Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pride in the Pulpit Newsletter

On December 2, 2009 I sat in my cubicle and focused on my breathing. “Deep breath in, deep breath out” I repeated over and over again to myself. Our state senate had just voted down the marriage equality bill. The sound of the gavel adjourning the session literally knocked the wind out of me. A few months later I went through the same exercise as I watched GENDA suffer a similar fate in the Judiciary Committee. In the beginning of 2010 it seemed that our movement was doing a similar exercise--pausing to catch its breath in the midst of heartbreak.

However, as the year unfolded, I witnessed an explosion of life as members of the faith community throughout New York State pressed on and continued the hard work of changing hearts and minds for LGBT equality. In Queens, clergy gathered for a transgender advocacy training where they learned more about transgender identity and how to be advocates for GENDA. In Long Island, Pride in the Pulpit members created a marriage equality road show. The road show is a panel presentation in which couples travel throughout the region and talk- family to family-about why marriage equality is important to them. In Buffalo, members of the faith community are creating an initiative to confront a website that sponsors religious hate speech. In Rochester, Pride in the Pulpit members were instrumental in insuring that a high profile interfaith conference included an LGBT track. In New York City, the Pride in the Pulpit Faith Leaders of Color Committee created a forum to address how faith communities of color can engage in dialogue about LGBT equality. Sixty people, from a wide range of backgrounds, attended the event. In June the Dignity for all Students Act was passed. In September, it was signed into law.

These are just a few examples of the amazing work that happened in 2010. Thank you for all that you did--you are the inspiration that breaths life back into me. I can’t wait to witness and be a part of your accomplishments in 2011.

In Peace,

Kate McDonough
Pride in the Pulpit Coordinator

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