Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pride in the Pulpit Newsletter

At a recent local Pride in the Pulpit meeting, a discussion developed about how clergy in the area can continue to be advocates for LGBT equality. At one point, the conversation shifted to a dialogue about a minister who everyone felt in his heart was in favor of LGBT equality, but for various reasons, pretended to be the opposite. The conversation suddenly came to a halt when a small laugh erupted from the corner of the table. The laugh came from a clergywoman who has attended almost every meeting. She was responsible for encouraging many of her colleagues to be stronger proponents of transgender civil rights and marriage equality. She looked up at the group and said: "We are who we pretend to be. Your heart does me no good if your words don't back it up." With that statement made, the group proceeded to plan their initiatives for the upcoming months.

I think that it is time for New York State to start speaking from its heart. A recent Quinnipiac poll shows that 56% of New Yorkers support marriage for LGBT people. Our own polling indicates that 78% of New Yorkers support GENDA. The heart of New York State beats for LGBT equality, but the words of our laws do not back this up. In 2011, let us work to end this inconsistency. Let us advocate for what is in our hearts and help our government catch up with its people’s moral conscience.

In Peace,

Kate McDonough
Lead Organizer, coordinator of the Pride in the Pulpit program


Kate McDonough's New Position at the Empire State Pride AgendaI am excited to announce that I have recently been promoted to Lead Organizer. In this new role I will continue to oversee the Pride in the Pulpit program, but will have the additional responsibility of coordinating our organizational wide marriage campaign. I would like to thank all of you for your hard work and support of the Pride in the Pulpit program. I look forward to continuing to work with you both through Pride in the Pulpit and in my new capacity as Lead Organizer.

Presbyteries Throughout the Country Vote on Whether or Not to Ordain LGBTQ Clergy
In January, many Presbyteries throughout the country voted on amendment 10-A, which if ratified, will remove all barriers to ordination for called LGBTQ and Queer people. The Presbyteries that voted this month include: Eastminster, Newton, New Castle, Cayuga-Syracuse, Eastern, Virginia, Elizabeth, Genesee Valley, Mid-Kentucky, San Jose, Beaver-Butler, Western, Reserve, Denver, Utica, Sierra Blanca, Long Island, Riverside, Western North Carolina and Huntingdon. Click here to find out how they voted!

The vote count is extremely close and voting on this important amendment will continue into the spring, so be sure to find out when your Presbytery or the Presbytery of someone you know is voting. Click here to find out more information about 10-A and what you can do to help!

In Memory of David Kato of Integrity Uganda
Ugandans and human rights advocates throughout the world mourn and condemn the brutal and senseless murder of gay Ugandan human rights defender, David Kato. He was brutally beaten to death with a hammer on Wednesday, January 26th. Pride in the Pulpit members involved in international LGBT rights knew and worked side by side with Mr. Kato. Our prayers are with them as well as with Mr. Kato's family and the human rights community of Uganda. In honor of David Kato's memory, please read his unpublished op-ed. Take a moment to forward it along to others so that his words can be read and the vision of the Uganda he wished to see does not die with him.

To get involved with the Pride in the Pulpit program, please contact Kate AT prideagenda DOT org.

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