Gilead Sabbath Initiative Statement & Endorsers

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The Gilead Sabbath Initiative began in 2014 as an effort to raise awareness about persecution of LGBTQ people globally and to provide ways for congregations to stand specifically with LGBTQ activists in African countries. At the time, sixty national religious leaders endorsed this statement encouraging communities of faith to work for global LGBTQ justice and to observe Gilead Sabbath:

As faith leaders, we are called today to see, hear, and respond to the violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in African countries. Together, we must end this persecution that is too often perpetrated in the name of faith. We encourage faith communities to respond by participating in the Gilead Sabbath Initiative.

Imam Daayiee Abdullah, MECCA Institute

Dr. Michael J. Adee, Director, Global Faith and Justice Project

Marie Alford-Harkey, Deputy Director, Religious Institute

Karen Barr, Moderator, The GLAD Alliance, Inc.

Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, General Minister and President, United Church of Christ

Rev. Pat Bumgardner, Executive Director, Global Justice Institute

Rev. Steven Clunn, The Love Your Neighbor Coalition

Ann Craig, Director of Administration & Development, The Fellowship Global

Dr. Miguel De La Torre, Professor of Social Ethics and Latino/a Studies, Iliff School of Theology

Mr. Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director, New Ways Ministry

Rev. Ronald Degges, President, Disciples Home Missions, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Marriane Duddy-Burke, Executive Director, Dignity USA

Rev. Brian Ellison, Executive Director, Covenant Network of Presbyterians

Rev. Dr. Marvin M. Ellison, Former Willard S. Bass Professor of Christian Ethics, Bangor Theological Seminary

Bishop Yvette Flunder, The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries

Rev. Dr. Robert Franklin, Chautauqua Institution, Emory University

The Rev. Wil Gafney, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible, Brite Divinity School

Rev. Dr. Larry Greenfield, Executive Minister, American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago

Rev. Debra Haffner, President and CEO, Religious Institute

Rev. Cedric A. Harmon, Co-Director, Many Voices

Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson, President, Auburn Seminary

Mary E. Hunt Ph.D., Co-Director, Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER)

Rev. Dr., Mark C. Johnston, Ph.D., Executive Director, Open & Affirming Ministries, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Gay, Lesbian, and Affirming Disciples Alliance

Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, President, Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York

Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma, Political Research Associates/The Episcopal Parish of Christ Church/ISJ, Hyde Park, MA

Idit Klein, Executive Director, Keshet

Sharon Kleinbaum, Senior Rabbi, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah

Bruce Knotts, Director, UUA United Nations Office

Rev. Harry Knox, President and CEO, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

Rabbi Debra Kolodny, Executive Director, Nehirim

Joel L. Kushner, Psy.D., Director, Institute for Judaism, Sexual Orientation and Gender, Hebrew Union College

Andrew Lang, Open and Affirming Coalition, United Church of Christ

Rabbi Michael Lerner, Chair, Network of Spiritual Progressives

Rabbi Joshua Lesser, Congregation Bet Haverim, SOJOURN

Dr. Pamela R. Lightsey, Associate Dean, Boston University School of Theology

Rev. Dr. Cindi Love, Chair, Uncommon Tribe

Rev. Robin R. Lunn, Executive Director, Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists

Rev. Dr. James L. McDonald, President and Professor of Faith and Public Life, San Francisco Theological Seminary

Alex Patchin McNeill, Executive Director, More Light Presbyterians

Ruth Messinger, President, American Jewish World Service

Min. Louis J., Mitchell, South Congregational Church, Springfield, MA

Mr. Mark Miller, Associate Professor of Church Music, Drew University Theological School

Rev. Peter Morales, President, Unitarian Universalist Association

Rev. Darlene Nipper, Deputy Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force

Ms. Marilyn Paarlberg, Executive Director, Room for All, Inc.

Rev. Dr. Cameron Partridge, TransEpiscopal

Mr. Chett Pritchett, Executive Director, Methodist Federation for Social Action

Bishop Tonyia M. Rawls, Sacred Souls Community Church, Charlotte, NC

Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer, Executive for Health and Wholeness Advocacy , United Church of Christ

The Right Rev. Dr. Disani Christopher Senyonjo, Emeritus Bishop of West Buganda, Anglican Church of Uganda

Rabbi Mychal B. Springer, Director, Center for Pastoral Education at The Jewish Theological Seminary

Vivian Taylor, Executive Director, Integrity USA

Rabbi David Teutsch, Wiener Professor of Contemporary Jewish Civilization, Director of Levin-Lieber Program in Jewish Ethics, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Rev. Sara Thompson Tweedy, Chair, Methodists In New Directions (MIND)

Ms. Aubrey Thonvold, Interim Executive Director, ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full Participation

Pastor Joseph W. Tolton, Director of Operations & Strategy, The Fellowship  Global

Rev. Dr. Emilie Townes, Dean/E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society, Vanderbilt Divinity School

Rev. Dr. Traci West, Professor of Ethics and African American Studies, Drew University Theological School

Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson, Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches

Carol Wise, Executive Director, Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests