Bryan Fischer

Gay Gestapo Coming After a Church Near You

The religious right is at it again as they find more and more reasons to try to scare Christians in their battle against marriage equality.

In an op-ed, Bryan Fischer, director of issues analysis for the far right anti-LGBTQ American Family Association, tries to tell his readers that we LGBTQ activists are out to force every church into performing same-sex marriages.

He curiously uses the term “Gay Gestapo” when referring to LGBTQ activist, a term coined by Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce . . . but more on that later.

Fischer writes that, “mean-spirited and bigoted (LGBTQ activists) won’t rest until every Christian who supports natural marriage is under virtual house arrest, exiled from polite society and forbidden to engage in commerce of any kind.”

He continues, “Your church may be next. Do not think for one minute that the First Amendment all by itself will guarantee your church’s protection from rabid gay activists and their minions in the court system. The courts have already shredded the First Amendment virtually beyond recognition, and as far as protecting your church’s religious liberty, it may be hardly worth the parchment it’s printed on.”

First, I know of no marriage equality activist who is advocating that any church, regardless of creed or dogma, be required to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. Not one. In fact, from the beginning of the movement we have always claimed that churches have the religious liberty not to perform our marriages.

But there it ends. To refuse service to a member of the LGBTQ community when you are a publicly licensed, tax paying business, is discrimination. Virginia is pushing forward a bill that would make it legal to discriminate against LGBTQ peoples in restaurants, EMT services, hospitals, housing, hotels and much more. These pro-discrimination bills are in response to people like Fischer who scare the people that their religious liberties are under attacked.

Now what about the use of the term “Gay Gestapo?”  It is clearly offensive. To associate the LGBTQ civil rights movement to the Nazi regime is just ignorant and does disservice to the tens of millions of people who were persecuted and killed at the hands of the Gestapo.

Fischer thinks because a lesbian coined to phase it is appropriate to use.

It should be noted that this woman, Tammy Bruce, is an arch-conservative, who is highly critical of LGBTQ people and our issues.

Bruce, like Fischer, plies on the fears of the heterosexual community when it comes to the LGBTQ storyline they put forth. They have no credibility and questionable sanity, but unfortunately they have an audience.

Their twisted view of our community based on their own personal fears and hatred make it essential that members of our community continue to push forward to expand the truths that will find history siding with our goals. Remember “separate, but equal?” It is no truer then than it is now.

My Husbands Not Gay: Epilogue

Well, I couldn’t help myself, I had to watch it, and it was indeed a train wreck. That’s My Husbands Not Gay, which aired last Sunday on TLC.

Last week I asked where you stood on the issue of this this show. Did you watch it? I know some of you did.

So what was all the fuss over?

As my good friend said the premise of the show was a classic combination of denial and enablers which makes it easy for them to live their lives separate from reality.

While acknowledging their same sex attraction they repeatedly emphasize the ways they differ from people living a so-called “gay lifestyle” because of conscious choices they have made. Yet these same men will go out and check out other men, often with their wives along, and openly discuss with them the types of men they are attracted to.

But Tanya, one of the wives, states the underlining belief here that, “Gay, to [the SSA Mormon men], is a lifestyle choice,” and later adds that her husband “is definitely more attracted to men than women.”

According to the participants, who are all Mormon, gay men can be attracted to women and that homosexual orientations are not fixed and unchanging but fluid and negotiable.

But according to the Huffington Post “The Mormon couples profiled on TLC’s My Husband Is Not Gay may find these statistics sobering: Marriages like theirs — same¬-sex attracted men and straight women —are two to three times more likely to end in divorce than others.

“That finding and others come from a newly released in¬-depth survey of 1,612 self-¬selected LGBT/same–sex attracted Mormons and former Mormons, thought by researchers to be the largest study ever conducted with this population.”

The study shows that . . .

• Between 51 percent and 69 percent of mixed¬-orientation Mormon marriages end in divorce, well above the roughly 25 percent of Mormon couples who split up.
• More than 70 percent of LGBT/same¬-sex attracted Mormons leave the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
• 80 percent of respondents reported undergoing efforts to change their sexual orientation — 85 percent of which were religious and private efforts, 31 percent were private efforts only, 40 percent therapist-¬led and 21 percent group efforts.
• 53 percent rejected their religious identity; 37 percent compartmentalized their sexual and religious identities; 6 percent rejected their LGBT identity; 4 percent integrated the two.

