Resources

National Urban League

 

 

Last week, the Essence Music Festival once again took over New Orleans during the Fourth of July holiday weekend – a  celebration of African American culture and a showcase of Black women and their impact on this nation, our communities, our families…and our economy.

Read More…

Marriage Equality Timeline

Rev. Troy Perry: The Father of Marriage Equality The Amazing Story of How a 28-Year Old Defrocked Pentecostal Minister Challenged Conventional Thinking, Created a Revolution and Changed the Church, the Courts and the Culture.  Read full story.

© James N. Birkitt, Jr., 2013. All rights reserved.

In December 1968, Rev. Troy Perry performed the first public same-sex wedding in U.S. history.
Over the next 45 years, the clergy of Metropolitan Community Churches, the Christian denomination founded by Perry, performed more than 240,000 same-sex marriages — and during that time every couple was told, “Your marriage is blessed by God, but is not yet recognized by the government. We’re working on that.”
“Working on that” became Perry’s life’s work.
Here, in photos and press clippings, is the story of how Rev. Troy Perry became “The Father of Marriage Equality.”

DOMA Fact Sheets

Here is the link to the series of fact sheets developed by a coalition of national organizations on the legal impact of today’s DOMA ruling.
http://www.lambdalegal.org/publications/after-doma

Georgia Resources

The GA Voice – The Georgia Voice seeks to be the news outlet of record for the state’s LGBT communities and their allies. Through ethical, professional reporting, we aim to educate and empower our readers to become informed advocates for the rights that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people continue to be denied in the 21st century.

Athens Resources

AIDS Athens - serves to address the needs of individuals infected and affected by HIV/AIDS through supportive services and to prevent the spread of the disease through education and outreach.

Athens Casuals - A community social group for men.

Athens Pride - A collaborative effort of many non-profit efforts to celebrate the diversity of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community of Athens, GA.

Boybutante Ball - This annual ball and stage show is northeast Georgia’s largest fundraiser for AIDS support services.

GLOBES - The Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual Employees & Supporters is a diverse organization of faculty, staff, graduate students and administrators, whose mission is to advocate for, develop, and nurture UGA’s LGBTQ communities.

Lambda Alliance -  Established to meet the needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and ally students, faculty, and staff at UGA.

PFLAG Athens  -  Promotes the well being of Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans people, their families and friends.

Under The Rainbow - Group led by Ricky Roberts.

National Resources

GLAAD - The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation amplifies the voice of the LGBT community by empowering real people to share their stories, holding the media accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grassroots organizations communicate effectively. By ensuring that the stories of LGBT people are heard through the media, GLAAD promotes understanding, increases acceptance, and advances equality.

 

GLSEN - The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students.

 

Human Rights Campaign - The Human Rights Campaign represents a force of more than 1.5 million members and supporters nationwide. As the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, HRC envisions an America where LGBT people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

 

Lambda Legal - Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those withHIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

 

Metropolitan Community Church - Metropolitan Community Churches are on a bold mission to transform heartslives, and history.

 

National Gay & Lesbian Task Force - The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force builds the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, building the organizational capacity of our movement and generating groundbreaking research through our Policy Institute.

 

Soulforce - Soulforce is committed to freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people from religious and political oppression through relentless nonviolent resistance.

 

Other national resources can be found @ CenterLink.

Ga LGBT Campgrounds

You don’t have to wait for special events to enjoy a weekend of LGBT community, and you don’t have to stay in Atlanta to find it. Georgia is home to a variety of LGBT campgrounds, whether you prefer the North Georgia mountains or the forests of South Georgia.

Fox Mountain Camp & Artist Retreat
350 Black Ankle Way, Cherry Log, GA 30522
www.foxmtncamp.com

Fox Mountain is a private, 18-acre “women-focused” campground located near the Toccoa River with women-only and mixed-gender camping areas. Women campers are allowed one male guest.

Some camping gear is available for rent; other amenities include a music stage, showers and flush toilets. Every third weekend, the campground hosts a female musician in concert.

Roy’s Hideaway
268 Catfish Lane, Collins, GA 30421
www.royshideaway.com

An hour from Savannah or two hours from Macon, Roy’s Hideaway features six lakes, cabins, wi-fi, a saltwater pool, a café, laundry, showers and restrooms. Tent camping and longterm RV hook-ups also available.

Upcoming events include the Memorial Day Glamorous & Trashy Weekend with Kristina Foxx.

In The Woods Campground
142 Casey Court, Canon, GA 30520
www.inthewoodscamp.com

In the Woods is a gay, members-only, clothing-optional campground that is mostly men, although women are welcome. Amenities include a clubhouse, pool, hot tub, tent camping, cabins, RV sites, a bunkhouse with private rooms and the Bearacks “shared living experience.”

