Soulforce to be a nonviolent presence at Rev. Beth Stroud’s trial to protest continuing Spiritual Violence by the United Methodist Church against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people

***************************************************************
Soulforce Press Release: November 29, 2004
For Immediate Release
Contact: Laura Montgomery Rutt
Cell: 717-278-0592(media only) laura@soulforce.org
***************************************************************

(Lynchburg, VA) On December 1 – 3, 2004, Rev. Beth Stroud will be facing a trial in the United Methodist Church, not for what she did, but for who she is. Rev. Stroud is a minister at First United Methodist Church of Germantown (FUMCOG) and is being tried because she is an "out" lesbian in a committed relationship. The trial is taking place in Eastern Pennsylvania, at Camp Innabah near Pottstown, PA.

Over the past thirty years, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church has established policies and adopted church laws that discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, denying them opportunity to be ordained clergy and to celebrate loving committed relationships in holy unions.

"The laws of The United Methodist Church are such that gay people who lie about who they are and who they love are welcome to serve the Church by answering God’s call to ministry. However, if they tell the truth, the Church puts them on trial and prosecutes them for being honest," said Rev. Jimmy Creech, Chairperson of the Board of Directors for Soulforce, Inc. "The trial is an act of violence against the essential dignity and integrity of gay people. It is the height of hyprocrisy to punish people for telling the truth."

Soulforce defines spiritual violence as "the misuse of religion to sanction the condemnation and rejection of any of God’s children." The Soulforce mission states it is "committed to ending spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings." Soulforce will be carrying "stop signs" that say "Stop Spiritual Violence" as well as other signs and banners, and vigiling in cooperation with FUMCOG, Reconciling Ministries Network, and the Methodist Federation for Social Action.

Soulforce was also present at the United Methodist church trials of Rev. Jimmy Creech and Rev. Karen Dammann. Rev. Creech, who the Chairperson of the Board of Directors for Soulforce, Inc., was defrocked in 1999 for performing a holy union for two men. Karen Dammann was tried for being a "self-avowed practicing homosexual." Karen was acquitted by a jury in April 2004, in the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference.

Soulforce has been present at many denominational gatherings as well, including the past two General Conference of the United Methodist Church (which meets every 4 years), the past five annual Southern Baptist Conventions and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s annual meeting, the Evangelical Lutheran Church’s (ELCA) Churchwide Assembly, and more. In the past 5 years, over 500 people have been arrested in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience and thousands have been trained in nonviolence. Soulforce teaches and employs the nonviolent principles of Gandhi and King to the liberation of sexual and gender minorities.

MEDIA: This is an excellent photo opportunity, as well as a controversial story. For interviews, contact Laura Montgomery Rutt (717-278-0592). For additional information on the trial of Rev. Beth Stroud, go to www.soulforce.org .


Soulforce, Inc. is a national interfaith movement committed to ending spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals. Soulforce teaches and employs the non-violent principles of Gandhi and King to the liberation of sexual and gender minorities. www.soulforce.org

Direct Action at Annual Meeting of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC

Soulforce, Inc. Continues Two Prong Campaign To Stop Roman Catholic Church Leaders’ Attacks against Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals and Couples

**********************************
Media Alert: November 12, 2004
For Immediate Release
Contact: Laura Montgomery Rutt
Cell 717-278-0592
**********************************

(Lynchburg, VA) – In response to continued attacks against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) individuals and couples, over 50 Soulforce volunteers from as far away as Hawaii and Seattle, will gather in Washington, DC November 14 – 17, in protest of the Roman Catholic’s spiritually violent rhetoric against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) people. The purpose of this direct action is to try to dialogue with Catholic Bishops, change their hearts and minds regarding homosexuality, and beseech them to stop the spiritual violence perpetuated by Roman Catholic religious policies, teachings and anti-gay rhetoric against GLBT people.

This will mark the fifth year in a row that Soulforce has had a presence outside of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) annual meeting. Last week, 150 people vigilled outside local Catholic chanceries in 11 cities across the United States, to increase the pressure on Bishops to meet with supporters of Soulforce to discuss the Catholic Church’s misguided and antiquated policies against GLBT people and couples. The Catholic Church was one of the main proponents of the proposed anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment that sought to limit the civil rights of GLBT people and write discrimination into the U.S. Constitution.

