Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)– The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, hosted a town hall conversation in Greensboro, NC, to engage people of faith in LGBT equality advocacy and address ways to combat misleading information from the religious right about LGBT people and families. The Town Hall’s keynote speaker was the Rev. Dr. Miguel De La Torre, a respected social ethicist and an associate professor at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO. Additional panelists from the local community included: the Rev. Dr. Arnetta Beverly, St. Matthews United Methodist Church; Rabbi Fred Guttman, Temple Emanuel; and the Rev. Susan Parker, Wake Forest Baptist Church.
“We’re working to empower people from across a spectrum of religious traditions to find and utilize their faithful voice for advocacy on behalf of LGBT inclusion, equality and fundamental fairness for all Americans,” said Harry Knox, director of the Religion and Faith Program at the Human Rights Campaign, who served as moderator of the Town Hall program. “Our programming is helping people be transformed, enlightened and emboldened by their experiences, and equips them to pursue justice in both their faith and secular communities.”
"Christ calls us to love our LGBT neighbors as we love ourselves because they, too, are created in God’s image,” Rev. De La Torre stated. “Knowing and loving faithful lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender disciples of Christ challenged me to read the bible from the perspective of those who are oppressed and to reject those learned religious attitudes which reinforce societal iniquities and injustices.”
The Rev. Susan Parker of Wake Forest Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, NC added, “I am more convinced than ever that the way forward to accomplish positive change for the LGBT community is for LGBT folks and their allies to focus on building relationships of trust and mutual understanding within local communities – this is the enduring way to affect justice; it is the Christian way.”
Community Partners of the Greensboro “Faith and Fairness Town Hall” included:
- Bennett College – Belles Recognizing Individuality Diversity and Equality (B.R.I.D.E.)
- The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro
- Equality North Carolina
- Faith Action International House
- Faith in America
- Gay Straight Advocates For Education (G-SAFE)
- Guilford Green Foundation
- HOLA-NC: Hispanic Organization of LGBT and Amigos of North Carolina/Organizacion LGBT de Amigos Hispanoparlantes de Carolina del Norte
- Human Rights Campaign Foundation
- The National Conference for Community and Justice of the Piedmont Triad, Inc. (NCCJ)
- NC A&T State University – Acceptance Without Exception (A.W.E.)
- University of North Carolina at Greensboro PRIDE!
- Wake Forest University Gay-Straight Student Alliance
- Winston Salem State Gay-Straight Alliance
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.