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1647Soulforce, Inc. Announces Sixteen Local Groups Nationwide

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  • CORNET
    Aug 2, 2002
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      August 2, 2002
      Soulforce, Inc. Announces Sixteen Local Groups Nationwide
      Soulforce Press Release

      (Laguna Beach, CA) - Leaders of Soulforce, Inc. recently announced
      the existence of a network of local licensed affiliated Soulforce
      groups all across the United States. The purpose of the local groups
      is to support and carry out the struggle for justice and equality
      that Soulforce volunteers are doing nationally, and at the same time,
      take that struggle for justice to the local level.

      Soulforce, a national interfaith movement committed to ending
      spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings
      against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) people,
      announced that already there are 16 licensed affiliated Soulforce
      local groups active in the following states: Alabama, Arizona,
      Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska,
      Ohio, Oklahoma, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C.


      "So much physical and spiritual violence against sexual and gender
      minorities flows out of the misguided religious teachings heard in
      local congregations each Sunday," said Mel White, executive director
      and founder of Soulforce, Inc. "We need to work at all levels to
      stop the source of misinformation that leads to suffering and death.
      "

      All local groups are autonomous; however, members agree to abide by
      the basic "soul force" principles of non-violent resistance as taught
      by Gandhi and King and to work relentlessly to apply those principles
      for the liberation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.
      In the past two years, over 5,000 people have been trained through
      Soulforce in the principles of nonviolence, and over 500 people have
      been arrested in nonviolent civil disobedience.

      Soulforce, Inc., web pages have been redesigned to include news and
      updates about each of the licensed local groups, and can be accessed
      at http://www.soulforce.org/main/localgroups.shtml . Each group must
      go through a licensure process in order to become a licensed local
      group.

      Soulforce in Oklahoma is currently conducting monthly Sunday morning
      vigils in front of a Southern Baptist church. Over 95 have
      participated in these vigils, which started in January after the
      minister refused to dialogue with Soulforce in Oklahoma leaders

      Soulforce South Florida leader, Richard Murphy, conducted a third
      vigil Easter weekend outside of Coral Ridge Ministries, the church of
      D. James Kennedy. Kennedy, a leader of the Religious Right, refuses
      to follow through on a previously made promise to appoint a committee
      to discuss homosexuality with Soulforce South Florida.

      Soulforce Alabama was recently formed to bring truth to Alabama's
      Chief Justice Roy Moore, who stated in a recent legal opinion that
      the state has the power of the sword, which includes confinement and
      even execution, and should use that power to keep homosexuals from
      influencing children. Soulforce Alabama sent a letter to Justice
      Moore requesting a meeting with him. Justice Moore is a Southern
      Baptist and a friend of D. James Kennedy.

      Soulforce Lexington (KY) is conducting ongoing meetings with two
      Baptist ministers in Lexington. Last summer, a silent prayer vigil
      was conducted at the church of one of the ministers, and on July 14,
      2002, Soulforce in Kentucky stood vigil for nearly five hours outside
      Calvary Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky.

      Information on all local groups can be found at
      http://www.soulforce.org/main/localgroups.shtml .

      "Every national civil rights movement begins locally," said Karen
      Weldin, Soulforce, Inc. director of operations and local group
      coordinator. "Therefore, we must work locally and nationally to stop
      the violence that is committed against GLBT people in the name of
      religion. And, we must work relentlessly to insure that the source
      of misinformation doesn't go unchallenged!"

      # # #

      For more information, see http://www.soulforce.org
      Contact: Laura Montgomery Rutt 717-278-0592
      soulforcemedia@...



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