WHO: Over 50 Soulforce supporters from all across the United States

WHAT: Direct Action and vigils (with signs and banners)
during the annual meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

WHERE: Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Avenue, in Washington DC

WHEN: Sunday, November 14, 2004, beginning at 5pm, and continuing through Wednesday afternoon, November 17.
Nov. 14 (Sunday) vigil: 5pm – 7pm (Hyatt Regency)
Nov. 15 – Nov. 17 (Mon., Tues., and Wed.) vigils: 7:15am – 9:15am, and 11:30am – 1:30pm (Hyatt Regency)
Nov. 15 – Nov. 16 (Monday and Tuesday) vigils: 8pm – 10pm (Hyatt Regency)
Nov. 15 (Monday) vigil before the Mass at the National Basilica at 5pm
and vigil at Papal Nuncio (3339 Massachusetts Ave, NW) immediately following the Mass at National Basilica

WHY: To try to dialogue with Catholic Bishops, concerning the devastating effects of their anti-gay rhetoric and their outspoken support of the now-defeated Federal Marriage Amendment, to change their hearts and minds regarding homosexuality, and beseech them to stop the spiritual violence perpetuated by Roman Catholic religious policies, teachings and anti-gay rhetoric against GLBT people. Additionally, by standing up to one’s oppressors, supporters renew their spirits and empower others to do the same.

MEDIA: This is an excellent photo-op and controversial story. Excellent footage for news video, shots for still photos, and story for newsprint.

Soulforce, Inc. is a national interfaith movement committed to ending spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals. Soulforce teaches and employs the non-violent principles of Gandhi and King to the liberation of sexual and gender minorities. www.soulforce.org

Action Alert: November 11, 2004

SPIRITUAL VIOLENCE BY THE UNITED METHODIST (UM) CHURCH CONTINUES….

THE TRIAL OF UM MINISTER REV. BETH STROUD, December 1-3, 2004 in Eastern Pennsylvania

JOIN SOULFORCE IN EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA TO VIGIL WITH BETH’S SUPPORTERS from First United Methodist Church of Germantown, the Methodist Federation for Social Action, and Reconciling Ministries Network

(November 11, 2004) The United Methodist Church will be conducting another trial, December 1-3, 2004 in Eastern Pennsylvania. Rev. Beth Stroud, minister of First United Methodist Church of Germantown came out as a lesbian in a committed relationship in a sermon April 27, 2003. Additionally, Beth and her partner Chris had a committment ceremony at Tabernacle United Church in October of 2000.

Soulforce will be present at the trial, which is taking place at Camp Innabah , near Pottstown Pennsylvania. Our plans are to vigil along side of supportive members of First United Methodist Church of Germantown, members of the Methodist Federation for Social Action, and members of the Reconciling Ministries Network.

No civil disobedience will take place, however, we will be wearing our Soulforce shirts/sweatshirts and carrying Soulforce Banners.

Please consider joining us to show your support for Beth, to bring attention to the spiritual violence being committed by the United Methodist Church, and to stand up against our own oppression, while renewing our spirits and empowering others to do the same.

Please let us know you are going to be joining us by registering online.

If you are unable to join us, please consider supporting us financially and help us to end spiritual violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.

Soulforce is a national interfaith movement committed to ending spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. We teach and employ the nonviolent principles of Gandhi and King to the liberation of sexual and gender minorities. www.soulforce.org

Soulforce Open Letter to Bishop Yeakel, Presiding Officer for the Trial Court

November 11, 2004

Bishop Joseph H. Yeakel
14137 Windy Haven Road
Smithburg, MD 21783

Dear Bishop Yeakel,

We write you concerning the upcoming trial of Beth Stroud with respect for both you and for Beth. We know of your courageous stand at the General Conference of 1996 as one of the “Denver 15” Bishops who expressed conscientious dissent from the anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) policies of the United Methodist Church (UMC), and we are aware that you and the other Bishops who joined you paid a price for that stand. We also deeply respect the integrity, courage and truthfulness of Beth Stroud for insisting that this painful trial will be open to the public. We appeal to you and all clergy participants in the trial to heed the voice of conscience and refuse to cooperate with church practices and policies that inflict spiritual violence. If this trial goes forward, Soulforce intends to be present at the trial in solidarity with Beth, her congregation, her friends and family.

