Soulforce to Protest the Escalation of Catholic Anti-Gay Policies and Teachings

Protests to Take Place at Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Washington, DC November 10 – 14, 2002

Soulforce Press Release: October 31, 2002
For Immediate Release
Contact: Laura Montgomery Rutt
Cell: 717-278-0592
soulforcemedia@aol.com

(Washington, DC) – Soulforce leaders today announced plans to protest and vigil November 10 – 14, 2002 outside of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for the third year in a row. The demonstrations will take place at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Avenue NW, in Washington D.C., to protest the scapegoating of gay priests and the escalation of Catholic anti-gay policies and teachings.

The theme for this year’s protest is "God’s Gay Children Bring Gifts – Bless Them." This was also the theme used in January 2001 when Soulforce supporters traveled to Rome to protest the Vatican’s anti-gay policies and teachings.

Vigils will begin Sunday, November 10 at the Hyatt from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Vigils will continue Monday – Thursday, starting at 7 a.m. each day.

Each day at noon, from Monday, November 11 through Wednesday, November 13, a variety of gifts will be brought to the Hyatt and bishops will be asked to bless them. The gifts are symbolic of the gifts and talents that GLBT people bring to the Church.

  • On Monday, Nov. 11 (Veteran’s Day), gifts will be brought for homeless and disabled veterans.
  • On Tuesday, Nov. 12, gifts will be brought for people living with AIDS.
  • On Wednesday, Nov. 13, gifts will be brought for marginalized, abandoned and abused women and children.

The Catholic Church has been the subject of much criticism and media attention recently involving a scandal and cover-up which scapegoats gay priests in an attempt to protect the hierarchy of the church over the well-being of children. According to the Catholic News Service, the Vatican has recently prepared a draft proposal that will prohibit gay men from becoming priests. Many experts estimate that 50% of priests in the Catholic Church are gay.

"The Vatican has no concept of the gifts gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) people bring to the Church," declared Kara Speltz, Soulforce Catholic co-chair. "Banning gay priests will create a huge spiritual vacuum in the Church and have a chilling effect on laity. A ban will be a stated and blatant rejection of the many gifts that GLBT people bring to the Church."

In 2000, over 100 people were arrested in a non-violent civil disobedience during the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Last year during the conference, no arrests were made, but vigils were held in front of the Hyatt for three days in protest of anti-gay policies and teachings.

Hundreds of People Celebrated Gay Pride Saturday in Lynchburg, Va.

Soulforce Gathered Sunday outside Falwell’s Thomas Road Baptist Church in Prayerful Vigil

Press Release: October 27, 2002
For Immediate Release
Contact: Laura Montgomery Rutt
Cell: 717-278-0592

Hundreds of people converged on Riverside Park in Lynchburg, Va., on Saturday, October 26, 2002, for "OUT and ABOUT in Lynchburg," the first-ever pride festival in Jerry Falwell’s hometown. The following morning 150 people stood in prayerful vigil for four hours outside Falwell’s Thomas Road Baptist Church. Vigilers also stood with signs and banners that read "Stop Spiritual Violence," "Southern Baptist Teachings are Killing God’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Children," and several others, including quotes from Gandhi.

Soulforce is a national movement committed to ending spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. National and regional groups and individual from across the United States joined together for the weekend events.

Dozens of students from Lynchburg-area high schools and colleges joined residents and Soulforce supporters from as far away as Hawaii to participate in the pride event. Several local high school and college students also joined with Soulforce supporters to participate in the vigils in front of Thomas Road Baptist Church on Sunday morning.

"The purpose of the weekend events was to alert, educate, and begin to mobilize the residents of Lynchburg to stand up and speak out against the toxic rhetoric spoken by Christian fundamentalists like Rev. Jerry Falwell," said Rev. Mel White, co-founder of Soulforce Inc. "The pride event celebrated who we are and who God created us to be. The vigils called attention to the fact that fundamentalist rhetoric leads to violence and suffering for God’s GLBT Children."

