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Lobby Time: The Gay Clergy Call

The gay clergy call has come to Washington this week. Hundreds gathered to pressure Congress on gay rights legislation. They are organized, motivated and have the financial resources to boot. The gay rights community has had some very important victories recently (Maine gay marriage law, DC City Council passing same Sex Marriage, etc) and so they believe momentum is clearly on their side.

I talked to Harry Knox about the Clergy call.  Knox is the director of the Religion and Faith Program at the Human Rights Campaign. You can watch his comments above. You can be sure that his comments will not sit well with many conservative Christians.

Read more about the clergy call below from The Associated Press:

The U.S. Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop is among hundreds of clergy members urging Congress to support gay rights, including the passage of an expanded hate crimes bill that would give gay victims of violence new federal protections.

V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire and more than 300 clergy of various faiths will spend Tuesday on Capitol Hill lobbying lawmakers to push through a bill that broadens the definition of hate crimes to include those motivated by a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and disability. The legislation was passed by the House last week.

Clergy also will push for legislation providing protections against workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

“They’re not here to grind political axes,” said Harry Knox of the Human Rights Campaign, which is sponsoring the event. “They’re here out of a pastoral concern for real people in their congregations who have to deal with the ramifications of hate violence and employment discrimination.”

It is the second time the lobbying effort known as Clergy Call has been held on Capitol Hill; the first event was held two years ago.

This year’s event comes amid significant victories for the gay-rights movement, including the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in Iowa and Vermont.

On Tuesday, the District of Columbia city council is expected to hold a final vote on legislation recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. The vote will place the issue before Congress, which has final say over the city’s laws.

More here:

Print     Email to a Friend    posted on Wednesday, May 13, 2009 11:14 PM

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