Marilyn - Part II Inside of Hate: Uganda

I wish I had a magic wand. I hate the fear, the violence, and the public exposure that puts LGBT people in harm's way. We must distill lessons from you and others who lived through the time of Jim Crow laws, the Civil Rights Movement, and still contend with racist landscapes. We must also learn from leaders such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu who sees the anti-gay law in Uganda as equal to Nazi Germany and apartheid-era South Africa. We must listen to those who have survived beatings, firings, and estrangement from families and faith for being LGBT. Most of all, we must dare to cross barriers and join forces so that our voices are stronger, louder, and more powerful. Yes, those of us who have been wounded by discrimination and the many and assorted travesties of life must become healers, Nouwen’s “wounded healers.” We must not be slow to this. Now is the time to speak out.

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Film "Love Heals Homophobia": American Christians FIGHTING anti-gay laws in 76 countries worldwide

Most Americans have no idea what is going on in the Christian communities of Africa and the Caribbean. Too many American churches support anti-LGBT laws as seen in Nigeria, Uganda, and Ethiopia where even Campus Crusade for Christ is pushing for the death penalty for homosexuals. Genuine Christians from America must counter what the extreme fundamentalists are exporting. The truth needs to go out to the millions of people who have been misled with lies about LGBT people.

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Marilyn to Gil: Do the millions of United Methodists understand the discrimination their church inflicts?

Gil, how could a simple majority not decisively vote to end the suffering? It was after their vote that the second group that you were a part of was arrested from the stage where you stood between the delegates and the bishops, taken away by officers of the Cleveland police. Later, as I signed the papers for each of the 28 of you to get out on bail, the clerk said to me, “The Klan was here a few months ago. No one arrested them.” I believe Jesus would have wept at this sorrow.

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An "Open Letter" to my Younger Sister Marilyn: What is the future of the United Methodist Church?

Is the United Methodist Church going to continue to be in partnership with Uganda in its language and legislation regarding homosexuality, or will it soon partner with South Africa? On December 23, 2013, the Ugandan Parliament passed legislation that punishes certain acts of homosexuality with life in prison. (At this writing, the President of Uganda has not signed the bill.) South Africa on the other hand, guarantees in its Constitution gay and lesbian rights and same sex marriage.

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Will Hillary Clinton's membership in the United Methodist Church harm her?

The U.S Supreme Court has struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and 17 states and the District of Columbia have made legal same sex marriage and there is growing support for marriage equality in the USA. Will the United Methodist Church continue to support legislation that is at variance with the equality and equal access ideals and practices that are essential to the United States of America?

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Marilyn Bennett, Gil Caldwell, Truth in Progress, and THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

But, it was Marilyn and her persistence about our going to Selma that caused me to make Martin Luther King's words; "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere", become almost a mantra for me as I have sought, through Truth in Progress, to explore the relationship between racism and heterosexism. In this time when the Supreme Court issued rulings favoring marriage equality for same sex couples while at the same time, limiting affirmative action and voter rights for black people and others, it is important for Gay persons and the Gay rights movement, at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and beyond, to identify as never before, with the ongoing quest and struggle for racial justice.

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TRUTH IN PROGRESS in CHICAGO: Event at Broadway UMC Sunday, July 21st!

Jim Bennett (not related to Marilyn), Midwest Regional Director for Lambda Legal, supports the work of Caldwell and Bennett. "In Illinois we know how important it is to build broad coalitions to work for justice and equality. I've known Marilyn and Gil for over a decade when we were working to change United Methodist exclusionary policies. They are visionaries with a keen sense of storytelling. Their documentary Truth in Progress captures the challenges and promise of diverse communities working together for change."

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Refusing to be Invisible

Marilyn and I share with Anderson Cooper, Andrew Sullivan, our supporters and the nation, these words from Ralph Ellison. No one of us, on this July 4th, for any reason should be expected to make themselves invisible as a response to the bias, bigotry and prejudice of others.

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Gil to all who were crushed and angered by the inaction and action of the UMC

Some of the greatest threats to justice are our short memories, our amnesia and our acts of revisionism as a way to conceal the awfulness of the many ways we as humans harm and hurt each other. If we remembered more clearly the history of the mistreatment of women, people of color and poor people of all races and genders, we might now, not be mistreating LGBTQ persons. We engage in "serial isms" because we have become expert in forgetting earlier isms.

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GC Musings: Is there ground for unity?

But, when I sing, "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so..." my grandddaughter joins me in singing with a smile on her face. Could it be that she knows there is something special about Jesus, different from the specialness of a duck?

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GC MUSINGS: Are all people of sacred worth?

Each time I read and hear our declaration that "all persons are of sacred worth" and at the same time recognize how differently we respond to persons of "sacred worth" when they are same gender loving, I remember more than one "racial moment" in my history...

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Fair is Fair Tour: Missoula, Kalispell, Great Falls

The upside for faith communities is that they can make a tremendous difference, can have a huge life-giving faith-enhancing impact. When a faith community opens its door, lives, and hearts to all people, especially those who are isolated and suffering, everyone's life is expanded. The circle of faith and love is widened and enriched. It really can be a win-win, not a fear-lose.

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TEAM FAIR IS FAIR: Marilyn describes Gil this time

We've had a few videos from the Fair is Fair in Montana Tour of Gil and Ninia describing their tour cohorts. I want to take this opportunity to describe Gil, his strategic work on the tour, some behind the scenes incidents, and his amazing unflagging commitment to the LGBT equality movement.

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FAIR IS FAIR IN MONTANA NUMBERS ARE IN!

NOW FOR THE RESULTS OF THE FAIR IS FAIR TOUR'S organizing efforts for domestic partnerships for loving, committed same-sex couples in ten days, seven cities, 1300 miles...

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Shaping the Contours of the Rising Sun

These two events in the same week highlight the struggles of our movement, our judicial systems, what motivates people to change and act with integrity and courage, and what stands in the way of progress. We live and breathe the euphoria of change, and we hope and act for more of that pure sweetness!

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FROM ONE QUEER TO...

Your compassion was formed in the crucible of lawful violent acts meant to demean, demoralize, and defeat, even unto death. You know the reality of such evil and out of that knowing you can imagine what that beating-down does to others. But you offer your hand anyway without knowing if there is mutual respect and commitment.

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