Saturday May 25, 2013
Faith Leaders Launch 'Coming Out as a Person of Faith' ExhibitSalem-News.com
Premiere on Thursday; exhibit will travel to churches throughout Oregon.
(PORTLAND, OR) - A multimedia exhibit premiering Thursday tells the stories of faith leaders and people of faith who now support the freedom to marry. The exhibit, a project of the Basic Rights Oregon Education Fund, will travel to churches throughout Oregon.
Through film, audio, photographs and writing, the exhibit shows how people from a variety of Judeo-Christian traditions are on a journey of understanding, reconciling what they had been taught about gay and trans people with what they have seen to be true about their friends, family, peers and loved ones.
Gay and lesbian couples want to marry for similar reasons as anyone – to make a lifetime promise of love, commitment, fidelity and responsibility. More and more people of faith are coming to realize that the core principals of their beliefs are leading them to support the freedom to marry.
“We are all children of god, and it is not for us to judge or deny a couple willing to stand up in front of their friends and family to make a promise of love, commitment, fidelity and responsibility to each other,” said the Rev. Mark Knutson, pastor at Augustana Lutheran Church. “I believe that that treating others as one would want to be treated includes allowing gay and lesbian couples to have the freedom to marry.”
When the exhibit is unveiled, clergy and people of faith from various Judeo-Christian traditions will discuss what they were taught growing up, how they reconciled their beliefs, how they came out—in some cases as a gay or trans person, and in other cases as a faith ally—and how they now support the freedom to marry. Around 6 p.m., a short film, "Coming Out as a Person of Faith," will be shown, featuring the song "Same Love," thanks to the generous support from the nationally-recognized hip-hop and DJ duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
A group of volunteers and faith leaders created the project with support from several organizations, including the Community of Welcoming Congregations, Oregon State PFLAG, Rural Organizing Project, Religious Response Network, Oregon-Idaho Reconciling United Methodists, Oregon Integrity, Freedom to Marry, Mormons for Marriage Equality, ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full Participation and the Portland Metro Chapter of ReconcilingWorks.
The exhibit is generously supported by Macklemore, the renowned rapper, and his producer Ryan Lewis. It’s also supported by Jessica Painter Graphic Design, Sprout Pediatric Dentistry, Dawn DeAno Photography, Hollywood Theatre, Megan Cleary, Andrew Todd, Bill Michtom, Morel Ink, Pushdot Studios, Wayne Sabbak, Stacy Brewster, and the Basic Rights Oregon Faith Committee.
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