Warren J. Blumenfeld: LGBTQ Pride: Reflect, Rejoice, & Respond Globally

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” — Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Whoever saves one life, it is as if he [or she] has saved the whole world.” — The Talmud

The histories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) people are replete with incredible pain and immense pride, of overwhelming repression and victorious rejoicing, of stifling invisibility and dazzling illumination. Throughout the ages, dominant groups have labeled LGBTQ people using many terms: from “sinners,” “sick,” and “criminal,” to having a “preference, “orientation,” “identity,” and even being given “a gift from God.”

Though same-sex attraction and sexuality and gender nonconformity and expression has probably always existed in human and most non-human species, the concept of “homosexuality,” “bisexuality,” “transgenderism,” “heterosexuality,” and “gender conformity,” in fact, sexual and gender identities in general and the construction of identities and sense of community based on these identities is a relatively modern concept. It is only within the last 160 or so years that there has been an organized and sustained political effort to protect the rights of people with same-sex and both-sex attractions, and those who cross traditional constructions of gender identities and expression.

As we enter the momentous month of June, a time set aside in countries throughout the world to commemorate and celebrate our annual LGBTQ Pride events, we can take stock and reflect back on our setbacks and also on our victories great and small over the past years within the personal, interpersonal, institutional, social, political, and religious realms

Warren J. Blumenfeld: LGBTQ Pride: Reflect, Rejoice, & Respond Globally.

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Residents upset after county bends rules for pastor protestors | www.wsoctv.com

CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. — Residents are in a fury with Catawba County leaders for making an exception to an existing rule. Protestors were allowed to demonstrate Sunday against a pastor who made anti-gay comments during a sermon on Mother’s Day. County ordinance requires groups to submit a request for a permit to use public grounds. Groups are required to submit the request 14 days in advance.

via Residents upset after county bends rules for pastor protestors | www.wsoctv.com.

Pastor Worley preaches to joyful, supportive congregation at Maiden church | Hickory Daily Record

MAIDEN, N.C. – It was an emotional service on Sunday morning at Providence Road Baptist Church as the congregation rallied around Pastor Charles Worley, one week after his controversial remarks regarding homosexuals became public.

Church members and about 100 visitors from in and outside the area gave Worley a standing ovation when he approached the pulpit. A few members stood up from the pews and spoke out in favor of Worley as officers watched and intervened when one particularly longwinded member spoke.

The atmosphere was a vocal and jubilant one. The sanctuary was mostly full, with the vast majority of the crowd singing and crying out in joy. Many threw their hands up in praising the Lord and in support of the pastor.

via Pastor Worley preaches to joyful, supportive congregation at Maiden church | Hickory Daily Record.