Words of Support for the Equality Act from an 81-year-old former CR Movement "Foot Soldier"

I, as one who attended the March on Washington, participated in Mississippi Freedom Summer, two phases of the Selma to Montgomery March, and the Poor People's Campaign, am very pleased with legislation that will protect the rights of LGBTQ persons. Martin Luther King once said about laws against lynching, "A law may not make a man love me, but it will discourage him from lynching me." My Christian faith compels me to link love to justice. I am saddened that some of my Christian colleagues do not understand that their opposition to legal justice for LGBTQ persons and same-gendered-loving couples contradicts their claim to "love the sinner, but hate the sin". Love that does not express itself in justice is not authentic love.

I, as an African American, am deeply disturbed that much of the faith-based resistance to LGBTQ persons is much like the faith-based racial segregation I experienced as I lived in North Carolina, Texas, and South Carolina. Sadly, as I observe religious bigotry expressing itself cloaked in religious freedom, I cannot help but respond by saying, "The more things change, the more they remain the same".

The Equality Act represents an understanding that both the nation and we who are people of faith affirm the God-given humanity of all people, regardless of who they are or who they love.

Gilbert H. Caldwell A retired United Methodist Minister Co-Participant in Truth in Progress, producers of the documentary film in process; "From Selma to Stonewall - Are We There Yet?" Asbury Park, NJ

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We may celebrate the anniversary of the Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964, a campaign for voting rights for African American, can be dismantled in 2013. That the advances in women's health is still open for debate. While marriage equality moves forward, lesbian and straight women still earn less for the same job a man does. What do all these things have in common? They call for millions of people to purposely cross racial, gender, sexual orientation and religious views and rise up together to demand equal protection and voice to ALL people.

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Each of these moments in 1964 has a story behind it -of civil rights workers who knew the risks but took them anyway, of the unexplainable evil acts that pure hatred fueled, and of people who found a way out of no way. Fannie Lou Hamer was amazing in what she faced throughout her life, but she fought until the end for justice for she had seen the horrid realities of injustice.We remember, we listen to what is hard to hear, and we honor those who have taught us well. Could they have even imagined that 50 years later, their stories would be told?

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