Great event, thanks to all
About the keynote speakers and trainers.
Representative Jon Hoadley – Jon has been a super star advocate for LGBTQ people. Now, as the elected official for Michigan’s 60th District, Representative Hoadley can direct our advocacy to create and keep safe and non-discriminatory protections for LGBTQ people. Rep. Hoadley identifies as a person of faith whose values influence him and the issues he addresses in Michigan. To learn more about Representative Jon Hoadley, visit his web page http://bit.ly/2axK81G.
Rev. Dr. Julie Nemecek – The Rev. Dr. Nemechek is a trans-identified retired university professor and clergy member who’s an active member of the Michigan faith and LGBTQ communities. Rev. Dr. Nemecek has served as the faith leader for three congregations in Michigan along with serving as a board member with SoulForce, Trans Youth Family Allies, PFLAG, and is an honorary Inclusive Justice board member. Rev. Julie has been married to Joanne for 42 years. Read more about the Rev. Dr. Nemecek on the Center for Inquire Michigan website at http://bit.ly/2assjGD.
National LGBTQ Task Force Faith staff – Kathleen Campisano, Organizing Director with Bri Sanders and Camden Hargrove as faith organizers are with the Task Force’s Academy for Leadership and Action. As Trans and Queer identified people of color and white allies, the Task Force organizing staff represent a diverse team dedicated to LGBTQ liberation, racial and gender justice, and inclusive community empowerment. Read more about Kathleen, Bri, Camden, and the work of the Academy for Leadership and Action on the National LGBTQ Task Force website, www.thetaskforce.org
Inclusive Justice and MUUSJN receive $25,000 HOPE Fund grant
Michigan ranks among 15 states with lowest LGBT equality ratings.
There is a need for a more balanced LGBT awareness within faith communities, who are respected as having moral authority by the public. This Project will work to mobilize faith community support, to educate the public on issues and to create an atmosphere that supports fair treatment and civil rights for Michigan’s LGBT community.
Education within faith communities is a strategy to help persuade the “movable middle” to affirm the dignity of LGBT persons.
A $25,000 grant provided by the HOPE Fund, through the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan will help enable these two organizations to develop an LGBT awareness model program targeted to faith groups in Southeast Michigan.
Inclusive Justice/Together in Faith, a statewide interfaith LGBT welcoming and advocacy organization, and Michigan Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Network (MUUSJN), a statewide faith based advocacy group, have been leaders in educating and activating clergy and people of faith throughout Michigan to become responsive and engaged in local and statewide LGBT rights.
Can we help your faith community?
Do you have concerns on how to better welcome all people into your faith community?
Are you struggling with scripture and how it applies to LGBT people?
Do you know how to offer the best hospitality to all couples?
Are you ready for marriage equality?
We have a group of experienced speakers and workshop leaders who are available to work with you and with your faith community. More information can be found here.
Statement on Judge Cox’s ruling
In August of 2016, a federal judge in Michigan, U.S. District Judge Sean Cox, ruled that a Detroit-area funeral services provider, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, was in the clear for firing a transgender employee, because their discriminatory actions were protected under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The employee lost her job just weeks after informing her bosses that she was transitioning.
Members of Inclusive Justice, a Michigan organization of faith leaders and people of faith who affirm the worth and dignity of all people, deeply deplore this ruling. Denying the rights of transgender people to employment creates unnecessary harm for a community of people who are just as deserving of the means to provide for themselves and their families as anyone else. Additionally, the ruling opens a Pandora’s Box, allowing employers to essentially ignore civil rights laws and discriminate against individuals if they claim it is because of sincerely held religious beliefs. Going down this path puts many Americans at heightened risk of discrimination – including single moms, unmarried couples, LGBT people, religious minorities and many more.
“I affirm and support the rights of trans and gender non-conforming individuals,” says the Rev. Beth Rakestraw, Inclusive Justice Co-Chair and Pastor of Divine Peace Metropolitan Community Church, “precisely because of my deeply held Christian religious beliefs, not in spite of them. Using religion as an excuse to cause harm to anyone fails to meet the commandments found in several sacred texts, including the Bible, to love one’s neighbor and to extend hospitality to especially the strangers in our midst.”
Inclusive Justice commits itself anew to affirming and supporting members of the trans and gender non-conforming community by co-hosting with The National LGBTQ Taskforce an event designed to organize faith-based allies who believe that discrimination against trans people is wrong.