On Thursday and Friday I will be at the Rochester Institute of Technology, as the gay group and Christian group on campus have joined together to bring me in to talk about practical applications to building bridges on campuses. Honestly, who would have ever thought the gay and conservative Christian groups on campus would come together to have someone speak to them as a whole group?! This type of stuff continues to happen at campuses all around the country and each time I’m asked to facilitate these new engagements I’m continually floored and humbled to be a small part of what is going on with this crazy awesome bridge building work. I can’t wait to get there and do this thing!
And then on Saturday I will be speaking on a panel at LGBTChange – a gay equality rights conference held in Chicago. Here is a description of the panel:
We will be looking at the Conservative Christian Movement in America and their role within the struggle to gain Equal Rights for the LGBTQ community. We will be discussing this topic with Andrew Marin, of The Marin Foundation; Erik Christensen, Pastor at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of Logan Square; and Caroline Staerk, Director of Field Programs for Equality Illinois. Through question and discussion we will look at the issues dividing these communities and how to engage the far right Christian movement in order to create sustainable change. Topics of Discussion will include:
- A discussion of the bible passages that are used against the LGBT community, and defining their interpretation
- The damage of religious-based bigotry and a discussion of how to diffuse the hate
- Creating a mutual language and why this is essential to progress
- How to engage and work with Christian Communities of Faith that support LGBT rights
This is an honor to be here – the only straight person in the group! I am looking forward to a time of very productive dialogue that I will know have an immediate impact to be felt in our Chicago gay and conservative communities. Although, I’m not naive enough to believe there won’t be any strong disagrements no matter what I say, nor am I naive enough to believe I might be walking into a no-win situation, but I trust the organizers of this event and their heart. Hope this works out…