In a press conference on Saturday, Rev. White said that several gay-friendly groups are taking root in Lynchburg now, including a PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) chapter, a Soulforce local group, and a "safe haven" for gay teen-agers. Also participating in the press conference were Art Scott, an "out and proud" graduate of Falwell’s Liberty University, Faisal Alam, the founder and director of Al-Fatiha, an international organization for GLBTQ Muslims, and Rev. Roger Zimmerman, pastor of First Christian Church, the host church for the Soulforce weekend in Lynchburg.

Rev. Mel White and his life-partner Gary Nixon moved into a home across the street from Thomas Road Baptist Church in September and have been attending morning worship services there every Sunday. Rev. White had ghost-written the autobiographies for Jerry Falwell and other Christian fundamentalist before he reconciled his sexual orientation with his Christian faith

During the weekend, 2,000 pamphlets written by Mel White, titled What the Bible Says – and Doesn’t Say – About Homosexuality, were distributed throughout Lynchburg during the pride event, passed out in front of Thomas Road Baptist Church and handed to individuals in a door-to-door campaign earlier in the week.

"It was a truly powerful weekend," said Diana G. Westbrook, co-chair of the weekend’s events. "We know that the people in Lynchburg, including members of Thomas Road Baptist Church and students at Liberty University, are able to discern the difference between truth and untruth. Rev. Falwell is a prime nationwide source of untruth about homosexuals, and this weekend went a long way toward presenting the truth that God, who created us, loves us just the way we are."

MEDIA: Photos of all these events are available by contacting Laura Montgomery-Rutt at soulforcemedia@aol.com

Lynchburg Photo Album: October 27, 2002


Soulforce Director of Operations Karen Weldin hands a leaflet to a Thomas Road congregant. Over 2,500 leaflets were given out!

Students from Sweet Briar College, just north of Lynchburg joined us Sunday morning

Two women from Jerry Falwells church brought us food as we stood vigil. We were so grateful for the love they showed towards us

Hundreds of us lined the streets around Thomas Road Baptist Church and greeted church-goers as they arrived Sunday morning

Hundreds of us lined the streets around Thomas Road Baptist Church and greeted church-goers as they arrived Sunday morning

The police were very present although thankfully not needed … but we were grateful that they were there

Standing vigil in front of Mel and Gary’s house at 636 Thomas Road, directly across from Jerry Fallwell’s church

Our large crowd of vigilers far outnumbered the small handful of hecklers

Gary Nixon was the perfect host, feeding our hungry crowd in front of their impeccably decorated cottage

Laura Montgomery-Rutt, Soulforce Media Liason, on the front porch of Gary and Mel’s home, as she types up a press release on the day’s events while speaking with a reporter on the phone

We handed out our leaflets and took time to explain why God loves us unconditionally, just the way we are!

More pictures of our large group of vigilers.

We handed out our leaflets and took time to explain why God loves us unconditionally, just the way we are!

More pictures of our large group of vigilers.

More pictures of our large group of vigilers.

We handed out our leaflets and took time to explain why God loves us unconditionally, just the way we are!

Diana Westbrook, co-chair of our weekend visit to Lynchburg, works on last minute details

Soulforcers extend their hands in blessing of Mel and Gary’s home in Lynchburg … They had just done the same to Jerry Fallwell’s church directly across the street, seen in the background

Lynchburg Celebrates the First Ever Pride Fest

Hundreds of Soulforce supporters and residents turn out for "OUT and ABOUT"

(Lynchburg, VA) – Approximately 500 people converged on Riverside Park in Lynchburg, VA on Saturday, October 26, 2002 for "OUT and ABOUT in Lynchburg," the first-ever pride festival in Jerry Falwell’s hometown.

Starting early in the morning, volunteers from Soulforce decorated the park with thousands of rainbow colored balloons, banners, and information tables.

Despite the fear that exists in a community steeped in Christian fundamentalism, dozens of students from Lynchburg-area high schools and colleges came to Riverside Park to check it out. Residents and Soulforce supporters from as far away as Hawaii, enjoyed the beautiful afternoon in the sun together listening to a variety of speakers, singers, a flagger, a guitar player, a poet, and a beautiful female impersonator. The afternoon ended in a powerful meditation and send off.

