Religion-based Prejudice is the Maine Problem

Next week voters in Maine will decide to keep or repeal a law passed earlier this year that granted marriage equality to same-sex couples.  By all estimates, the vote will be extremely tight and those who stand for equality are not taking anything for granted.  Neither are those who support discrimination based on false religion.

The main opposition to marriage equality in Maine comes, not surprisingly, from the Roman Catholic Church, the National Organization for Marriage (a conservative Christian group that has financed horrifically deceptive television ads and misleading campaigns in several other states) and other such religious groups.  The New York Times reported yesterday that students from Brigham Young University (a frequent stop on the Soulforce Equality Ride) are volunteering for the campaign to repeal equality, and that it is quite possible same-sex couples in Maine could lose their newly gained right to marry.

Soulforce encourages everyone to support Protect Maine Equality as they work tirelessly in these final days of the campaign to insure that bigotry is defeated and fairness is upheld.

Soulforce is dedicated, more than ever, to nonviolently confronting religion-based prejudice and changing hearts and minds across the country – especially those within communities of faith.  In these difficult economic times we are counting on your loyal support and ask you to make a donation today to help us continue our critical work. 

       

                                                                                                                         

An IN THE LIFE Special Presentation: Preacher悊芍裝兇s Sons

To watch a preview, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S85d7SoNXoA

Over 500,000 children in the United States are in foster care. More than 100,000 children await adoption.  Despite this growing need, six states currently ban gay adoption.  

This November, IN THE LIFE presents the introductory excerpt of the film “Preacher’s Sons” a provocative, real-life story about The Stewarts:  five troubled boys – pulled from the train wreck of foster care, and the two men who are now their fathers. This intimate look at an unlikely family transcends all political convictions, revealing the struggles, humor and love that unites all families. Filmmaker, C Roebuck Reed shares her experience making this film about a non-traditional family and gay adoption.

IN THE LIFE’s Special Presentation of Preacher’s Sons will begin airing November 1stand be available for free video streaming and downloadable podcasts from the IN THE LIFE website on November 2nd. To find out when it will air in your local area, to stream or download it, go to www.inthelifetv.org

       

                                                                                                                         

Jeff Lutes joins Peggy Campolo and Jay Bakker at Open Door Community Church

During the weekend of October 16-18, 2009, Jeff Lutes joined friends Peggy Campolo and Jay Bakker at the Open Door Community Church Fall Conference in Sherwood, Arkansas.  On the invitation of Pastor Randy McCain, Jeff delivered the Saturday morning message and spoke later that evening during a special service honoring Jay Bakker, son of Jimmy and Tammy Faye Bakker.

Jeff shared his experience of seeing Tammy Faye in a Charlotte, North Carolina shopping mall while he was a graduate student in 1985.  "Little did I know that 20 years later I would lead Soulforce, befriend Jay, and collaborate with him in an effort to create dialogue between LGBT families and Joel Osteen, Bill Hybels, and Rick Warren," Jeff said.  Jeff spoke of his love for Jay and his gratitude for Jay’s willingness to take a stand for the LGBT community despite great personal costs and sacrifices.  Jeff closed his comments by saying "Sorry Jay, but when I think of you, three letters will always come to mind . . . . PTL!"

Jay was this year’s recipient of the Peggy Campolo Carrier Pigeon Award.  Several years ago, Peggy told Pastor McCain that she sees herself as a "carrier pigeon between the misunderstood and the misinformed."  Soon thereafter, Open Door began an annual tradition of honoring those who courageously advance love, understanding, and justice for LGBT people.  Photos of the weekend can be viewed at http://www.flickr.com/photos/revolutionnyc/sets/72157622628371932/.  Information about One Punk Under God, a Sundance documentary about Jay Bakker, can be found at http://www.sundancechannel.com/onepunk/

       

                                                                                                                         

Soulforce Holds an Interactive Workshop in Nonviolent Resistance during National Equality March Weekend

Oct 10, 2009, 2:30-5:30PM
HRC, 1640 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC

This workshop will be led by Bill Carpenter, Director of National Actions, and Chris Hubble, an LGBT activist with Soulforce-Colorado.  Participants in this workshop will join a dynamic conversation that will introduce them to an understanding of the incredible power and potential that lies in the principles of nonviolent resistance and the history of nonviolent movements. Participants will also be empowered to apply this knowledge in their communities in the struggle for social and economic justice for all people.

An introduction to the Tool Kit contained in the new website www.nonviolence4equality.org will further enable participants to return to their respective communities and immediately begin grassroots organizing for nonviolent social transformation. Participants in this workshop will engage with the subject matter utilizing a variety of experiential learning methods.

Bill Carpenter and Chris Hubble Train National Equality March Activists in the Philosophy and Practice of Nonviolent Strategies. Jeff Lutes, Bruce Bastian, and Rev. Dr. Mel White at the National Equality March