Soulforce Makes News: The Best of 2013

 

Soulforce Makes News: The Best of 2013

 

In 2013, Soulforce continued to be a leading voice in the news on the issues of religion, social justice and LGBTQ communities. Several important events, including the Supreme Court’s ruling on DOMA, the closing of Exodus International, and the continuing struggle of LGBTQ students at conservative Christian colleges and universities, offered us opportunities to spread the word about our vital work. Several of our staff members, most notably Executive Director Rev. Dr. Cindi Love, acted as spokespeople, offering wisdom and context from Soulforce’s decade and a half of leading activism on issues of religion and LGBTQ equality.

 

The Supreme Court’s Decision on the Defense of Marriage Act 

 

“The anger and bitterness that some of our citizens and legislators have expressed this week are identical to reactions that have been documented each time the Supreme Court has ruled that discrimination is unacceptable-discrimination toward women, toward people of color, toward people who don’t speak English as a primary language. …My beloved neighbors and our officials will get over it eventually, even in my home state of Texas. It will just take us a little longer. Remember, we were the state where a battle in the Civil War was conducted six weeks after the end was declared. We will catch up.” - Rev. Dr. Cindi Love on the Supreme Court DOMA Ruling.

One of the biggest stories in LGBTQ equality this year was the Supreme Court’s hearing of the case against DOMA.

Before the hearing took place, Cindi Love provided commentary on Huffington Post Live from the perspective of a pastor and a resident of one of the most conservative areas in the conservative state of Texas.

After the ruling, Cindi had comments published by Religion News Service.

Cindi also offered some perspective on reconciliation, in The Advocate and

Huffington Post, with those who had trouble accepting the ruling and the rapidly-spreading reality of marriage equality.

The Closing of Exodus International 

“A good start. And not nearly enough. I hope Chambers will find it in his heart to use his gifts to confront any ministry in which lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons are targeted for ‘fixing,”inclusion,’ ‘affirmation,’ or ‘reconciliation.’ God already included us, affirmed us and reconciled us. We don’t need fixing.” – Cindi Love on the Closing of Exodus International

 

“We should not allow ourselves to believe that the ex-gay movement died with the closure of Exodus. Quite the contrary. Alan’s apology has motivated ex-gay loyalists to hunker down and commit to riding out the storm, reorganizing, and eventually reemerging with an even more militant dedication to their belief that that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people can and must be ‘cured.’” - Mel White on the Closing of Exodus International

 

The closing of the major purveyor of the lies of “ex-gay therapy” was seemingly a watershed moment for LGBTQ people everywhere, and a major leap forward in the long arc of Soulforce’s work. But this was also an uneasy time for many supporters of Soulforce who had suffered through ex-gay therapy. Soulforce had to quickly assess the sincerity of the apology, the degree to which Exodus was truly ceasing operations, and the possibility of opportunity for reconciliation–a central tenet of Soulforce’s core values of nonviolence.

Cindi Love commented in the Huffington Post on these events. Mel White commented for Religion News Service, and The Advocate.

 

Soulforce’s Continuing Witness to Conservative Christian Colleges and Universities

“It only takes one person to stand up to the institution. Suddenly all these other people who have been in silence and who are afraid realize they are not alone.”Soulforce Director of Communication Richard Lindsay, about the expulsion of Danielle Powell from Grace University in Omaha, NE, for being in a same-sex relationship.

A year after the success of the fifth Equality Ride, Soulforce continued to be a beacon of hope to LGBTQ college students looking for fresh perspectives on sexuality and gender identity, faith, and social justice.

Soulforce’s presence in the New York Times, USA Today, andOutsports.com was testament to our leading voice on this issue.

This year’s work brought an incredible outpouring of support for The Biola Queer Underground, an unrecognized student organization at Biola University in the Los Angeles area. Soulforce also publicly supported Carl Ruby, an administrator at Cedarville College in Ohio who was dismissed for his loving approach to LGBTQ students on campus.

 

Watch the news in 2014 as Soulforce continues to lead the way on this issue with The Equality Relay-The Next Generation of the Equality Ride.

If it is important to you that there continues to be an informed, experienced voice commenting on issues of faith, social justice, and LGBTQ communities, please donate to Soulforce. Your contribution keeps our voices in the news.

A joyful and blessed Holiday Season to you, however you celebrate what is Good, Just, and Holy.

Sincerely,

The Soulforce Team

P.S. We are just over halfway to our year-end goal of raising 40,000 dollars. Donate now to answer the call of one generous donor’s matching grant, who will give $2 for every $1 you give. We still need $2550.00 to meet this matching grant!