Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Clergy Call for Passage of Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act on Capitol Hill

Unfinished Lives Project Director, Dr. Stephen Sprinkle, delivers the Opening Prayer at Clergy Call 2009

Unfinished Lives Project Director, Dr. Stephen Sprinkle, delivers the Opening Prayer at Clergy Call 2009

More than 300 LGBT Clergy and Allies hit Capitol Hill to pray and lobby for the passage of the Matthew Shepard Act and a fully trans-inclusive Employment Non-Descrimination Act.  A new breeze seemed to be blowing in the halls of government.  The Human Rights Campaign Religion and Faith Program, directed by Harry Knox and Sharon Groves, coordinated three days of events, May 4-6, 2009.  Among the speakers for the Press Conference were Dr. Tony Campolo, noted evangelical leader, and Dr. Jo Hudson, Rector and Senior Pastor of Cathedral of Hope in Dallas.  Clergy from all 50 states attended.  The Matthew Shepard Act awaits the action of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and chief sponsor Senator Ted Kennedy in order to bring the legislation (which has already passed the House of Representatives by a healthy margin) to the floor of the Senate.  President Obama has publicly indicated that he would sign the bill into law when it reaches his desk.  Federal Hate Crimes legislation was first introduced in Congress 17 years ago.  So much has happened since, and so many have needlessly died.  With the Hebrew Prophets, the ministers, rabbis, and priests meeting for Clergy Call 2009 cry out, “How long, O Lord?”

The gathering of large contingents of LGBT Clergy and Allies to lobby for passage of fully inclusive hate crimes federal legislation, first in 2007 and now, has done much to persuade fence-sitting members of Congress that the radical right does not own the religious vote on this issue.

May 14, 2009 Posted by | Hate Crimes, Washington, D.C. | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Clergy Call for Passage of Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act on Capitol Hill

   

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