We want to alert you, in all candor, that we oppose this trial as an act of spiritual violence against all LGBT persons. It is an act of spiritual violence even if somehow it is possible to acquit Beth. It is spiritual violence because it signals to all LGBT persons, their families and friends that the United Methodist Church considers their most intimate family life, their same gender committed relationships (and, yes, their same gender marriages) to be “chargeable offenses,” “incompatible with Christian teaching” and (according to the official action of the 2004 General Conference) “immorality.” LGBT persons are subjected to spiritual violence when the UMC indicts them in this way, erecting barriers to their spiritual journeys within the Church, even ending their spiritual journeys altogether, and contributing to a generally hostile religious and cultural environment affecting all LGBT persons, their families and loved ones.

We view Beth Stroud’s witness in submitting to this trial as an act of voluntary redemptive suffering. This is a courageous, voluntary act that seeks to expose the violence of the Church and the suffering of LGBT persons in such a way that hearts might be changed, the Church healed, and anti-LGBT violence ended. We hope that hearts will be changed in a way that moves the participants in this trial to refuse to go forward with this act of spiritual violence, and to put an end to such trials once and for all.

We found it moving that Beth, in her sermon of April 27, 2003, compared her relationship to her Annual Conference with her relationship to her family. She shared with us all that it was difficult to come out to her family. Indeed, most LGBT people in our culture find it difficult, if not impossible to come out to their families. It is not at all unheard of for families to reject and cast out their LGBT members, often leaving even their LGBT children homeless. The United Methodist Social Principles have recognized and named as wrong this cultural pattern of rejection by families. In the same sentence the Social Principles implores both families and churches not “to reject or condemn” their lesbian or gay members. Alas, our Book of Discipline is not always consistent with itself – and so it seems to mandate these clergy trials that enact before the world the church’s self-contradictory rejection of LGBT persons. New provisions in the 2004 Discipline defining the chargeable offense of “immorality” may soon lead to trials and expulsions from the church family of lay members as well.

It might have been technically correct that you cited in this case the Judicial Council decision that requires members of a Committee of Investigation who are “unwilling to uphold The Discipline for reasons of conscience or otherwise” to step aside. But surely Luther was fundamentally correct when he famously said “to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.” The Judicial Council and the United Methodist Church cannot be right as long as they require people to go against conscience. Therefore, we appeal to you, Bishop, and all the members of the Trial Court to search your consciences and simply refuse to go forward with this trial. As Gandhi said, “It is as much my duty to refuse to cooperate with evil as it is to cooperate with good.”

Sincerely

Steven E. Webster, Co-chair, Soulforce United Methodist Team

The Rev. Marylee Fithian, Co-chair, Soulforce United Methodist Team

Jimmy Creech, Chairperson, Soulforce Board of Directors

CC:
Bishop Peter Weaver
Bishop Marcus Matthews

Synopsis of the Soulforce 蔘�ational Call to Prayer and Vigils蔘 which took place on November 9, 2004

Over 200 people participated in 11 vigils across the United States in the Soulforce “National Call to Prayer and Vigils”.

Photo by Patsy Lynch

This day of actions, organized by Soulforce, Inc, in conjunction with Licensed Affiliated Soulforce Local Groups and two independent organizations took place on November 9, 2004 at local Catholic Chanceries. Each group tried to establish dialogue with their local Catholic Bishops first, and when requests to ignored or denied, vigils took place. In Oklahoma and Cleveland, the Bishop granted the request, so no vigils took place and the opportunity to dialogue looks promising. The reports below areincredibly hopeful and joyous, and direct quotes from the reports are used whenever possible.