As the event progressed, you could see the transformation taking place in the students that risked ridicule to come to the park.

Soulforce empowered Lynchburg. Soulforce gave strength to the oppressed. No one here will ever be the same!

Lynchburg Photo Album: October 26, 2002


Soulforcers walk from First Christian Church to Riverside Park, about a mile and a half away, with our colorful banners on display

Festival-goers were greeted by a rainbow arch of balloons at the entrance to the park

Festival attendees enjoy the beautiful day for the first-ever Pride Festival in Lynchburg … it had been raining for two days before but the skies cleared for our party!

Soulforce youth coordinator Jake Reitan, Rev. Roger Zimmerman, pastor of First Christian Church, Rev. Mel White, and Faisal Alam, the founder and director of Al-Fatiha, an international organization for GLBTQ Muslims address a press conference held before the festival began

A rainbow arch of balloons rises high above Riverside Park in Lynchburg during the "Out and About in Lynchburg" pride festival

Mel White talks with a group of local teens who have come to the festival.

Hundreds watch the speakers and entertainment at the festival Saturday afternoon

Scott Schoen entertains with three fabulous country music songs in his red white and blue star-spangled outfit.

David North belts out "I Am Not Ashamed" to the thrilled crowd

Festival-goers join hands as David North leads them in "Let There Be Peace on Earth … and Let it Begin With Me"

Mel White addresses the crowd

The rainbow arch from the park entrance is carried back to First Christian Church, where it adorned the Sanctuary for our Saturday evening training and First Christian’s Sunday morning service.

Second Letter to Bishop Gregory

October 22, 2002

Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, President
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 Fourth St., N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20017

Dear Bishop Gregory:

Greetings and blessings in the spirit of Christ. Mindful of your busy schedule, we are, nonetheless, saddened and disappointed by your continued inability and/or unwillingness to address our grave concerns, answer communications or engage in constructive dialog aimed at honest healing and reconciliation. Our words at last year’s USCCB Conference still echo loudly within the Body of Christ: "Your silence sanctions our suffering."

We are compelled to continue our call for truth, love, and justice on behalf of God’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) children. In light of recent Catholic News Service reports concerning escalated scapgoating and proposed banning of gay priests as an official response/solution to the child-authority abuse issues affecting/infecting the Catholic Church and Beloved Community, the urgency is even more imperative.

As mentioned in our August 22, 2002 letter, Soulforce will once again witness at the upcoming USCCB Conference in Washington, D.C. In the spirit of faithful dissent and reconciliation, know that our direct action, as always, will be guided nonviolently by the power of the Holy Spirit as we respond to your and the USCCB’s actions and/or inactions. We sincerely believe, however, that silence and inaction on either of our parts is neither a Christ-centered nor loving option and would surely be a grave sin.

In keeping with the spirit of Vatican II, we enclose a copy of Mr. Ken Einhaus’ recent letter to you and implore you to break the silence, meet with us, hear our stories and concerns, and help stop the suffering that this crisis continues to create. In short, since time immemorial, God’s GLBT children have brought gifts to the church and the Beloved Community…bless and cherish them.

Following the inspiration of the Soulforce-Dignity direct action in Rome at the close of Jubilee Year 2001, we will carry gifts this year to D.C. for our neighbors-in-need. In addition to our previous requests, we respectfully ask that you, or designated bishop(s), briefly step outside the Conference hotel at noon each day and officially bless the gifts and givers. We intentionally chose 12:00 noon to conveniently coincide with your lunch-break and not conflict with conference business. If inconvenient, however, please let us know and we will gladly change to accommodate your availability.

Our Neighbors-in-Need gifts-giving schedule is as follows:

  • Monday, Nov. 11 (Veteran’s Day): Gifts for our homeless and disabled veteran neighbors.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 12: Gifts for our brothers and sisters living with AIDS.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 13: Gifts for our marginalized, abandoned and abused women and children.

Again, unless mutually agreed otherwise, the blessing of the gifts will take place just outside the USCCB meeting place at noon each day during our noon Liturgy of the Hours. We pray you find it in your heart to open wide the doors of the hotel, if not the Church, and briefly bless the gifts and givers. Needless to say, you and all are invited to attend any of our Liturgy of the Hours.