Oz Campground
50 Highway 230, Unadilla, GA 31091
www.ozcampground.com

Oz Campground sits on 150 acres located just 8 miles off Interstate 75. Amenities include a 4,000-square foot bar and dance club, pool, hot tub, general store, wi-fi at the pool, cabins, RV sites and tent camping. Guests must be 18 and members. Clothing is optional in many areas.

Special events are scheduled for men and women. Upcoming events include Memorial Day Homecoming Weekend, Wide World of Sports (June 7-9), and Oz MusicFest (June 14-17), featuring lesbian duo Halcyon.

River’s Edge
2311 Pulliam Mill Road, Dewy Rose, GA 30634
www.camptheriversedge.com

River’s Edge is a private, adults-only, clothing-optional campground focused on men, although women are welcome. Amenities include a pool, workout room, clubhouse, shower facilities, tent campsites, RV sites, and cabins of various sizes.
Upcoming events include Bear Mayhem (May 10-12).

Swiftwaters Womanspace
830 Swiftwaters Road, Dahlonega, GA 30533
www.swiftwaters.com

For more than 30 years, Swiftwaters has offered camping for women who enjoy rustic camaraderie on the Etowah River. Amenities include a meadow, outhouses, shower, plus two cabins and a bed-and-breakfast room available for women who prefer not to camp in tents.

The Hunting Club
210 Rabbit Run, Ailey, GA 30410
www.huntingclubrv.com

Located seven miles from Vidalia, Ga., The Hunting Club is billed as a “private GLBT gated community” for RVs and tent camping. The site features an 11-acre fishing pond with kayaks and paddle boating, clubhouse, indoor and outdoor showers, plus a small pool.

MCC Moderator’s Circle Update

Metropolitan Community Churches

April 2013

Immigration: Faith-Based Messaging

This is the moment we’ve been training for.

Our nation’s immigration laws are on the table, and we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to lead. 

Our country is now awake to the human cost of current laws: families ripped apart, dangerous underground economies, and non-existent basic worker-safety regulations. In times like these, your voice of faith is vital in calling us to build a better, safer world for all people. In fact, times like these are precisely the moments for which Auburn Media training has prepared you. We want to share some suggested messaging to help you to use your voice and authentically speak from your faith tradition on the issue of immigration this week and going forward.

Below are a few message points from Auburn Media, informed by and in some cases directly quoting sources from our colleagues and partners at America’s VoiceAso CommunicationsCenter for American ProgressFaith in Public LifePICOLake Research PartnersMedia MattersThe Opportunity Agenda, and the Public Religion Research Institute.

Consider this council from those who have studied the values, perspectives and stories that can best move hearts and minds in America and then follow your conscience and call at this critical juncture in American life.

Recommended Messaging on Immigration Reform

CORE MESSAGE:

People of faith across America are standing up for immigration reform that provides us, our neighbors and our loved ones – people who love this country – with a roadmap to citizenship and puts an end to the tearing apart of families in our neighborhoods and houses of worship.

Values Statement:

My faith teaches that the Golden Rule matters: Do to others as you would want them to do to you. Imagine if you came here to work because there was no work at home or it was not safe there for you and your children. How would you hope to be treated?

Suggested Supporting Points:

  • The same is true today as it has been throughout history: people move to make life better for themselves and their families. It’s hard to move – to pack up everything and go to a new place takes courage – but you do it in order to put food on the table, to provide for your family, or send your kids to a decent school. Immigrant Americans move here for the promise of freedom and opportunity in this country. People move in order to improve life, and we believe that moving to make a better life for your family is one of the best things and one of the hardest things a person can do. One of the values we hold dear to our hearts is a deeply rooted belief in the freedom to be who you want to be, say what you want to say, and go where you want to go. America is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave – that’s a good thing so let’s keep it that way.
  • America is a country built by immigrants who love this country. In fact, my family came here from [lift up your story]. Each of us, like my family was, should be afforded the promise of the America Dream.
  • As people of faith, we believe that every human being has sacred worth and is created in the image of God. The current situation in our nation where millions of immigrant families live in fear of separation, vulnerable to abuse, and unable to fully live out their God-given gifts is morally unacceptable.
  • If you represent an Abrahamic faith: The Bible is full of people called by God to seek a better life for their families in a different land. Abraham, the father of our tradition, felt so unsafe answering the call to lead God’s people to the promised land that twice he was forced to hand his own wife Sarah over to the local authorities (Gen 12 and Gen 20), for fear that if he didn’t his whole family would be killed.
  • The new American immigrants I know are hard-working, family-oriented people who just want a chance to become full citizens of this great nation. They are Americans in every way but paperwork. Let’s change that.
  • Tell a story of an immigrant (your own story or of someone you have come to know or learn about) who exemplifies what it means to be a good neighbor and a good American. 
Problem Statement: Current laws are tearing families apart and creating dangerous underground economies that hurt the economy and hurt people, providing no basic worker-safety regulations for new American immigrants.