The survey found that the more Mormon and the more same-¬sex attracted a person is (on the Kinsey scale), the more prone that person is to depression and suicide.

It is easy to lash out at TLC, the show and the participants, but in reality I feel they need our empathy more than our scorn, for their struggle is great. I disagree with their message but they are free to follow it. We however, need to continue the conversation this show has started and not let up in our fight against conversion therapy with laws banning its use on youth. And we must educate struggling and confused adults that yes indeed it is okay to be LGBTQ.

husband-not-gay-tdc

Trending – My Husband’s Not Gay

If you have been paying attention to LGBTQ news you will know that what’s trending right now is The Learning Channel’s (TLC) My Husband’s Not Gay one-hour special on Sunday night about four Mormon couples in Salt Lake City whose husbands acknowledge being attracted to men. They refer to it as SSA, Same Sex Attraction.

Needless to say this has many activists, organizations and individuals, in an uproar. The root of the problem is that many feel that this show harkens to the old conversion therapy (also known as reparative therapy), a range of treatments that aim to change sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual, a position that one can change one’s sexuality.

Others are upset because they say that these men are denying their true identity as gay men only for the sake of fitting in with their church’s teachings.

Josh Sanders, 32, launched a Change.org petition on Dec. 29 to keep the special off the air and already has 98,000+ supporters. “They are making a reckless choice to share a message that you can’t identify as both gay and religious,” Sands told People.

Sanders wrote that the TLC special is a “TV show that promotes the false and dangerous idea that gay people can and should choose to be straight in order to be part of their faith communities.”

“As a gay Christian man who’s seen firsthand how this message can harm people, I am calling on TLC to cancel My Husband’s Not Gay and to stop telling America that LGBT people should lie to themselves and to their faith communities about who they are and who they love,” added Sanders.

“They are turning my struggle and a lot of people’s struggles into late night entertainment.”

GLAAD also spoke out against the network’s decision to air the special.

“This show is downright irresponsible,” said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “No one can change who they love, and, more importantly, no one should have to. By investing in this dangerous programming, TLC is putting countless young LGBT people in harm’s way.”

According to People, Ty Mansfield, 36, is an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University who does not consider himself gay, but says he has had issues with SSA and loves the idea of the special.
“It’s a community of people that most people don’t understand because the popular narrative around sexuality doesn’t acknowledge it, other than the tragic stories. The show provides a window to show that people can thrive and live happy lives.”

Sanders said it well when he wrote, “the men featured in this show deserve to be shown compassion and acceptance. Perhaps even more importantly, TV viewers need to know the horrific consequences of trying to change who you are. Instead, TLC is presenting victims’ lives as entertainment, while sending the message that being gay is something that can and ought to be changed, or that you should reject your sexual orientation by marrying someone of the opposite sex. This message is harmful to both LGBT people and communities of faith, and I call upon TLC to stop spreading such dangerous misinformation by cancelling My Husband’s Not Gay immediately.”

TLC is moving forward despite the controversy and is standing by their programming. The network stated that they have “long shared compelling stories about real people and different ways of life, without judgment . . . The individuals featured in this one-hour special reveal the decisions they have made, and speak only for themselves.”

Where do you stand on this issue? Do you plan to watch the show? I know I shouldn’t but I’m drawn to it like any rubbernecker at a multi-car pile-up. I’m opposed to conversion therapy at any age, and I’m concerned that these men will be disappointed that they will never be able to hide from their true identity. I’m also concerned that others who are insecure in their true sexuality will find false hope in such propaganda only prolonging their struggle, confusion and pain. Having said that, if the show does air it should do so with a disclaimer that states that “Such forms of conversion therapy are not accepted by the American Psychological Association and that individuals are strongly advised not to attempt it because it will never work, except in fantasyland.”

2014-15

2014; What a Year!

2014. What a year it was with so many issues affecting LGBTQ peoples and communities. Both nationally and globally we made great strides and were faced with precarious setbacks as we plowed the issues through yet another year. Transgender rights, coming out, national oppression, gay scouts, executive orders, SCOTUS, marriage equality, Apple’s out CEO, all these and more were stories that touched us and moved us to action and celebration.

