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

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy (Morning)

This morning I find myself fascinated that my critics are adamant about only one kind of faith-based "traditional marriage", but they accept, uncritically, the diversity that is present in the ecclesiological expressions of the Christian Church! The book of Acts and the Epistles address the beginnings of the Church and give hints of how and what the Church should be in form and function, but there is no agreed upon uniformity of Church ecclesiology. Thus for my critics, the Church can be un-uniform in its diversity of expressions, but marriage dare not be?

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Dr. Ben Carson, what role would you have played in SELMA?

Although I do not agree with Dr. Carson's views on marriage equality, nor with the ways he is being embraced by some conservatives, my greater concern is how Dr. Carson identifies with America's greatest protest movement, the Civil Rights Movement. Do those who embrace Dr. Ben Carson because of his conservatism on a host of issues do so as a way of separating him from a movement that was neither liberal or conservative — America's Civil Rights Movement? ...Dr. Ben Carson, Oprah Winfrey has given witness to her long support of black justice by playing the role of Annie Lee Cooper in SELMA. If given the opportunity, what role would you have played in the film?

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Reflections on the Ferguson decision re: Black Rights and Gay Rights

My wish is that LGBTQ persons, same sex married couples and gay rights organizations could "speak out" against the overt anti-black racism that was so evident in the no verdict decision of the Ferguson Grand Jury. The Prosecutor in his public announcement made Michael Brown the perpetrator and the one who shot him, the victim. Thus, the Jury decided what it did.

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I long ago ceased engaging in debate about the differences between the discrimination/oppression of blacks and gay. There is no equivalence! I have written these words to call for a new and/or renewed coalition of Blacks and Gays and our ally/advocates as we confront the "isms" that empower some at the expense of others. The economic, educational, healthcare, business ownership, residential and other inequities that divide us, call for activist coalitions.

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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?"

Rights of corporate America v. Rights of American women - Why SELMA TO STONEWALL matters

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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Gil: responding to racial inequality in light of judicial decisions on Affirmative Action & Marriage Equality

It will require unity, not uniformity among all Justice Movements as we challenge the economic inequality that hovers over the poor as well as the middle class. Division among movements that seek equal rights for people of color and movements that seek equal rights for gays, will not equip us for the struggles that we must face together.

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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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One of the living expressions of the similarities between the killing of gay and black men is the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act. James Byrd was the black man in Texas who was tied to the back of a truck and was dragged to his death. I never suggest equivalence between black suffering and gay suffering, but there is something about the hatred that blackness and/or gayness evokes in some persons that must not go unnoticed.

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Chicago Tour Begins!

How can all communities have genuine conversation about racial realities in the United States of America in 2013? What can we learn from those living at the intersection of multiple "identities?" Come join us not to take ourselves seriously but to seriously consider how together we can create a better world for everyone!

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A Call, (not) to Arms, But to Become that Nation That We Are Not Yet

James Baldwin raised a question that is relevant as never before; "Who wants to be integrated into a burning house?" There is something "burning" in the "USA house". May all of us who have been/are kept out of that house, not be satisfied because we are let in. Rather, let us claim and use our symbolic fire extinguishers, not to "save the USA house" as it is, but rather to put out its fires so that we might re-design, re-construct and re-build it for ourselves and those who will follow us.

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DEAR UNITED METHODIST CHURCH: What If the Church Gave a Trial and Nobody Came?

So, for what it’s worth, I’m just “over it” when it comes to anything related to charges and trials... It’s just all so 20th century….kind of like shoulder pads in women’s suit jackets. It’s time to clean the UMC closet. It’s embarrassing every time we wear one of those things out in public. Should someone file a complaint against me I think I’ll just ignore it. Should my bishop call me in to account for my actions (in so far as it relates to performing same-gender weddings) I have a hunch I just won’t go. Should a trial be scheduled, I’ll be hard pressed to participate...

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Bishop Gene Robinson: "Race is still the Festering Sore in American Society"

"I was writing today about a question posed in the Washington Post which was, 'How come no one is talking about the fact that all of the perpetrators of these mass killings are white? Does anybody think that if they'd all been African American, we wouldn't be talking about race? So why aren't we talking about race?'"

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