Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 29+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-03-25
Download Issue
  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

LGBTQ media confab looks ahead to post-marriage reporting LGBTQ media confab
looks ahead to
post-marriage reporting
LGBTQ media professionals gathered in Philadelphia on March 13-14, as they looked ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times

Faith Project launches at All Saints
Extended for the Online Edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Religion and LGBTQ issues can make for a pretty volatile mix. However, they can also constitute an intriguing and lively discussion where people discuss their similarities and differences.

The latter occurred Oct. 20 as the Faith Project held its launch at All Saints Episcopal Church. The grassroots organizations LGBT Change and the Civil Rights Agenda, who collaborated to create the project, sponsored the talk.

According to its Facebook page, the Faith Project "unites and empowers people of faith to gain justice for the LGBTQ community through their faith and engagement. The Faith Project utilizes outreach and events to promote dialogue and inspire action. Resources and projects are shared to influence progress and reach our goals."

At the outset, LGBT Change co-Executive Director Anthony Martinez thanked attendees "for being at the very beginning of something that has been a three-year-long process. ... It's something that I'm very excited to see come to fruition."

Project head and LGBT Change member Chas Lovelace said that she met Martinez a few months ago at a conference. Then, " [ Martinez ] approached me a couple months later, and he was [ talking about ] the lack of faith-based groups that dealth with LGBT rights. I agreed with him, and that's when we started working together." She added that "it's really important to us to make sure that people of faith can have this conversation and feel like they're in a welcoming environment."

Pastor Suzanne Anderson-Hurdle of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church & Preschool in Romeoville spoke about being a gay-rights activist, having worked with such organizations as Equality Illinois. "Sometimes I feel like I'm alone out there," she said.

She also talked about how the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America recently voted "to allow for same-gender unions and for the ordination of LGBT people, which is a huge thing for many of us who are straight and are in the ministry, because it was a turning point." However, she reiterated "that it gets lonely sometimes" because the Northern Illinois synod "is not the most welcoming." Anderson-Hurdle also said that it is important to build goodwill out in the suburbs ( "It's not just a Chicago thing" ) if change is going to happen. The married mother of three children talked about how the oldest ( 17 ) put on his Facebook page, "For everyone who says I'm gay, I'm not. But if I was I wouldn't have any problem with it, so shut up." Lastly, she said that she constantly invokes a quote from Mahatma Gandhi: "Be the change you want to see in the world."

Collins Hunter of Chicago's Second Presbyterian Church started by talking about his personal life, mentioning that he is in a three-and-a-half-year relationship with another man and that Hunter just graduated from McCormick Theological Seminary in May. "It's not just about me being in love, but it's about the ability to express myself, and for you to express yourself however you choose," Hunter said. "The way we go about living our lives when we are in committed relationships to other persons is very important to me, because the Bible teaches us to be in love with thyself and with each other. That's what the church is really all about."

Hunter admitted that it is tough for everyone to be on the same page regarding same-sex relationships because the church itself is not unified. He then asked, "Beyond my personal relationship, what can I do to lift up others to want to have that relationship?" Hunter, who is also a lawyer, has also analyzed various bills and measures, and talked about how he can effectively communicate with everyone from attorneys to state legislators.

Former Catholic priest Michael Herman gave an emotional talk that centered around a friend of his who just been buried earlier last week, and the bond that he ultimately formed with the friend's mother, who, by Herman's words, seemed to be very traditional. The mother flew in from Detroit to Chicago to be by her son's side at the hospital. Herman and his partner held a wake on the friend's behalf, and the mother attended. Herman talked about the difficulty and eventual success of "trying to merge the worlds together without hurting one or the other" through song and words. The important thing, Herman said, was to not be mad at anyone but "to use our faith to bring us together."

At the end of the wake, Herman said, "she called me over and gave me a big hug. A few minutes later, she came over to say goodbye. Our three-and-a-half-year-old son was standing there. She asked him for a hug so I said, 'Go give Mrs. Serrano a big hug.' And he jumped up and grabbed her and embraced her—and she had this smile on her face.

"It's worth it to fight those battles. Faith has the potential to unite us. In the end, she might not have walked away [ a changed woman ] —but she didn't walk away like we didn't exist. She knew how much we appreciated the opportunity to celebrate his life."

Out lesbian Carol Goldbaum of Congregation Or Chadash said, "I came into the gay community a little bit later—12 years ago, when I was 67." She then talked a bit about Judaism: "Judaism is interesting because we have almost as many denominations as Christianity except each one is smaller. Two-thirds to three-quarters of the denominations have been supporting gay people for at least 20 years ... with conservatives changing their [ way of thinking ] about two or three years ago."