We ask this in His name and for the glory of God and all God’s children, and remain, your sisters, brothers and neighbors in Christ.

Philippe Beaudette
Richard Murphy
Kara Speltz

CATHOLIC CO-CHAIRS
Soulforce, Inc.

DC 2002 – Alert #3

10/19/02

Dear Soulforce volunteers: Here is the preliminary schedule for our Sunday program. Since many of your are "veterans," we’re creating a split schedule – one for those who are new to Soulforce while, for experienced Soulforce volunteers, an opportunity to greet the Bishops as they start arriving at the Hyatt Hotel on Sunday afternoon. The Sunday schedule looks like this so far:

Sunday, November 10, 2002: Meet at Lutheran Church of the Reformation – 212 E. Capital St., N.E., D.C. – this is a 10 min walk from the Holiday Inn where most of us will be staying.

  • 2 pm Registration
  • 3pm – 3:30 Spirtual preparation
  • 3:30 – 5 pm – DC overview – Assignment of Squads, explanation of anti gay teachings of the Catholic Church
  • 5 – 7 pm – vigil – at the Hyatt by those who are already trained from a previous action
  • 5 – 7 – Introductory training for those who have never attended a Soulforce training program.
  • 7:15 – 7:45 – We will gather again at the Church of the Reformation and order in and break bread together
  • 7:45 -Advance specific training for this direct action and preparation the gifts for the veterans on Monday, November 11th.

We will assign squads as you register. Vigil times for the squads will be assigned Sunday evening at the 7:45 training.

As we did last year, we will be vigiling in the early morning, at noon hour and again at the dinner break.

Once again, we are asking you to bring your shirts from previous Soulforce actions. Those who are newcomers will receive a shirt from one of our previous actions.

Remember that it gets very cold in D.C. in November and especially when you’re vigiling for hours, so bring warm clothes and "long johns" if you have them.

If you haven’t made room reservations at the Holiday Inn, by now, we’d recommend doing so immediately before space runs out. We have a few offers of community housing, so write Kara@Soulforce.org, if you will need community housing.

We are preparing an "Invitation," that will be up on the website, that can be reproduced and we are asking that you spread the word about the opportunity for those who can’t join us to take part in our action, by sending gifts to share.

Don’t forget to send us your letters to your Bishops, and also to start your spiritual preparation for this Journey to Justice.

Philippe, Richard, and Kara

Tensions in Lynchburg Grow as October 25-27 Weekend Approaches

Pro-Gay Events Planned to Empower People of Lynchburg * Falwell’s National Liberty Journal Denounces Soulforce Events as Vile and Destructive * Anti-Gay Rev. Fred Phelps Plans to Protest

MEDIA ALERT – October 17, 2002
For Immediate Release
Contact: Laura Montgomery Rutt
Cell: 717-278-0592
email: soulforcemedia@aol.com

(Lynchburg, VA) – Human rights activists from across the country will be attending a Soulforce-sponsored weekend of pro-gay events in Lynchburg, VA, home of right-wing televangelist Rev. Jerry Falwell.

Soulforce is a national movement committed to ending spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. In keeping with their mission, the weekend of October 25 – 27 is intended to educate, mobilize and empower the people of Lynchburg to stand up to homophobia, heterosexism, and bigotry in their community perpetuated by Christian fundamentalism and the Rev. Jerry Falwell.

In an article titled "When the Soulforce Circus Comes to Town" in the October issue of Falwell’s National Liberty Journal, Soulforce’s influence is called vile and destructive. Fred Phelps, minister of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, KS, will also be coming to Lynchburg that weekend, according to his website. Phelps is known for signs that proclaim, "God Hates Fags," and his anti-gay pickets at funerals of AIDS victims and gay pride events.

