From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[MCC] Council of Bishops, Elders and Christian Leaders to Meet in Dallas, Affirm Gay Rights

From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Thu, 07 Sep 2006 22:38:40 -0700

Media Advisory: Metropolitan Community Churches


Aric Caplan, 301-770-0550,


Council of Bishops, Elders and Christian Leaders to Meet in Dallas, Affirm Gay Rights

Dallas, Texas--September 5, 2006--A Council of Bishops, Elders and Christian Leaders committed to equal rights and inclusion for all will meet in Dallas beginning September 10 to address religious discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons (LGBT), and how to counter it. Over 30 faith leaders from across the United States will assemble as part of the three-day event to worship, pray and strategize on how to remove homophobia and hate from our churches, and replace them with hospitality, justice and equality for all.

A press conference will conclude the gathering at 12:00 PM CDT at Thanks-Giving Square Chapel in Dallas.

The gathering of faith leaders comes at a time when some religious right groups are working to ban lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and same-gender loving people from houses of worship, and exclude them from the rights to marry, raise children and adopt.

"Certain religious groups have aggressively sought to define their agenda in the public's mind, through publicity and lobbying, as the Christian agenda," said Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, one of the lead organizers of the Council, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. "On the contrary, there is a growing movement of Christian clergy who reject this agenda, for whom bigotry and exclusion have no place in the Church."

On September 10 and 11, a gathering of fair-minded faith leaders will:

- Form a Council of Christian churches that are dedicated to reclaiming their faith based on the Gospel of inclusion, justice and love.

- Make public statements on Marriage Equality; Parental Adoption and Foster Rights for LGBT families; and address other pressing social justice issues for LGBT families such as peace, immigration and the Iraq war.

- Develop a collaborative coordinated strategy for moving LGBT rights forward within our Christian traditions ? through growing the number and strength of "welcoming and affirming" congregations, reaching out to those rejected and alienated by churches, planting new churches, and creating ?fellowships? of supportive congregations and clergy.

Rev. Voelkel is the Program Director for the Institute for Welcoming Resources, a national, ecumenical collaboration of the Welcoming Church Movement. DignityUSA, The Fellowship, Institute for Welcoming Resources and the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches hosts the Dallas gathering.

Council of Bishops, Elders and Christian Leaders: Affirming Equality and Justice for All

Press Conference: Monday, September 11 Time: 12:00 PM CDT Location: Thanks-Giving Square Chapel 1627 Pacific Avenue, Dallas, TX 75201

To Arrange Press Interviews, Contact:

Aric Caplan, 301-770-0550,


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