More from the faith front…



The Task Force’s faith work continues to build upon the recent successes and looking forward to the new opportunities to lift the voices of pro-LGBT people of faith working toward justice and equality. To that end, the Task Force is convening Practice Spirit, Do Justice at the National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change to be held in Minneapolis, Minn., Feb. 2-6, 2011.

In case you missed it, the Task Force recently organized the Believe Out Loud Power Summit, which brought together more than 300 pro-LGBT Christians and allies who converged in Orlando, Fla., to organize and strategize against bias violence advance justice and equality, and promote the fundamental humanity of LGBT people — both in their churches and in the larger society. Find out what happened on Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3. Also, check out a news report of it here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPfj-BMI4jE]

The Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, the Task Force’s faith work director, penned a special guest commentary for CNN’s Belief Blog on why people of faith must preach love in the face of anti-LGBT hate. Also, in that same vein and previous to November’s election, faith leaders responded to now defeated New York Republican candidate for governor Carl Paladino’s divisive remarks.

Today, Voelkel has another commentary published on CNN’s Belief Blog on the importance of aiming for respect in post-election America.

In other faith news, openly gay bishop Gene Robinson recently announced he will step down as head of the New Hampshire Episcopal Diocese in 2013. Robinson was a keynote speaker at Creating Change 2008. This is the first part of his speech, which can be viewed in its entirety at the Task Force’s YouTube channel:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5kkoU_YwcY]

After his announcement, the Voelkel had this to say:

One of the markers of genuine religious leadership is the ability to put on the mantle of prophetic witness, pastoral presence and the power of the spirit even as you are aware of yourself as one among many with the same foibles and idiosyncrasies as everyone else. Power and humility. Boldness and a sense of humor with oneself. Speaking and acting for that which is just and right yet showing grace when we don’t quite get there. These are the things that make for genuine leaders of faith. Bishop Gene Robinson is such a religious leader.

His presence as a bishop, as a gay cishop has made the church more faithful and the LGBT movement more aware of its spiritual roots.