Pre-weekend activities

October 22 – 25 Gathering at 10am at the Best Western Hotel
Door to door leafleting in Lynchburg for Soulforce veterans trained in nonviolence

Weekend activities – First Christian Church, 3109 Rivermont Ave (unless otherwise noted)

Fri., October 25: 4:00 p.m. – Registration and Media Check-in
6:30 p.m. – Soulforce Rally and Training in Nonviolence

Sat., October 26: 8:00 a.m. – Coffee
8:30 a.m. – Additional Training in Nonviolence and Civil Disobedience
10:30 a.m. – Workshops on gay issues by national and regional groups
12:00 p.m.- Box lunch and walk to Riverside Park
12:45 p.m. – PRESS CONFERENCE at Riverside Park
Rivermont Ave., (1.1 miles east of the church)
1:00 p.m. – "OUT and ABOUT" Pride Celebration (ends at 4pm) – Information booths, banners, singers, speakers, entertainers.
7:00 p.m. – Teach-in/Spiritual Preparation at First Christian Church

Sun., October 27: 8:00 a.m. – Vigils and Leafleting outside Falwell’s Thomas Road Baptist Church during all Worship Services
1:00 p.m. – Additional activities to be announced

MEDIA ARE INVITED TO ATTEND ALL EVENTS. Media can pre-register at soulforcemedia@aol.com, include contact information. Additional information available at www.soulforce.org.

The Pride Festival at Riverside Park from 1- 4 pm offers the opportunity for photos and extensive interviews with individuals from Lynchburg and across the United States. Organizations participating in "OUT and ABOUT" include Soulforce, Inc., National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, People For the American Way, Human Rights Campaign, Interfaith Working Group, Q-Spirit, Roanoke 7, New Beginnings Christian Church (Richmond), Virginians for Justice, Lynchburg Friends Meeting (Quakers), First Christian Church in Lynchburg, Roanoke Chapter of PFLAG, The Richmond Lesbian and Gay Pride Coalition, Al-Fatiha (LGBTQ Muslims), Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Equal Partners in Faith, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

DC 2002 – Alert #2

10/10/02

Dear D.C. Volunteers:

We’re only a month away from our direct action in Washington, D.C. and our leadership team is hard at work finalizing the plans. Given that recent new reports suggest that the Vatican is about to ban gay priests, we’ve decided to return to our theme from our trip to the Vatican – GOD’S GAY CHILDREN BRING GIFTS, BLESS THEM.

In keeping with that theme each day we will bring gifts to the Hyatt Hotel, where the bishops are meeting and ask the bishops to join us in blessing them.

On Monday, Nov. 11th (Veteran’s Day), we will bring gifts for veterans (either disabled or homeless) and we are coordinating this with several different groups in the D.C. area. We do this to answer the call of caring for our brothers and sisters in need and to remind people that the Vatican has suggested that we, as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people should not be allowed to serve in the military.

Tuesday, November 12th, we will bring gifts to those people who are living with AIDS. We call to mind that the Vatican has fought against the U.N.’s attempt to provide condoms to prevent AIDS in those countries that are being devastated by the disease.

Wednesday, November 13th, we will bring gifts to women and children who have been victims of violence, abuse and abandonment. We recall our visit to the battered women’s shelter in Rome where they told us that they saw our struggle and theirs as one, because the Catholic Church consistently tried to tell them to return home to their husbands and not seek safety and divorce.

Each day we will have a ritual at noon to bless these gifts and then will deliver them to the various agencies. Some suggestions about gifts to bring comes from Jane Ralph who works in D.C. with a women’s group and writes:

"Coffee for one is a huge expense and would be a fairly simple gift idea. Bras & underwear come to mind too – not glamorous but needed. With colder weather coming outer wear of all types – tending toward large sizes are also needed. And any basic household paper products.

We also do a holiday drive called ‘gifts for moms’ – basically collecting gifts for the women with children so they can ‘shop’ for toys and clothes to give to their kids. About 65% of our clients are African American and so we also try to take an afro-centric approach to the gifts – books by African and African American authors, black dolls, items related to Kwanzaa principles, clothes made from kente cloth etc."

For people living with AIDS and homeless and disabled veterans, warm clothing is always a good bet. The D.C. winters can be brutal, at times and people can always use warm thermal socks, blankets, thermocups to keep their coffee warm. Use your imagination, what would you like?

