How Your Community Can Advocate
With the help of our Gilead Sabbath Advisory Committee, we have developed a number of ways your community can be involved in advocating around the violence, discrimination, and persecution of LGBTQ people in the United States and across the globe. Click the links below to learn more about how your community can advocate for global LGBTQ justice!
Education is Action
- Host a film screening about LGBTQ justice issues with a discussion to follow. Learn more here.
- Host a weekly study/discussion group around a web series focusing on LGBTQ justice. Learn more here.
- Host a weekly study group around on the role of religion in the violence, persecution, and discrimination face by LGBTQ people. Reflect on how American faith voices can challenge, counter, and contain faith-based homophobia and hate. Learn more here.
- Host a weekly study group reflecting on the stories & experiences of LGBTQ people. Learn more here
Act in Your Local Community
- Sign this petition opposing anti-LGBTQ laws in state legislatures throughout the country.
- Do a community-wide study with local faith communities assessing whether you could receive and support LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers in your area.
- Connect with the LGBT Freedom Asylum Network to see how your faith community can support LGBTQ refugees.
- Research if any congregations in your area contribute to conservative religious organizations that support LGBTQ discrimination and persecution. Seek out these congregations for dialogue. Express your faithful support for LGBTQ people, and share with them the work that these organizations have done. Invite them to reflect on their future support.
- Advocate for your local council, state legislature, Congressional representatives, clergy association, church synod, or denominational assembly to declare its opposition to all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Write an op-ed in your local newspaper regarding the role of conservative U.S. religious organizations in the violence, discrimination, and persecution of LGBTQ people in the U.S. or around the globe. Contact the Religious Institute for more information.
- Send letters to public and elected officials at the local, state, and national level, encouraging them to support LGBTQ rights and justice.
Engage in Dialogue
- Discuss in your congregation how you understand theologically and/or do mission work. What does it mean to do mission? What are some of the potential dangers of doing mission work? How can we responsibly make connections with those abroad? This Op-Doc, “An African’s message for America,” is a good place to begin this discussion.
- Have a conversation in your faith community about sexual and gender diversity. How do we understand diversity in creation? What does sexual and gender diversity tell us about God? How can we create communities that celebrate sexual and gender diversity? You can begin with the Open Letter to Religious Leaders on Sexual and Gender Diversity.
- Collaborate with local religious groups and/or your local clergy associations to sponsor a conversation, study group, or screening around gender and sexual diversity, global LGBTQ rights, violence and discrimination against LGBTQ people in the U.S., or global mission. Be sure to pastorally and honestly include conservative religious voices. Speak from your faith to discuss your support for LGBTQ justice.
- Host a town hall about the realities of LGBTQ in your community and globally – inviting local stories as well as larger action. This would make sense particularly if you’re advocating for some form of non-discrimination ordinance in your community, but it could also be a more general conversation around LGBTQ people in the U.S. and abroad.
Establish Responsible Connections
- Learn more about geography-specific LGBTQ organizations, and send the organization financial support. In addition to financial support, connect with the organization and see how else you can support the work they do.
- Learn more about Global LGBTQ justice organization, and send the organization financial support. See if the organization can use your support in advocacy and outreach.
- If your faith community has an office at the United Nations, connect with this office to learn how you can support any work they do for global LGBTQ rights.
- Support petitions for global LGBTQ rights via ALL OUT or actions via LGBTQ rights organizations.
If your congregation has a strong legacy of advocacy alongside LGBTQ communities, we would love to hear from you. Share with us your how you advocate at email@example.com or on social media with #GileadSabbath.