the full human dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, especially youth and families.
Affirming faith communities offer safe and inclusive space. Such inclusion offers peace and spiritual clarity for LGBT individuals and families who seek such fulfillment.
Affirming faith communities understand that equality inspires faith. Equality NC’s faith program seeks to encourage and inspire.
The Equality NC faith program doesn’t seek to prop up any particular faith tradition nor serve as adversary to any. We follow the lead of those who helped frame this nation's constitution in advocating that the ebb and flow of religiosity in America is best left to the free marketplace of ideas.
However, when any majoritarian institution within society, including religious institutions, gives sanction to stigma and hostility toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, Equality NC will continue at the forefront of confronting the resulting prejudice and discrimination – and most importantly the harm that is caused.
The evidence is indisputable: Promoting the perception that faith somehow is incompatible with equality has resulted in social division and immense harm in the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, especially youth and families.
Equality NC’s faith program will join affirming faith communities and individuals as we seek to alleviate such harm and thereby enrich the lives of individuals, families, communities and our state.
Our Areas of Concern
Equality NC's Faith Program will be working in three primary areas:
- Raising awareness about the positive impact of affirming religious perspectives for LGBT Youth and Families
- Working to promote awareness and understanding about Gender Identity with faith communities
- Promoting education and awareness about Religious Exemption laws that target LGBT citizens with discrimination and hostility
Faith Voices of Affirmation and Equality
Meet some of the many affirming clergypersons and other voices from across North Carolina who are working through ministry and advocacy to enrich the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, communities and our state. Meet them here...