News & Updates

The Religious Institute offers its prophetic moral voice to the public discourse at the intersection of religion, sexuality, gender, and reproductive health. Below you will find our most recent updates & press releases. For press inquiries or further information about the Religious Institute, please contact Drew Konow at 203-222-0055 or Please click here to join the Religious Institute Press List.

Rev. Haffner: On Standing with Planned Parenthood

July 29, 2015

Since the middle of July, Planned Parenthood has been attacked by the Center for Medical Progress – a non-profit organization whose explicit purpose is to attack Planned Parenthood and the access to family planning and abortion care services they offer. These attacks have consisted of heavily edited, illegally obtained undercover videos which featured Planned Parenthood employees discussing fetal […]

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Freedom to Marry: A Huge Win for Sexual Justice!

June 29, 2015

With Friday’s decision from the U.S. Supreme Court, same-sex couples throughout the country can now marry! This is a huge win for sexual justice and a major cause for celebration! The Religious Institute is proud to have played a role in winning the right to marry for same sex couples.  Informed, motivated faith leaders made a […]

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Religious Institute On the Road

June 12, 2015

Over the past few weeks, the staff of the Religious Institute has been traveling throughout North America working to promote sexual health, education, and justice in faith communities and society. President and CEO, Rev. Debra Haffner, spent the weekend of  June 4th-7th in Minneapolis, MN for the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists’ Annual […]

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MCC Calls for Observation of Gilead Sabbaths in Congregations

May 20, 2015

Leaders of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) announced the launch of a communion-wide effort to hold prayer services in local churches between today and the end of June to support global outreach to LGBTQ people living in hostile countries. With this launch, MCC marked IDAHOTB, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, and began observing the […]

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Say a Prayer for Global LGBTQ Justice May 15-17

May 11, 2015

On the weekend of May 17th, in observation of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOTB), congregations around the country are praying for LGBTQ people across the globe. Can your congregation join them? To add you congregation’s voice, sign up and include the prayer below (feel free to modify it to fit your community’s needs) in […]

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Religious Institute, Freedom to Marry to Host National Weekend of Prayer

April 24, 2015

Faith events from April 24-26 will highlight support for same-sex couples’ right to marry New York— With the U.S. Supreme Court set to hear oral arguments in marriage cases on Tuesday April 28, Freedom to Marry in partnership with the Religious Institute and 18 other religious organizations is hosting the National Weekend of Prayer for […]

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National Weekend of Prayer for the Freedom to Marry

April 14, 2015

This Weekend: Join the National Weekend of Prayer for the Freedom to Marry On Tuesday, April 28th, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments that could lead to the freedom to marry for the entire country. In preparation for this historic case, the Religious Institute and 18 partner organizations have called for a […]

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Discrimination is Never a Religious Value

April 1, 2015

Religious Institute President Rev. Debra W. Haffner writes in the Huffington Post about Indiana’s “religious freedom” law. “Laws that claim to be based on religious freedom but allow bakers and photographers to refuse their wares to same-sex couples — or pharmacists to deny birth control or anti-depressants — or employers to deny the inclusion of […]

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Nearly 2,000 Religious Leaders Sign Historic Amicus Brief

March 6, 2015

Today, March 6, nearly 2,000 religious leaders urged the United States Supreme Court to rule in favor of the freedom to marry in an amicus, or “friend-of-the-court,” brief (click here to read the brief). The Religious Institute partnered with Freedom to Marry to engage religious leaders on this historic case, and our joint efforts garnered nearly […]

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