The year started out with the Boy Scouts of America as they implemented its policy to allow openly gay youth into the ranks on January 01. However, gays and lesbians over age 18 are still barred from serving as scout leaders, troop members, or volunteers, which is a shame that the Boy Scouts of America forces young LGBTQ adults out of their programs.

During the course of the year transgender peoples saw some interesting advancements, especially in the area of anti-discrimination. The big news is that transgender people are now protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s prohibition on sex discrimination.

Last month outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department will support the idea that existing civil rights law provides protections for transgender people against workplace discrimination. Holder says he has determined prohibition on gender discrimination under Title VII also bars discrimination on the basis of gender identity.

“After considering the text of Title VII, the relevant Supreme Court case law interpreting the statute, and the developing jurisprudence in this area, I have determined that the best reading of Title VII’s prohibition of sex discrimination is that it encompasses discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status,” Holder wrote.

While this is great news for our transgender brothers and sisters we must be ever mindful of them as they are a segment of our community that is often abused and subjugated to second and third class status. They deserve the same rights and liberties that we all seek.

Michael Sam’s coming out got the pro-sports world talking about whether they were ready for an openly gay player in the NFL. Sam was drafted to the St. Louis Rams, who quickly cut him. He then served a brief stay on the Dallas Cowboy’s practice squad before being cut yet again. Michael Sam was the first openly gay player in the NFL . . . who will surprise us this year?

President Obama proved once again that he is a true ally to our community with the signing of an executive order adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the categories protected in the existing anti-discrimination executive order covering federal contractors. With two years left in his presidency what other LGBTQ achievements could be next?

In a move that needs to advance across the country to all states, California became the first state to officially ban “trans panic” and “gay panic” legal defenses. The new law makes clear that a defendant’s fear of a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity may not be used as a legal defense.

The Supreme Court rejected anti-marriage equality appeals from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Because the rulings struck down bans in other states as well, the appeals court decisions raised the number of marriage equality states from 19 to 30, plus Washington, D.C. With rejections for appeals and refusals to stay court rulings allowing same-sex marriages to move forward, the high court seems to be setting itself up for a positive ruling for marriage equality this year.

2015 promises to be an interesting year when it comes to LGBTQ peoples with “religious liberty exemptions” being one of our major battles as we advance forward toward being accepted for who we are by nature. Here’s to a great 2015 to all of you and your families and friends.

2015-happy-new-year-300x300

Happy New Year!

One year ends. Another begins. Resolutions and goals are promised. We’re off to experience another year.

Now it’s time for us all to review the past year and recall achievements, notable or infamous events, and personal memories and the optimist in all of us hopes that our reflections will lead us to a better year ahead.

What are our goals, our dreams, our needs? Where do we want to be this time next year or what do we want to achieve?

Each year we are confronted with the “tradition” of making resolutions, but alas, far too many go unfulfilled or forgotten. Personally, I gave up on resolutions a long time ago, they seemed useless and a waste of time.

I’ve come to understand this yearly review and resolution making as a simplified form of a discipline known as a daily examination of conscience. Far from being a puritanical act seeking forgiveness for our sins, this examination of conscience allows us time to reflect on our actions and thoughts while providing us with an opportunity to embrace the dignity of our humanity, while reinforcing our self-respect.

Dignity and self-respect are the cause and fuel for the queer civil rights movement. These truths are the foundation for our indignation and anger in the presence of injustice. They guide and empower us while giving us the ability to recognize a government that governs us while at the same time discriminates against us.

Embracing the dignity and self-respect within ourselves helps us to see the same in others and thereby moving to restore individual moments to civility. In the light of dignity and self-respect, a simple act of opening a door for someone becomes a restorative moment that leads to other restorative moments. By becoming more aware of others, we also become more appreciative of ourselves and of our community.

As a community it is the recognition of our dignity and the power of our self-respect that causes us to fight back against the injustices that rile against us daily. Heterosexism, homophobia, transphobia, sexual prejudice and discrimination are enemies of natural human dignity and individual self-respect and as a community we can gain the inner-resources and strength to fight back against such injustices.