St. Louis, Mo: A group called Catholic Action Network for Social Justice had 107 participants, the largest vigil that took place that day. Their report states: "We’re in conversation about how to proceed, but the vigil really helped us build some new relationships. Thanks for all your work." Pictures of the vigil are viewable at: http://www.catholicactionnetwork.org/site/more.php?id=116_0_13_0_M

Philadelphia: Local group leaders report:

"The Philadelphia vigil at the Chancery of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia started at 9:15 a.m. and ended at 2:00 p.m. On a VERY cold and blustery day we had 13 people there by about 10:30 a.m. Throughout the day there were a total of 25 people who participated. There were four Soulforce reps and one local Dignity (gay Catholic organization) rep there the whole day. All others were there an hour or more and included an ELCA (Evangelical Church in America) minister and ELCA church administrator, an ordained American Baptist woman, a former Catholic priest and retired teaching priest, and a Call To Action (Catholic gay-affirming organization) member."

 

New York City: Over a dozen members of SOULFORCENYC, as well as supporting organizations, spent the day standing vigil outside of Cardinal Egan’s offices in New York City. They passed out over 1000 pieces of literature that explained Soulforce’s position to those on the street and working in the building.

San Francisco: The local group had 16 people from various backgrounds in the morning vigil and another 7 for the afternoon vigil. "Half of the group was from the local group and about half came from other sources. The local Dignity chapter has grown to be an exemplary support to San Francisco Soulforce. I believe we had 4-5 people from Dignity turnout for the morning event. Two members of our local group met for an hour with Chancery officials, the next day. The Chancery had not met with any LGBT group in approximately ten years, according to officials there.”

Denver: "Twelve of us participated and, as we stood along Colfax with our signs and candles, I looked down the line and was filled with awe because I knew I was witnessing the power and presence of the Spirit. There really are few words to describe the feeling that comes from knowing you’ve "taken a stand" and are part of something that will ultimately help countless numbers of people. In any event, I’m so excited that our local community has been able to demonstrate its resilience and determination to become part of the nonviolent struggle for justice and full equality so close on the heels of what was a devastating election result for so many," stated the report from Denver.

Soulforce Atlanta Vigil

Atlanta: Eight people showed up for the vigil in Atlanta. The vigil was silent, peaceful and without incident. We all carried signs and three of us wore our Soulforce shirts. A few persons inquired what our purpose was in holding the vigil. We had a good response from local press and gave interviews to the Associated Press; PBS, local affiliates of ABC and CBS as well as the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Albuquerque: The local group in Albuquerque reported: “We could certainly feel the energy from all over the nation in our vigil yesterday. In was cold and rainy here, but souls and hearts were warm, holding a place of silent commitment to the truth. We vigiled here from 3-5 at the Chancellery Office, located near St. Pius X High school, so there was a lot of activity and a lot of traffic by our place of vigil. Jean, Peter, Brian and Virginia held signs and talked to the many people who came over to ask us what "spiritual violence" was? Most were supportive and appreciative that we were there."

Detroit: The local group leader in Detroit reports: "To my amazement, we had nearly 3 times as many people show up as I anticipated. I had purchased (optimistically) 15 glow sticks, and we used them all. One woman drove all the way in from Albion, MI, which is nearly 2 hours from Detroit. All in all, we had about 9 first-time participants in a Soulforce action. Before we left, we gathered on the steps of the cathedral and prayed, each person was invited to add their words as they were moved to do so. Then we disbanded and went home.”

Los Angeles: Seventeen people from Soulforce Orange County and Metropolitan Community Church Los Angeles vigiled at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles, throughout the morning and noon masses. Hundreds of people took our literature and thousands saw our signs and banners, many cars with horns honking in support. Several people said, as they left after Mass "We prayed for what you’re doing in there … thank you for being here!" A short video of the press conference that was held can be seen at http://www.mcclatv.org/soulforce.htm. It can be streamed (by left clicking) or downloaded for later viewing (by right clicking).

Venice, Fla. Seven members stood in front of the Catholic Diocese of Venice on Tuesday holding sings that read, "Stop Spiritual Violence." Luann Conaty, organizer of the local vigil stated: "Our goal of this particular vigil is to remind the bishops of the truth …We’re all God’s children. It’s time for them to stand up and say this persecution needs to stop."

