Stonewall, Rainbow Railroad, and the church

a bigot with a legally-obtained gun

StonewallDuring the Adult Education class at church early this month, we discussed the Stonewall demonstrations of June 1969, which started the modern LGBTQ+ movement.

One of the pastors asked how we felt after seeing one of these short films, and I said, “Wary.” Always the optimist, I am. Though it’s great that Stonewall was designated a national park in 2016, I keep seeing all the retrenchment since that date. There is still discrimination that exists in the workplace, in public accommodations, and at businesses.

Some recent examples:
A district attorney won’t prosecute gay domestic violence cases because he’s a ‘good Christian’ He says he believes same-sex marriage is “social engineering” and therefore it isn’t domestic violence

Alabama lawmakers protect judges from having to perform same-gender weddings

Unrepentant Hate-Preaching Homophobic Sheriff’s Deputy Doubles Down in New Sermon – ugh, a bigot with a legally-obtained gun

From Stonewall to Trump: Do Trans Lives Really Matter?

The Rainbow Railroad helps LGBTQ+ people escape violence and persecution in Egypt and elsewhere. Sadly, the folks are more likely to go to Spain, the Netherlands, or Canada, and less likely to go to the United States.

Franklin Graham Goes on Anti-Gay Rant, Says ‘Gay Pride Flag Is Offensive to Christians’ (n.b.: there is a pride banner hanging over the entrance to our church)

And other examples too numerous to mention.

Note that a lot of this bigotry is taking place in the so-called “Christian” community. One of the older gay men in Adult Ed noted that, back in the day, the gay bars WERE their “church”, (mostly) safe havens for a population that was largely invisible to the general public.

This is why it’s so important that the “welcoming” or “more light” churches remain vocal in its support of all of God’s people. As people of faith, we must confront homophobia in the church.

I was thrilled by the Pride March in Albany on June 9. There were more houses of worship represented than I’d ever seen before. Plus most of the folks running for office locally.

The pride flag raised over the State Capitol for the first time in NY State history. A suburban town in Albany County, Colonie will now recognize LGBT Pride month because of one man.

New York City expects 6 million visitors for the Stonewall Uprising 50th anniversary.

And in a big heaping bowl of schadenfreude: Louisiana floods destroy home of Christian leader who says God sends natural disasters to punish gay people.