It is our hope that 2015 will lead us all to a deeper understanding of our personal and communal ability to bring about change and restorative moments. May our dignity and self-respect be the passion that enflames our desire and our actions to secure and protect our full and equal rights in society for ourselves and the generation of queers to come.

Merry Christmas.01

Christmas Wishes

It’s hard to believe that this is the week before Christmas, where did the time go?

First comes a story on the New Civil Right Movement website that made me laugh. It was about the infamous Pat Robertson, the leader of the “700 Club” and rabid anti-LGBTQ crusader, who responded to a letter from a listener “complaining that her church forbids its members to date anyone. She said her church treats dating or even showing interest in another person as ‘a sin.’” Pat replied with, “You know, those who are homosexual will die out because they don’t reproduce. You know, you have to have heterosexual sex to reproduce. Same thing with that church, it’s doomed, it’s going to die out because it’s the most nonsensical thing I’ve heard in a long time.”

So just where the hell does Robertson think we come from? Does he really think we are an anomaly in history where we simply appear and will soon disappear?

While I laugh at the silliness of his statement it saddens me to think that he has millions of loyal followers to whom he is educating to be anti-LGBTQ. My Christmas wish is that before he dies his heart be opened to loving and understand the true nature of LGBTQ people.

Tears rolled down my face when I read the following letter from a 9 year-old girl to her teacher. We find this story in Pink News from England. The student wrote the letter after the teacher revealed he was gay during a lesson on homophobic bullying.

She wrote:

Dear Mr R

Even though you’re gay, I will always treat you the same way as I do now. I still think about you the same way as I used to. You’re a great teacher and these are just some of the word’s (sic) that I would describe you as: great, amazing, fantastic, brilliant, awesome and brave.

The reason why I say brave is because you shared a personal secret which was very brave.

You don’t have to feel scared because I know that everyone in the class feels the same way as I do.

From (name withheld)

PS. We are all proud of you

As you can see the love of a child will bless us. This Christmas I celebrate this new generation of LGBTQ supportive people.

Lastly, I would like to quickly mention the news about the normalization of relations with Cuba. I understand the disappointment of those who oppose the President’s leadership on this issue but when it comes to Cuba’s LGBTQ peoples this is wonderful and welcoming news.

It will not solve all their equality issues overnight but it brings a new hope to a people who having been fighting for that equality for many years now. May this Christmas bring a renewed strength and promise to all the Cuban people, especially those who are fighting for LGBTQ equality in that country.

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty and Those Pesky Exemptions

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Victory Fund International Leadership Conference in Washington, DC, where we discussed a plethora of topics ranging from marketing equality to religion and politics.

I was struck by a repeated theme, religious liberty exemptions, that concerned me greatly.

For those of you who are unaware of what is taking place across the country in conservative controlled states, there is a movement afloat to pass laws with religious liberty exemptions, allowing individuals, groups, and corporations, to legally discriminate against other American citizens based on their closely held religious beliefs.

Faced with the “threat” of same-sex marriage, religious conservatives have rallied around the theme of religious liberty exemptions; mainly they seek exemptions from “facilitating” same-sex marriage. This would include the right to discriminate in employment, housing, spousal benefits, such as health insurance, and public accommodations. So a hotel owner can legally refuse service to a married same-sex couple.

But religious liberty exemptions are a slippery slope. What about the doctor, dentist, or nurse who refuses to treat an HIV or AIDS patient because they are gay? What about the restaurant owner, Christian, Jewish or Muslim, who refuse service to members of the LGBTQ community. What about the property owner being able to refuse housing to one of our transgender brothers and sisters?

Religious liberty exemptions have the potential of undoing everything we have achieved in our movement for equality and is clearly our new battle front.

These exemptions are another way of going around to state’s rights issue and taking LGBTQ people back to second class status. It is simply a means to help us go backwards as individuals and a community.

This week a bill passed in the Michigan House granting exemptions to doctors and EMTs to refuse to give lifesaving assistance to a LGBTQ person, because of their religious beliefs. The Republican-led House has approved the Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which essentially states that people do not have to perform an act that would violate their sincerely held religious beliefs.

