Monday, May 14, 2007

Activists Target Homophobia in Black Churches

by Michael K. Lavers
EDGE Boston Contributor
Sunday May 13, 2007

More than 50 years after the civil-rights movement began, homophobia within historically Black churches remains a concern for many GLBT people of color. The National Black Justice Coalition and other organizations continue to challenge these attitudes through a variety of outreach and educational programs and initiatives.

NBJC announced its second Faithful Call to Justice earlier this year as part of its ongoing efforts to eradicate homophobia from the pulpit. The advocacy organization describes this latest call to action as a "nationwide effort to bring attention to the value and worth of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender congregants as well as HIV/AIDS awareness and stigma."

Faithful Call to Justice will take place early in June at more than 100 churches across the country. NBJC Director of Religious Affairs Dr. Sylvia Rhue said in a recent interview with EDGE this initiative is a direct challenge to the homophobia she said continues to plague the Black church.

"We felt it was high time to acknowledge the spiritual worth of our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters," Rhue said. "In many faith communities, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are not presented as people to emulate but rather are put down and demonized."


Faithful Call to Justice urges congregations to sign a "Statement of Affirmation," to deliver sermons that discuss homophobia, develop GLBT-inclusive programs and to acknowledge openly GLBT congregants in bulletins and other publications.

Click here to read the rest.

No comments: