Rev. Dr. Cindi Love: The Lutheran Church Embraces the LGBTQ Community!

Our Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Cindi Love wrote a piece for The Huffington Post titled "The Lutheran Church Embraces the LGBTQ Community!"

George Bernard Shaw once said, "Certainly all great truths begin as blasphemies." On April 11, 2010, those who identify as people of faith and as "non-heterosexual" were given particular cause to celebrate Shaw’s wisdom: a most unlikely church has given a most unlikely people a gift of love and truth, and I cannot stop smiling.

After twenty-five years of deliberation, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Church Council has abolished its anti-gay policies, effective immediately. Following from discussions at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly last summer, the ELCA will now allow people in same-sex relationships to serve as rostered leaders. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) human beings are no longer considered abominations but blessed church members with full standing. Same-sex partners and families can now fully participate in the ELCA Pension Plan.

Best of all, the ELCA is reinstating people who were removed from ministry positions because they were truthful and came out of the closet, as well as those who conducted holy unions for non-heterosexual couples. The ELCA has practiced restorative justice. 

Well said, Cindi! Read the full article on The Huffington Post

Clergy Call for Justice and Equality, Washington, DC

April 16-17, 2007

 

I am Rev. Dr. Cindi Love, author of Would Jesus Discriminate?  The 21st Century Question, Executive Director of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) and an ordained minister of a gospel of good news delivered by a subversive Rabbi — a Teacher named Jesus Christ.  The good news Jesus delivered is this — the Divine is in each one of us — we are the beloved people and children and family of God and nothing can separate us from that love. And, as children of God, we are not to be muzzled like oxen. We are worthy of our labor — worthy for hire. (1 Timothy 5:18)
As a pastor, I am often the first person called after a partner or other family member when a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person loses a job.  People in our community get to process all of the same stages of grief about losing a job that other people do, but they have to do so without benefit of the protection of law and with the added burden of being fired just for being who they were born to be.  We get to go home and tell our spouses and our children the bad news that the pay check isn’t coming not because we did a bad job or even because of sanctioned layoffs in a down economy but because of whom we are.

As a pastor and a citizen of the United States, I believe we have a moral and civic responsibility to say once and for all, stop discrimination in the workplace against people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual  and transgender.  My great-grandfather would have said, "Let me earn my keep and you earn yours."  Let me share a personal story with you.

My spouse, Sue, and I have been together 29 years.  She retired early in 2005 from a small public school district in Texas after a life-time of distinguished service as an elementary counselor.  She decided it was time to retire when the superintendent of schools asked her to remove a Human Rights Campaign sticker from the back of her car. A school board member had suggested that this sticker meant Sue was gay. She told him that the sticker was about human rights and, by the way, she was gay and she wasn’t going to take the sticker off until there was no more need for it in this country. Until that incident, we never felt afraid for her — even though the neighborhood where she worked was a high-crime area.  Now the real risk of harm felt like it could come from her co-workers or supervisors or one of the fundamentalist church goers who represented a large population of the parents.  And, we knew and we know today that no one would do anything if someone hurt her—beat her up as she left school at night or raped her to prove that she could be "cured" of her lesbianism.

We are also here today to remind our neighbors and legislators that hate crimes legislation is not about limiting free speech, but about limiting real acts that terrorize, maim and kill real people in our communities. It is time for equal protection under the law for employment and for hate crimes protection to include sexual orientation, gender identity and disability.  Now is time to do the right thing.

Announcing Our New Executive Director: Rev. Dr. Cindi Love

Rev. Dr. Cindi LoveRev. Dr. Cindi Love begins her new duties as Executive Director for USA based nonprofit, SOULFORCE, Inc. on April 22, 2010. Throughout its 12-year history, SOULFORCE has used the principles and practices of Mohandas Gandhi’s and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s relentless nonviolent resistance and direct action to bring attention to and achieve freedom from religious and political oppression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning people.

Founded by Rev. Dr. Mel White and Gary Nixon in 1998, the first gathering of the SOULFORCE community of volunteers was held in 1999 to protest the anti-gay rhetoric of Rev. Jerry Falwell. Soulforce Equality Riders are currently on a 16-city tour across the south, northeast, and midwest of the USA to bring a message of hope and affirmation to students at colleges with oppressive policies toward LGBTQ students. In July 2010, SOULFORCE will attend the 219th Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly and bring its unique witness for truth and justice to the voting members and other attendees.
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Dr. Cindi Love brings a wide range of leadership, management and organizational experience to her new role as SOULFORCE’s Executive Director. From January 2005 until April 2009, she served as the Executive Director of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC). Prior to MCC, she served as an Executive Dean in the third largest community college system in the United States, as a Senior Executive of The Toro Company (NYSE:TTC) and CEO and Founder of several award winning corporations, including one named to the INC 500 in 1990. In 1990, Dr. Love was named one of the "Top 50 Entrepreneurs" in North America by Inc. Magazine, the Young Entrepreneur’s Organization, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Love is the creator of the Would Jesus Discriminate? campaign and author of a book by the same name.

"I am really excited that Dr. Cindi Love has accepted the call to serve as Executive Director of SOULFORCE," said the Reverend Dr. Mel White, co-founder of SOULFORCE. "She is the ideal person to continue to lead our non-violent struggle to end misuse of scripture and religion to discriminate against God’s LGBTQ children."

Chuck Phelan, Chair of the Board of SOULFORCE said, "As SOULFORCE transitions from its entrepreneurial stage of development, we are delighted to have Dr. Love in this crucial position of leadership. She brings a unique sensitivity to the issues facing both the LGBTQ rights and civil rights movements. She fully embraces the essential need to engage people in understanding the intersectionality of oppression, particularly within the context of organized religion and its contributions to institutionalized and systemic racism, heterosexism, classism and sexism."

Rev. Gil Caldwell, member of the SOULFORCE Advisory Board, said, "I am convinced as never before that the nation, faith community and beyond needs SOULFORCE! The alienation between and among persons for racial, gender, sexual orientation, political, religious, regional, class, age and other reasons is as great today as I have seen in my 76 years. I am thrilled to hear that Soulforce is committed to challenge anti-black racism as an important component of the fulfillment of its mission. We welcome Rev. Dr. Love to this work and to our SOULFORCE community of activists." Rev. Caldwell is a retired United Methodist Minister who participated in the "Mississippi Freedom Summer" of 1964, the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965, and the March on Washington.

More of Rev. Dr. Cindi Love

Cindi speaks to C-SPAN regarding her book Would Jesus Discriminate?

Rev. Love delivered the 2009 Clergy Call for Justice & Equality in Washington, DC

Cindi with the 2010 Equality Riders
Rev Dr Cindi Love with the 2010 Equality Riders

Leave a message for Cindi

We invite you to welcome Cindi Love into her new role as Executive Director by leaving a comment on our blog.

Press Inquiries

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Phone (888-326-5610)
cindi@soulforce.org