As per a speaker at the conference currently they would say that 95% of discrimination of LGBTQ people comes from religious people or doctrines. These are the same people who seek the legal right to continue to discriminate.

But why should I care? Because when one of us is denied housing we are all denied housing. When one of us is refused service we are all refused service. Yes, we can walk and talk with the power of our dollars, but the truth is our community is filled with people who do not have the luxury to speak with their dollars. First comes the legal discrimination against the married same-sex couples, then on to the single LGBTQ people.

What if my religion believed in white supremacy? Would the next up for legal discrimination be our brothers and sisters of color?

Religious liberty exemptions laws are a slippery slope and one needs to ask where does it reasonably end? The religious right and those elected officials who kowtow to them will do all they can to stop the facilitation of same-sex marriage and will use every opportunity they can to set back any progress we have achieved over the last 49 years.

Boycott Salvation Army

The Bells Are Ringing . . .

The bells are ringing alongside the iconic red kettles of the Salvation Army as that organization pushes out its annual Christmas campaign to raise funds for the international evangelical Christian ministry.

When I was a child, I would often put my spare change in their red kettles. I liked the ringing of the bell and the warm “thank you” that always followed from the uniformed attendant. “Merry Christmas,” they would say to all.

It really made me happy like the holidays should.

But then as I grew up, I began hearing rumors about the long history of hatred the Salvation Army held towards our community. I then began reevaluating my giving to this organization. I eventually stopped completely after realizing that I could no longer give to an organization that cannot fully embrace who I am in my nature, a gay man, despite their ever so warm and welcoming television commercials where they claim “everyone” is welcomed.

The Salvation Army’s “Position Statement” on homosexuality, once found on its web site, but since taken down, reads in part: “The Salvation Army does not consider same-sex orientation blameworthy in itself. Homosexual conduct, like heterosexual conduct, requires individual responsibility and must be guided by the light of scriptural teaching. Scripture forbids sexual intimacy between members of the same sex. The Salvation Army believes, therefore, that Christians whose sexual orientation is primarily or exclusively same-sex are called upon to embrace celibacy as a way of life.”

The Salvation Army is telling me that I cannot fall in love and have an intimate adult relationship with another person of my own sex.

The Salvation Army appeared to show its true colors, in 2012, when an Australian-based Salvation Army official, Major Andrew Craibe, a media relations director for one of the Salvation Army’s Australian branches, implied in an interview that gays should be put to death. Death for homosexuals is “part of our belief system,” he said.

Australian Salvation Army spokesman Major Bruce Harmer quickly released a statement distancing the organization from Craibe’s “extremely regrettable” remarks, noting that members do “not believe, and would never endorse, a view that homosexual activity should result in any form of physical punishment.”

Harmer goes on to note, “The Salvation Army believes in the sanctity of all human life and believes it would be inconsistent with Christian teaching to call for anyone to be put to death. We consider every person to be of infinite value, and each life a gift from God to be cherished, nurtured and preserved.”

The American branch of the Salvation Army quickly chimed in with its own statement:

“The Salvation Army in the United States fully and emphatically rejects the statements made by the media director of The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory regarding the LGBT community. The Salvation Army opposes any discrimination, marginalization or persecution of any person. There is no scriptural support for demeaning or mistreating anyone for any reason including his or her sexual orientation. We stand firmly upon our mission to meet human needs in His name without discrimination . . . We deeply apologize for the hurt that these statements have caused.”

Except, of course, when it comes to same-sex marriage, to which the Salvation Army is strictly opposed. Salvation Army Major George Hood has said that same-sex unions go against God. In 2001, Hood expressed concern about hiring LGBTQ employees that “it really begins to chew away at the theological fabric of who we are.”

The Salvation Army cannot have it both ways. They cannot claim to oppose “any discrimination, marginalization or persecution of any person,” and, at the same time, be opposed to what is natural in same-sex attractions!

The Salvation Army is holding onto misguided and outdated understandings of homosexuals. While they claim to hold all in esteem, they hold us in disdain. We are accepted only under their terms as celibates. We are not truly embraced as the gifts that we are.

