Between May 17 and June 28, 2009, groups of LGBT and allied people around the country will attend worship services at a church of their choice - a church that is not welcoming and affirming of openly LGBT members and guests. Each group will wear a lapel button that reads "gay? fine by me." For less formal churches we also have a t-shirt with this message. The lapel button (or t-shirt) serves as a conversation starter - opening dialogue with people in the church about faith, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
When that visible act of courage is paired with adequate training, then transforming hearts and minds becomes a bona fide possibility. That's why we've designed a three-part teleconference course and a resource webpage that covers the essentials of Nonviolent communication, Media talking points, and What both the Bible and science really say about homosexuality. Training teleconferences will be held on April 19, April 26, and May 3 at 4pm CST. To register for the trainings go to http://www.soulforce.org/moodle/login/index.php and enter your information.
We hope you will consider organizing a Sundays of Solidarity project in your area. It simply involves choosing a church in your area that could benefit from an SOS visit, using your contact list to recruit others to join you, attending the teleconference training sessions, and then organizing your group to take action on one of the Sundays between May 17 and June 28, 2009. To purchase a lapel button or t-shirt, please visit http://finebyme.org/sos.html.
We believe it is easier for LGBT people to come out of the closet if their friends and allies publicly come out against homophobia, too. We know there are countless people all across America who support equal rights—both gay and straight, from every community in every state—and we want to work with you to stand up against discrimination. Join a campaign that is just as diverse as the country we live in, a movement growing stronger every day. Fine By Me, Inc. is a non-profit organization.
A federal judge has upheld the right of students in Holmes County, Florida, to wear pro-LGBT clothing and buttons, including Gay? Fine By Me t-shirts. The suit was filed after the principal of Ponce de Leon High School suspended several students for wearing pro-LGBT apparel and actively sought to foster a homophobic atmosphere in the school.
There's a rich story behind that quip at the link provided. But more so, I think that story is relevant because Day of Silence 4-17-09 is coming up.
What is the Day of Silence®?
The Day of Silence, a project of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), is a student-led day of action when concerned students, from middle school to college, take some form of a vow of silence to bring attention to the name-calling, bullying and harassment -- in effect, the silencing -- experienced by LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) students and their allies.
Day of Silence: April 17th
Anti-gay Day of "Truth:" April 20th
This is the anti-gay Exodus International press release in regard to their participation with "Day of Truth."
Exodus International & Alliance Defense Fund Team Up For Day of Truth Event
Joining forces to reach more students
February 23, 2009
Orlando, FL- Two Christian organizations are teaming up to empower youth to express their views on sexuality by co-sponsoring this year's annual Day of Truth event held April 20 on high school campuses nationwide. Exodus International, a ministry that helps those affected by same-sex attraction to live a life that reflects their biblical beliefs and Alliance Defense Fund, a legal support organization, are co-sponsoring the event this year and are hoping for a record turnout that will continue ongoing dialogue on issues surrounding faith and sexuality.
The idea that Exodus International and the Alliance Defense Fund have any intention to "continue ongoing dialogue," is farcical.
The entire purpose of "Day of Truth," is to further spread hatred for the recognition of hatred -- for LGBT students and/or anything LGBT at all.
I'm much too angry to be non-violent of tongue when engaging with those who fervently disagree, but I have great confidence in the process itself - and for those of you who do have the ability to maintain that ever forgiving presence of mind.