Arlington, Va. Three vigiled in the morning and a total of five in the afternoon.

Soulforce is a national interfaith movement committed to ending spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. We teach and employ the nonviolent principles as taught by Gandhi and King to the liberation of sexual and gender minorities.www.soulforce.org

Why I stood Vigil November 9, 2004 during the Soulforce National Day of Prayer and Vigils

by Chris Hubble

On April 3rd, 2001, a Texas jury sentenced 17-year-old Jon Paul Marsh to 70 years in prison for killing Nathan Mayoral, a 14-year-old friend and intimate companion. When questioned by police, Marsh related how his religious upbringing condemned homosexuality and described himself as an “abomination”. Marsh, who had been in “therapy”, felt that the killing was necessary because his relationship with Mayoral was "the last thing keeping me hating myself".

This three-year-old story still serves as a heartbreaking reminder of the core issues the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community faces in its struggle for justice and full equality. For a more current reminder of the role religious-based, antigay rhetoric and activism plays in this struggle, one need only study the results of the recent presidential election. Same-sex marriage bans were placed on the ballot in eleven states. All eleven passed. In Ohio, where President Bush won by a mere 136,483 votes, volunteers from 17,000 churches across the state collected 60% of the signatures necessary to place “Issue 1” on the ballot, registered 30,000 new voters, and conducted a massive get-out-the-vote drive. Because non-profit organizations are not barred from participating in non-partisan campaigns, these efforts were perfectly legal… and instrumental to Bush’s reelection efforts.

It should now be clear that the untruths about LGBTs propagated by religious policies and teachings DO matter a great deal to our collective struggle. The misguided notion that the Bible (or God) condemns sexual minorities is rooted in the mistranslation, misinterpretation, and misrepresentation of a ridiculously small handful of biblical passages. For nearly 30 years, theologians and scholars have debunked and refuted the “Terror Texts”. In fact, in 1983, over two decades ago, when it commissioned a study of the issue, the National Council of Churches could find no credible Biblical scholars willing to argue that the Bible condemns sexual minorities. Yet, the debate rages on. And the Catholic Church hierarchy has taken an active, leadership role in its fight against civil marriage equality.

Soulforce, Inc., a nationwide interfaith movement “committed to ending spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals,” recently issued a National Call for Prayer and Vigils on November 9th as part of its nonviolent campaign to “end Roman Catholic Church leaders’ attacks” against our community. I was proud to participate in the vigil on November 9th because the rhetoric and actions of the Catholic Church hierarchy lead directly to the continuing denial of full equality for the LGBT community… and because my conscience demanded that I no longer remain silent.

Those of us who stood vigil on November 9th expected that we might elicit some hostile reactions. As we were preparing to leave after the conclusion of the vigil, a woman approached us and told us that we really should have attended the Mass inside; that the readings and sermon were about how the body is the temple of the Lord; that the worst form of spiritual violence is defiling the Spirit’s temple through acts of sexual immorality. But the power of nonviolence spoke through our response… we simply thanked her for sharing with us and treated her with dignity and respect.

We were encouraged to also receive many supportive responses. One woman walking by with her young son pointed to us and told him, "Look… those people are standing up for something they believe in and that’s what America is all about." Others were honking from their cars and giving us the "thumbs up" as they drove by. Still others thanked us as they walked past.

The nonviolent vigil at the Cathedral Basilica was only a beginning. I am convinced that our movement must adopt more persuasive and provocative approaches in our struggle for justice. I am similarly convinced that nonviolent methods of resistance are no longer an option… they have become an absolute necessity. Martin Luther King, Jr. once wrote that, “the Gandhian method of nonviolence was one of the most potent weapons available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom,” (“Pilgrimage to Nonviolence” as published in Christian Century, 1960).

And Henry David Thoreau, in his essay titled “Civil Disobedience”, wrote: “A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority… but it is irresistible when it clogs [the machine] by its whole weight.” The machinations of right-wing religious and political groups, bent on denying full equality to our community, may at present appear unstoppable. But our opponents will soon discover the LGBT community’s resilience and determination… and that all reactionary movements ultimately fail.

Chris Hubble
LGLProject@msn.com
http://www.hubblebooks.com/justice/

Tentative Schedule for Washington DC 2004

(This is a tenative schedule, and is subject to change without notice)

Nov. 9 – Vigils at local chanceries

Sun. Nov. 14, 2004- Sunday
2 pm Registration – First Trinity Lutheran Church – 4th & E Streets, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20001
3 – 3:30 Spiritual 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 at previous actions
5 – 7 – Introductory training for those who have never attended a Soulforce training program.
7 pm – 8pm Share dinner together @ First Trinity
8pm-9:30 – Advance specific training for this direct action

Nov. 15, 2004 – Monday
6:45am – Meet at First Trinity
7:15 am – Process to Hyatt
7:15am – 9:15 vigil at Hyatt
11:30 – 1:30 vigil @ Hyatt
5:00 – Vigil at Bishops Mass (1 squad to stay @Hyatt)
8:00 – 10 pm vigil at the Hyatt

Nov. 16, 2004 – Tuesday
6:45 am – Meet at First Trinity
7:15 am – Process to Hyatt
7:15 am – 9:15 vigil at Hyatt
11:30 – 1:30 vigil @ Hyatt
5:00 pm – Peace Mass celebrated by Bishop Gumbleton at St. Aloysius, North Capitol and Eye Sts., NW
1 squad to stay @ Hyatt
8:00 – 10 pm Return to vigil

Nov. 17, 2004 – Wednesday
6:45 am – Meet at First Trinity
7:15 am – Process to Hyatt
7:15 am – 9:15 vigil at Hyatt
11:30 – 1:30 vigil @ Hyatt
1:30 pm – Process to First Trinity for closing
Closure at First Trinity

Soulforce Message from Jimmy Creech, November 4, 2004

Dear Friends,

The reelection of George W. Bush and the passage of constitutional marriage amendments in eleven states is sobering, if not depressing. Religious fundamentalism is the big winner. Truth, equality, compassion, freedom, and diversity are the losers. A large majority of US citizens has affirmed the political momentum toward U.S. military and ideological domination of the world, continued assault upon the environment, increasing disparity between the rich and poor, denigration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, abrogation of civil liberties, … the list goes on.

What are we to do?

We have to keep working for what we know to be true, just, and righteous. We have no other choice. To stop is not only spiritual suicide, it’s complicity with our own oppression and the oppression of others.

Don’t let go of your rage, your anger. Your rage is a sign you’re alive and well, and understand what’s happening! Don’t let it destroy you, but use it to fuel you passion for justice, your compassion for the oppressed, and your demand for respect and equality.

In spite of the euphoria and confidence George W. Bush and his supporters feel today, our country is moving toward crisis. Crisis opens the door to new possibilities. We cannot see these new possibilities in the fog of the moment, but they are there. Our job is to keep preparing the way for them by embodying truth, compassion, justice, freedom, dignity, and nonviolence in our own lives, by continuing to hold accountable leaders and institutions that do spiritual and civil violence to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, and by working in the political process to resist tyranny and to bring about change. We must be steadfast and persistent.

The struggle will be long and hard, and there may be little if any success for us to see for some time to come. We struggle in hope, not in certainty. Hope is born of our belief in what is true, good, and righteous, not in confidence of victory. I can offer you no comfort, no solace, except to say that we are not alone in this struggle. We have each other, a glorious community spread across this land. We have the witness of history that teaches us that social and progressive change has always occurred because of the groaning, pushing, and striving of a minority, never the majority; of the oppressed, never the oppressor. And, the God who created us, loved us into being and loves us still, is with us and won’t bail out on us.

Soulforce will continue the fight to end spiritual violence. We will not despair or be discouraged. We count on you to stand with us!

Blessings on all of you!
Jimmy Creech, Chairperson
Soulforce Board of Directors


Soulforce, Inc. is a national interfaith movement committed to ending spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals. Soulforce teaches and employs the non-violent principles of Gandhi and King to the liberation of sexual and gender minorities. www.soulforce.org