Gil feature of profile by Religion News Service

RNS--CALDWELL-PROFILE bReligion News Service recently published an article on Gil's journey as a "foot soldier" for civil and LGBT rights. The article, written by Adelle M. Banks, offers details on his experiences in the Civil Rights Movement, as well as the "epiphany moment" that drove him to be an active part of the fight for LGBT rights.

He had to confront his own views on tolerance when Malcolm Boyd, an Episcopal priest and activist whose writings he had admired, came out as gay in 1977.

“Do you deny the impact he’s had on your life? Do you burn his books?” he asked himself. “How foolish that would be. And that, of course, was clearly an awakening for me.”

Check out the article here.



My hope is that we who are gay rights advocates, gay and straight, will link arms with a host of others in confronting the economic and educational disparities between the black community and other communities. May historians be able to write that on the day that Baltimore erupted and on the next day when the Supreme Court moved toward affirming marriage equality for same sex couples, a coalition emerged that began to do what had not been done before, acknowledging and addressing the damage done to black slaves and the sons and daughters of black slaves by a nation that claimed to be rooted in democracy and justice.

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A riff on being white

Kermit the frog said, "It's not easy being green." I, many years ago, reached the conclusion, "It's not easy being white," as well. I have my own measurement as I have assessed whether white persons are authentic in their commitment to racial justice. My measurement? Whether or not white persons are able to confront other white persons about their racially insensitive attitudes, and at times racist actions, toward those of us who are black.

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JIMMY CREECH: Author, civil rights activist endorses our film!

Jimmy CreechJimmy Creech is a pioneer and leader in the fight for marriage equality and social justice. Ordained an elder in The United Methodist Church in 1970, he served as a pastor until 1999 when  a jury declared Creech guilty of “disobedience to the Order and Discipline of The United Methodist Church” and withdrew his credentials of ordination. Charges had been brought against him because he celebrated the holy union of two men in Chapel Hill, N.C.. He is co-founder of Faith in America and the author of Adam's Gift: A Memoir of a Pastor's Calling to Defy The Church's Persecution of Lesbians and Gays. Thank you, Jimmy, for your steady witness and work for justice for all persons!


Click HERE to support "From Selma to Stonewall: Are we there yet?"

An "INCIDENT" in New York City

Gil has been harassed and doubted by white police officers because of the color of his skin. I have not. As a black man he has been turned away and denied over many years–whether a taxi, seminary, lunch counter, or honeymoon hotel. I have not. Recounting this incident, I didn’t think about the driver judging the color of Gil’s skin, I wondered what motivated the police officer to jump to Gil’s defense.

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Civil rights attorney Arlene Groch: Why talk about race

While we were in Asbury Park, NJ we had the pleasure of interviewing Arlene Groch, who drove up from Atlantic City to be with us. She was a civil rights attorney for over 30 years and has been a part of a group of African American and Caucasian women for 16 years. The group is called Sisters Together Against Racism. All of us who are committed to co-creating real, open, and genuine cross-cultural alliances have a lot to learn from the Sisters.

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Black Elders of St. Mark's Harlem: Are racism and heterosexism the same?

While were in New York City, Truth in Progress dropped by St. Mark's Harlem United Methodist Church, an African American church established in 1871. Gil was pastor there in 1994-1997. We arrived just when a lunch meeting was breaking up. Gil was warmly welcomed back: it was a reunion that prompted a spontaneous and very open discussion about gay inclusion in the church. This type of conversation had never been held in the church before.

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What the United Methodist Church can learn from this first anniversary of the ending of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

The United Methodist Church, if it has the will, can learn from the military and its ending of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. We too, if we have the will to rescind our UMC practice of "DADT", will discover that for 40 years we have been in denial about how significantly God has used the lay and clergy United Methodists who are gay and lesbian, and we have been wrong!

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On the train again

This September 13th marks one year of when I was diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer. It’s been a wild ride these last 12 months of chemotherapy treatments, surgeries, and cancer-blocking drugs... There were some tough nights when the chemo crashes would go on and on, but I always had the sense that the cancer would be eliminated and that I just had to accept that this was going to be a big disruption in my life. Now, a year later, I’m back on the road with my incredible TIP teammates, and we’re off and running to interview some amazing people.

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Gil and Marilyn's conversation: Sally Ride & exploring the outer space of visibility

While I know fully that when we as LGBT persons makes ourselves visible, we take the risk of being defined only by our sexual orientation. The personal becomes political. However, there is a point where the focus shifts and our accomplishments leave those who would reduce us to a particular identity in the dust.

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TIP supports Ocean Grove United, NJ protest of Kirk Cameron speech

Ocean Grove United is presenting an alternative to the OG Camp Meeting’s program featuring Kirk Cameron - Love Worth Fighting For with their theme, "ALL Love is Worth Fighting For." Mr. Cameron’s appearance on national television denigrating homosexuality is unacceptable and his presence in Ocean Grove is a disservice to our entire community.

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TIP Advisory Panel Member Rev. Irene Monroe to receive justice award

Reverend Monroe’s powerfully-voiced syndicated queer religion column (appearing in The Huffington Post, Bay Windows, The Advocate, and The Bilerico project), written with unconditional love toward all readers, has helped to shape public dialogue on LGBT and racial justice issues. Reverend Monroe’s work aims to highlight how religious intolerance aids in perpetuating other forms of oppression such as racism, sexism, classism and anti-Semitism.

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We join them because we know that the Jesus who is "the center of our joy," is also the Jesus who has stood with Black Methodists both within society and Methodism, as we challenged those who restrict and restrain us. We will not stand on the sidelines as our church through its legislation denies LGBTQ persons access to ordination as United Methodist clergy.

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