PLEASE TELL YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS ABOUT OUR GIFTS-GIVING PLAN AND INVITE THEM TO PARTICIPATE. If unable to carry the gifts to D.C. yourself, we suggest two alternatives:

  • You may send the gifts to Jane Ralph at 1333 "N" Street N.W, Washington, DC 20005.
  • UPS them to yourself c/o The Holiday Inn (if staying there).
    Clearly label the carton: "Hold For Arriving Guest (your name) on (your arrival date) and get tracking # just in case.

If you select either of the above, be sure to allow ample time for shipping and delivery.

We’re also excited about a campus campaign that Jake Reitan, our young adult coordinator is orchestrating. Jake has created a wonderful 17 min. promotional, called, "The Power of Youth." He has already sent out approximately 30 copies to colleges in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area. If you know someone in that area and you think they could use this to help organize support, please let us know.

To date, we have approximately 40 people pre-registered for D.C., which is slightly larger than last year. With the momentum and attention of Lynchburg, we expect that number will increase as we approach the final weeks. Regardless, we know the witness will once again be spirit-filled and transformational in D.C. and look forward to being and "doing justice" with you there.

Richard, Philippe and Kara – Catholic Co-chairs

PS An important reminder: if you haven’t already written your assigned bishop, please do so today, and remember to send us copies.

Soulforce Announces Weekend "Out and About in Lynchburg"

Events Include First-ever Pride Festival Intended to Make Lynchburg More "Gay-Friendly"

Press Release – October 8, 2002
For Immediate Release
Contact: Laura Montgomery Rutt
Cell: 717-278-0592
email: soulforcemedia@aol.com

Hundreds of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and allied Soulforce supporters and friends from across the nation will gather October 25 – 27, 2002 in Lynchburg, VA, home of far right televangelist Jerry Falwell.

Plans for the weekend include the first-ever gay pride festival in Lynchburg history. The mini-festival with educational materials, entertainment, and speakers, will take place from 1 – 4 on Saturday, October 26, 2002 at Riverside Park on Rivermont Avenue in Lynchburg. Mayor Carl Hutcherson will kick off the event. Additional activities include workshops to educate people about a variety GLBT issues, vigils at Thomas Road Baptist Church, and a picnic in the park with residents of Lynchburg.

Rev. Mel White, co-founder of Soulforce, and his partner Gary Nixon leased a home across the street from Falwell’s Thomas Road Baptist Church last month and have been attending services at the church. Rev. Falwell, who is known for his condemnation of gays and lesbians, Muslims, and others who he deems offensive, has thus far refused to meet with White and Nixon since they became neighbors.

Three years ago, 200 Soulforce volunteers met with 200 members of Thomas Road Baptist Church, but were denied a meal because fundamentalist leaders told Falwell that eating with gays and lesbians violated their religious doctrine. Additionally, Falwell promised to tone down his anti-gay rhetoric, but continues to make fear-based anti-gay statements to the media, from the pulpit, and through fundraising letters.

"OUT and ABOUT is intended to help make Lynchburg more friendly to GLBT people, despite Jerry Falwell’s rhetoric," said Rev. White. "In a city filled with fear, coming out poses great risks because GLBT people can lose their jobs and custody of their children. We are hoping GLBT people and allies will come out to be with us, and support equality for all people everywhere."

Participating organizations include Soulforce, Inc., National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, People For the American Way, Human Rights Campaign, Interfaith Working Group, Q-Spirit, Roanoke 7, New Beginnings Christian Church (Richmond), Virginians for Justice, Lynchburg Friends Meeting (Quakers), First Christian Church – Lynchburg, PFLAG – Roanoke, The Richmond Lesbian and Gay Pride Coalition, Al-Fatiha (GLBTQ Muslims), and Gay/Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

MEDIA – Members of the media are invited to join in the weekend at any time, which begins on Friday night, October 25 and runs through Sunday afternoon, October 27. Additional schedule details are available at:
www.soulforce.org/lynchburg1002/outandabout.shtml.

The Pride Festival at Riverside Park from 1- 4 pm offers the opportunity for photos and extensive interviews with individuals from Lynchburg and across the United States who have come to "make Lynchburg gay-friendly."