Much as there has been progress in the drive for equality on many fronts for LGBT people, religion continues to be a stumbling block for many. Legislators in Arizona just passed a bill (which almost became law) to legalize discrimination against gays and lesbians; they call it religious freedom. The freedom to hold to outmoded beliefs has been used to defend slavery and the oppression of women, so religion continues to be the major line of defense for those who cannot accept social change that demands equality for all marginalized groups. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “the church is more often the tail lights than the head lights of social change.” Our PFLAG chapter is collaborating with area clergy and LGBT activists to shed some light on issues with relevance to moving toward a more welcoming climate for faith communities in Boulder County and beyond.
“Holding Back, Standing together, Moving Forward” is the theme chosen for a weekend of events focused on helping people of faith to become better allies to the LGBTQ community and encouraging those LGBT persons who yearn for a spiritual home where they will be fully accepted just as they are. Some fifty congregations in Boulder County and beyond, as well as the Colorado Coalition of PFLAG Chapters, have been invited to participate in the all-day Saturday workshops, developed to meet a range of topics for persons on the journey to increase their understanding of each other. Special PFLAG guests will be Kathy Godwin, Mountain West Regional Director, and Cesar Hernandez, Western U. S. Field and Policy Director. Cairn Christian Church, 1700 Stonehenge Dr., Lafayette, is hosting this all day event. To reserve a lunch (suggested donation $5) contact Eleanor Hubbard at email@example.com.
Dr. Robert Minor is the featured speaker who will open and close the event. He will also meet informally on Saturday, following the 3 pm closing, for a “Happy Hour” gathering of clergy only so that there might be the start of ongoing conversations about how to continue mutual support toward the goal of greater affirmation and action on behalf of the LGBT community. Bob Minor is well known in PFLAG circles for his presentations at National PFLAG Conventions as well as at Regional PFLAG Conferences across the country. His energetic personality, straight talk about rampant heterosexuality in society, and his dynamic and articulate presentations are both engaging and inspiring. We can be glad that he recently retired as Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Kansas so he can spend more time traveling the country and sharing his knowledge and insights.
Saturday workshops include: Dr. Charisa Hunter-Crump talking about “Finding Common Ground: How do we Talk when We Disagree?”; Dr. Eleanor Hubbard, “LGBT Cultural Competency: Learning the Lingo and More”; Rev. Ken Thurow and lesbian activist, Alison Wisneski, “Two Paths to Institutional Change: Evolution & Revolution”; a panel of LGBT youth and adults from the community with their thoughts about what is needed for “Becoming Better Allies”; and the session on “Scripture and Sexuality” by Dr. Robert Minor exploring biblical passages often described as “the clobber passages”.
On Sunday, Dr. Minor will speak at the 10:30am worship service at the First United Methodist Church, 1421 Spruce Street, downtown Boulder. His final presentation for the weekend will be at the PFLAG meeting at 3pm at the First United Methodist Church in Longmont, at Emery and 11th Avenue. His topic will be “Where Do We Go From Here?” All events are free and open to the public. Funding for this event was provided by a grant from the Open Door Fund of the Community Foundation. Below is the summary of the event logistics. To download a PDF of this flyer, click here.