That grief I was experiencing over the death of Steven most certainly intensified the grief I felt on Wednesday morning after the election. If he were still alive, Steven would be less safe than he had been the day before, and perhaps even less safe than he was as a teenager.
Sexuality has become a central issue in this election. As a pastor and faith leader, I believe that people of faith must work toward sexual health and justice in faith communities and in society. Silence in the face of injustice is simply not an option — especially during an election.
Religious Institute director Marie Alford-Harkey responds to Rev. Franklin Graham’s speech.
I hope these will not be the only stories the media will miss. I hope there will also be stories of renewed awakening and commitment to the liberation of all people; stories of Louisiana finding ways to rebuild that don’t compound its histories of racism, classism, sexism, and heterosexism.
From the compassionate spiritual care of chaplains at abortion clinics to the millions of lay people working to end abortion stigma, religious support goes largely unnoticed. This contributes to a widely held misconception that all people of faith and religious leaders oppose abortion access.
Religious Institute Director Marie Alford-Harkey speaks at an interfaith vigil following the tragedy at Pulse in Orlando, Florida.
In anticipation of this year’s gathering, 111 United Methodist clergy and faith leaders came out as LGBTQI to their denomination, writing a courageous “love letter” to their church that spoke of their call to serve in ministry and their commitment to remaining in covenant with their denomination.
In the past week, North Carolina and Mississippi have passed the most sweeping anti-LGBTQ laws to date. Despite the rapid corporate and public rejection of the North Carolina law, on April 5th, Governor Phil Bryant of Mississippi signed HB 1523 into law.
More than 80 leaders from 20 denominations participated in the unified weekend of prayer, which was organized by the Religious Institute, an organization that advocates for reproductive health in faith communities.
Unlike many conservatives, most progressives don’t believe that prayer can sway the outcome of court cases. Amicus briefs, maybe — which is why the Religious Institute got 1,300 faith leaders, myself included, to sign one it filed with the Supreme Court.