1647Soulforce, Inc. Announces Sixteen Local Groups Nationwide
- Aug 2 6:10 AMAugust 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
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
"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
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