The bells today remind me that I am not fully welcomed by the Salvation Army. Therefore, I will continue to withhold my money from their iconic red kettles and I encourage you to do the same. Our hard earned dollars should only go to organizations that fully embrace our community this holiday season.

gratitude

Thanksgiving Gratitude

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~ Melody Beattie

Thanksgiving, that most traditional of all American holidays where people of all religions, all races, and all orientations are afforded the opportunity to express gratitude, each in their own way, for those things we have been given, both large and small. It is by far my favorite of all holidays because it is based on the simplest of notions that appreciation and gratitude are vital to a kind and caring people.

All across America, families, friends and strangers come together to express thanks, from humble dwellings to bustling soup kitchens, to mansions of plenty to middle class row homes, rich to poor and all in between pause to give thanks.

As is my tradition on Thanksgiving I would like to take the opportunity to express my gratitude for that which has inspired my passions or moved me to be a better person:

I am grateful to those youth who on April 25, 1965, at Dewey’s Restaurant in Philadelphia, took a stand against blatant discrimination towards queers when the owner refused to serve those he thought were either gay or wearing nonconformist clothing. This was the first queer protest/sit-in held in the United States. Their stand motivates me to stand today for queer equality.

I am grateful for my friends who know me and still remain my friends. They are the beats of my heart. They are a constancy that remains when I take leave of myself.

I am grateful to people like Jane Shull, Michael Williams, Nurit Shein and Carrie Jacobs who unselfishly give from the heart each in their own way. They inspire me to be a better person and to serve others with both sincerity of heart and mind.

I am grateful for organizations, including but not limited to The Attic Youth Center, Mazzoni Center and Philadelphia Fight, that continue to serve the needs of others even through difficult times. Their unselfish actions and deeds call me to lead a more virtuous and caring life.

I am grateful to all the queer youth who have shown me that tomorrow is bright with love and courage, and that the promise of the future is here today.

I am most grateful to my own family whose unconditional love continues to supplicate and replenish my love for all humanity, especially for those who have lost the capability to do so. And to my parents, whose belief in me goes beyond all rational understanding. They are my rock and my strength; they continue to teach me of love, family, sacrifice.

For these and so many other reasons, I give thanks for all that I have been given and all I have yet to give. May each of you find the joy that gratitude brings to our hearts this year and for the all the years to come.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Gloria’s Legacy; A Healed Community

The passing of a person from life to death affects many people; family, friends, and lovers are each touched in some powerful way. The death of a great person affects a community and changes our lives forever. That was such with the passing of Gloria Casarez last month, small in stature but large in action and love for the people she was called to serve as an activist and a leader.

The wound that was left by Gloria’s passing is still deep and wide. But the healing is beginning.

But what form does that healing take for individuals and the community?

Let’s first look at the Kübler-Ross model, or the five stages of grief, a series of emotional stages experienced when faced with impending death or death of someone. The five stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

It should be pointed out that “Elisabeth Kübler-Ross noted that the stages are not meant to be a complete list of all possible emotions that could be felt, and they can occur in any order. Her hypothesis holds that not everyone who experiences a life-threatening or life-altering event feels all five of the responses, due to reactions of personal losses differing between people.”

Just like there is not a particular order for the five stages of grief there is no time frame for these five stages to manifest. Likewise, as members of a community we will all be at different stages at different times and our healing process will be gradual.

But how does that healing take place?

First we must be willing to be open about our feelings at the loss of Gloria.

Second, we must be committed to healing as a community and to be open to change.

Third would be in remembrance of Gloria . . . what will her legacy bring to the community? We are not at a loss, we live on to make a difference.

To borrow a cliché, it takes a village. It will take a village/community for Gloria’s legacy to grow.

What form does this healing needs to take place? What would Gloria do? What would she have wanted us to do?

The end of divisions in our community should be a priority. It was Gloria’s wish and vision to see the separate fractions that harm our community unite, be healed, and work collaboratively together for the greater good of our community.

It’s no secret that there are deep divisions and very old wounds among some of our community organizations and leaders but these must end for Gloria’s vision to be materialized.

Gloria Casarez was a great leader of our community and she had a dream and vision for us to be more one with each other. It is time to lay down our differences and heal the past hurts so that we can become the community we are called to be; open, collaborative and welcoming of all.