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Monday, January 31, 2011

Tell your elected leaders to speak out against hate!

Dear friends,

In 2000, I enrolled in seminary.
I started classes as a straight Methodist and graduated a lesbian agnostic. It wasn't exactly what my mother had in mind for my life...but it was a completely incredible and life-changing experience. Many of my classmates are now church leaders or hospital chaplains -- and many of them have been fighting for justice and equality far longer than I have.
I learned about social justice from my seminary classmates. Over beer. And I'm a better person for it.
Unfortunately, not all people of faith are as passionate about justice as my classmates. Sadly, not a day goes by that we aren't reminded of the intolerance and bigotry that some people of faith hold in their hearts toward LGBT people. And, for some, that intolerance bleeds into hatred.
We see it happen in the United States, and our political leaders are complicit in exporting it to countries like Uganda -- testing out exactly how much they can get away with…even as far as murder.
Just last week, we came to you asking for help on behalf of a Ugandan lesbian, Brenda Namigadde, who had sought refuge in the United Kingdom -- a woman who is terrified of being sent back to Uganda where, within just a few weeks, legislators could make being LGBT a crime, punishable by imprisonment or death. Thanks to the swift action of this community and many others, she was temporarily spared but, sadly, she will continue living under the crushing weight of uncertainty.
As Americans, we must act now to prevent an entire segment of Ugandan society from being eradicated -- and we must expose the Americans who are using American money and political influence to perpetuate the hysteria that will get this legislation passed. We must act now to intercede in the imprisonment or death of more of our Ugandan sisters and brothers -- and to make it clear that eradicating us, whether in Africa or America, will not be tolerated.
The Americans behind the murder of LGBT Ugandans are known as "The Family" -- a secretive religious/political group that is throwing its annual National Prayer Breakfast this week in Washington, DC. [1] They'll be welcoming political and business leaders there -- and President Obama will be delivering the keynote address.
But we're not letting this event take place without confronting attendees with the truth about its organizers. Will you add your name to our petitions to Members of Congress and the President, letting them know about the dangers of this group?
This Thursday during the breakfast, GetEQUAL DC -- local GetEQUAL organizers who live in the DC area -- will be outside this sham "prayer" breakfast. We'll be joined by faith leaders who represent the best of world religions -- those who, like my seminary classmates, seek to do justice.
If you're in the DC area, we'll be sending you information on how to join us in person. Otherwise, I hope you'll tell those representing you in the nation's capital that we will not stand for bigotry here or abroad!
For equality,
Heather Cronk, Managing Director
[1] "Background on 'The Family'" --
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