WESTPORT, CT, June 23, 2014 – Acceptance of gay and lesbian clergy and same-sex married couples is growing in faith communities across the United States, but faith leaders have long been on their own to understand and welcome bisexual people—until now. The Religious Institute is urging faith leaders to break the silence on bisexuality and fully welcome bisexual people into their congregations. Wednesday, the Religious Institute releases a groundbreaking guidebook, Bisexuality: Making Visible the Invisible in Faith Communities. Press and faith leaders are invited to join a press conference call:
- Telephone press conference
- June 25, 10:30 a.m. Eastern time
- 719-457-1414 passcode 987144#
- Please register by clicking here: Registration
This comprehensive guidebook answers such questions as: How can a congregation become welcoming and inclusive of bisexuals? What does Scripture say about bisexuality? Can a minister or rabbi be openly bisexual and serve a congregation? This multifaith compendium of stories and resources will help congregations they take the next step toward full inclusion of LGBT people.
“The invisibility and even direct silencing of bisexual people can lead to great harm,” said Marie Alford-Harkey, co-author and deputy director of the Religious Institute. “In the silence, bisexual people are left wondering who will stand with them. Both in the faith world and the LGBT world there are great gaps in understanding. This guide can help religious and movement leaders to serve the whole community.”
Copies of Bisexuality: Making the Invisible Visible in Faith Communities can be ordered for $20, including postage and handling, at www.religiousinstitute.org/publications and it is also available at Amazon.com
Experts at Press Conference:
- Marie Alford-Harkey, Deputy Director for the Religious Institute, is a graduate of the Episcopal Divinity School and is a provincial coordinator for Integrity USA of The Episcopal Church.
- Rev. Debra Haffner, President and co-founder of the Religious Institute, is a Unitarian Universalist minister and was previously CEO of SIECUS, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (1988-2000).
- Rabbi Debra Kolodny is the Executive Director of Nehirim, a national LGBT Jewish organization and the Rabbi of P’nai Or of Portland, Oregon.
- Rev. Dr. Janet Edwards, leader in the Pittsburgh Presbytery and former Co-Moderator of More Light Presbyterians, is a leader in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the larger LGBT faith world.
- Rev. Cedric Harmon of Washington, DC, is Co-Director of Many Voices, a Black church movement for gay and transgender justice.
The Religious Institute, based in Westport, CT, is a nonprofit, multifaith organization dedicated to advocating for sexual health, education and justice in faith communities and society. More than 6,400 clergy and religious leaders, representing more than 50 faith traditions, are part of the Religious Institute’s national network.