Goldbaum said that she was "struck by Herman's words; it made me think of my own process with my partner. When I came out, my kids cheered, 'Oh, good. You're finally in a relationship.' ... My partner's background [ is extremely diverse ] so the whole acceptance process was much more complicated." She added that people of all faiths "need to work together" and said that she will not get married "until it has some value [ although ] we are married in the eyes of God and in the eyes of the community. I also think that we have the [ 1,138 ] benefits that come with marriage."

The Rev. Bonnie Perry, pastor of All Saints, talked about growing up Irish Catholic but finding "an amazing home in the Episcopal Church. ... This congregation has pushed me to be more of who I am." She also talked about the moment when she truly was changed, spiritually ( at 16 ) : "It started up through my toes and it went all the way up through my body, and I couldn't stop laughing and couldn't stop crying—and I knew in that moment that I was loved. How conscious was I about being gay at that point? I don't know."

Perry came out in seminary, "where 20 percent of the people were lesbians," she said. "And I was mildly confused when I encountered people who were queer and not religious." She then talked about meeting her partner of 24 years while playing softball ( "I know, I know" ) and moving here while unemployed—after making fun of women who moved because of their husbands. Perry also talked about her ignorance regarding certain aspects of religion and history, including the ordination of openly gay bishop V. Gene Bishop and the Anglican Communion—and that there were more similarities than she originally realized: "I'm delighted to say that much of that change began ... when we said that you can be in solidarity with people who live in absolute poverty in other parts of the world and you can be in solidarity with those who happen to be queer."

Following the talks, there was an open forum that involved what social-justice issues are important; frustrations with the LGBTQ and faith-based communities; and actions to counter said frustrations.

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.

Pence signs "religious freedom" bill into law 2015-03-26
Indiana's Gov. Pence signs religious exemptions bill, groups respond 2015-03-26
Video spoof dramatizes unintended consequences of religious freedom bills 2015-03-25
Presbyterians approve same-sex marriage 2015-03-17
Military chaplains go anti-LGBT route 2015-03-04
Open To Thinking: Remembering Selma 2015-03-04
HRC to Mormon leaders: Don't leave anyone behind 2015-01-27
VIEWS Martin Luther King Jr.'s expansive dream 2015-01-21
Area church reaffirms commitment to LGBT leadership 2015-01-20
Pope speaks against same-sex marriage 2015-01-18
Gay Catholics differ with Pope's remark on gay marriage 2015-01-18
Feminist nun shares opinion on Vatican report 2015-01-07
World: Scotland's weddings; "dot LGBT"; Conchita Wurst and Putin 2015-01-06
TLC documentary suggests faith and authenticity are incompatible 2015-01-06
Lighthouse hosts vigil against police brutality 2014-12-18
Lighthouse Church hosting prayer vigil Dec. 18 2014-12-17
NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Hozier takes us to church 2014-12-17
World: London mayoral candidate; UKIP situation; Jamaican pastor 2014-12-17
Agenda for Synod on Family previewed, DignityUSA responds 2014-12-10
LETTER Take action 2014-12-10
Evanston Unitarian church hosts panel on youth homelessness 2014-12-07
Evanston church, Crys Matthews to benefit youth 2014-12-05
Church music director files discrimination complaint 2014-12-04
Lighthouse Church hosts benefit concert 2014-12-04
VIEWS Remembering Thanksgiving 2014-11-24
aChurch4Me observes Transgender Day of Remembrance 2014-11-21
Ministry fundraiser to benefit homeless LGBT youth 2014-11-17
VIEWS Surely, Jesus wants us to aim for church, not cult 2014-11-11
Rev. James Cleveland is explained with a queer perspective 2014-11-11
Area church reaffirms commitment to LGBT leadership 2014-11-04
Decalogue Society of Lawyers hosts hate-crimes forum 2014-11-04
Man attacked in apparent hate crime in Lakeview 2014-11-02
LETTERS Elections; Center on Halsted; the church 2014-10-29
Bishops' report excludes LGBT-positive language 2014-10-18
LETTERS Arch(bishop) enemy?, Church times 2014-10-15
Vatican takes different stance regarding gays 2014-10-14
NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Sinead O'Connor takes us to 'Church' 2014-10-14
Gay Catholic ministry responds to Vatican's message of welcome 2014-10-13
LGBTs welcome new archbishop 2014-09-24
Reports: Spokane bishop to replace George 2014-09-20

Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
the online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.





ALMA names recipients of Young Latino Leaders for Creating Change scholarship
New BYC location among Howard Brown meeting announcements
Ald. Emma Mitts videotaped making anti-LGBT comments
Accepting HIV status is 'strength' for Chicago athlete
Transgender community members demonstrate, demand recognition
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now

  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.