Suggested supporting points:
  • Everyone agrees that the current patchwork of policies and programs is mismanaged and broken, and it breaks up families. For those currently striving for citizenship, the current maze of regulations provides no light at the end of the tunnel, because there’s often no line to get into for becoming a fully participating American.
  • Just last week, a young immigration reform advocate named [lift up a story, for examplefrom a young DREAMer who had half her family deported in front of her eyes].
  • On the issue of LGBTQ families: Certain families are particularly vulnerable under current law. Same-sex couples shouldn’t have to choose between their love for one another and their love of America. We want legislation that helps and protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender bi-national couples. We support President Obama’s call for immigration legislation that “treats same-sex families as families by giving U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents the ability to seek a visa on the basis of a permanent relationship with a same-sex partner.”
Good News:  By all accounts, we Americans believe it is time to establish an immigration process that works for new Americans who want to contribute to this country and I believe it is going to happen this Spring. Please join me in calling for change.

Suggested supporting points: 
  • As a matter of principle based on the core teachings of our traditions, faith communities of all kinds have assembled a massive movement calling for an immigration process that works.
  • Americans support a roadmap to citizenship for immigrants without papers. In a recent poll from George Washington University and Politico, 62% supported citizenship for immigrants who do not have legal papers, and 77% supported the DREAM Act. We must pass immigration reform that puts 11 million immigrants on the road to citizenship.  Americans support it. Congress has to deliver it.
  • Enacting broad immigration reform will help fix the economy. Getting more workers into the legal system means their employers pay taxes, workers pay taxes, and they can exercise their rights. Numerous studies have shown the presence of immigrants helps revitalize economies.
Many faith groups and leaders have centered their message around “welcoming the stranger.” Research on this frame finds that it triggers a negative understanding of who immigrants are – that they are “strangers,” not us or our neighbors, and therefore not to be trusted. While the word “stranger” has biblical, theological resonance for our communities, we would not recommend its use for public messaging on immigration.

Please remember: there is nothing like the power of story to move hearts and minds. What is a moving story from your experience, local community, or congregation that will allow you to wrap your core message in a powerful narrative? Please email us your stories, sermons, or media work to media@auburnseminary.org.

Power to you and please stay in touch,
Macky

Macky Alston
Vice President of Strategy, Engagement and Media
Auburn Seminary

Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson at Inaugural Service

21 January 2013
Contacts: Ann Craig, MCC Communications,  craignewyork@gmail.com917-280-2968
Jason O’Neill, MCC Communications,  jasononeill@mccchurch.net508-246-8416

Obama’s Inaugural Prayer Service Includes Head of Pro-LGBT Denomination

The Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, Moderator of MCC, to read Bible at inaugural service

The Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson is the moderator of the Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC), which has ministries in over 40 countries.  Dr. Wilson was part of the first LGBT delegation to meet with a sitting president in 1979.  She is currently a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

STATEMENT:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – White House staff announced that the Interfaith Prayer Service at the National Cathedral, to be held Tuesday morning, 22 January, will include the Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, moderator and international leader of the Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC), a denomination founded 45 years ago as a church open to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Dr. Wilson was installed at the National Cathedral as MCC’s global Moderator in 2005 during an MCC service hosted by the Cathedral.  This month, the National Cathedral staff announced they will begin performing marriages for same-gender couples.  Dr. Wilson recently celebrated her 35th anniversary with her wife.

Dr. Wilson said, “It is profoundly meaningful to read the Bible during President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden’s second inaugural interfaith service.  As I read, I will remember the hands laid on me seven years ago in this very cathedral by faith leaders who called me to serve all of God’s beautifully diverse children, including LGBT people. President Obama prayerfully and respectfully stood up for LGBT equality during his campaign, and I am proud to stand with him.”

The prayer service dates back to President George Washington.  Today, participation by religious leaders from many traditions mark this service.

In a December 18th press release, the Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the Cathedral, said, “The Inaugural Prayer Service is an historic observance that Washington National Cathedral is honored to host once again for President Barack Obama. The Cathedral has come to be known as a spiritual home for the nation, and as part of living into that calling, it is our prayer that the service will embody the hopes and vision of our nation, and that God’s purpose might shine forth with new clarity in our lives.”

Attendance at the National Prayer Service is by invitation only, and tickets are required. The service will be webcast live at www.nationalcathedral.org. For the latest updates on the 2013 Presidential Inauguration, please visit www.2013pic.org.
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