DoorsToEquality.org to Advocate for Passage of a Resolution Changing Church’s Book of Discipline at General Conference in April
Foundry United Methodist Church -- a historic reconciling congregation in the nation’s capital -- launched DoorsToEquality.org, a national, laity-led campaign for marriage equality in the United Methodist denomination. Through advocacy, grassroots organizing and education, the "Doors to Equality" campaign will work to secure passage of a resolution at this year’s United Methodist Church (UMC) General Conference -- set to take place April 24th through May 4th in Tampa, FL -- which will strike the current discriminatory language in the Book of Discipline prohibiting the recognition and celebration of the relationships of fellow gay and lesbian United Methodists.
The "Doors to Equality" campaign joins a growing movement within the denomination calling on the delegates at this year’s UMC General Conference to remove the discriminatory language from the Book of Discipline.
“This campaign is designed to bring together United Methodist voices for equality by building on the congregation-by-congregation movement that has been fighting for greater inclusion in the church and beyond for decades,” said Matthew Mustard, lead organizer for the "Doors to Equality" campaign and Foundry United Methodist Church’s Coordinator for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Advocacy. “We know that together, with the launch of the campaign and the groundswell of support we’ve seen over the past few years in our church and in our nation, we can create change and have a meaningful impact on the 2012 UMC General Conference this April in Tampa."
DoorsToEquality.org is a campaign that is led by laity across the nation and focuses on three distinct areas of advocacy:
1) Sharing our stories through an online video campaign that brings together United Methodists from all walks of life, both LGBT and straight allies, in order to share with fellow United Methodist brothers and sisters their journey to equality and fairness. You can view the videos, and upload one of your own, on the "Doors to Equality" YouTube page at http://www.youtube.com/doorstoequality.
2) Building awareness through online and social media campaigns, as well as traditional press outreach, in order to raise the profile of both the issue of marriage equality in the UMC, and the inequalities gay and lesbian congregants face and must go through in order to stay in their faith. Go to www.DoorsToEquality.org in order to connect with the campaign online or through Twitter at www.twitter.com/DoorsToEquality or Facebook at www.facebook.com/DoorsToEquality.
3) Grassroots conversations that will take place from United Methodist to United Methodist in the weeks leading up to the start of the 2012 UMC General Conference in Tampa, FL, on April 24th. By phone-banking delegates, sending personal letters, holding coffee shop discussions and engaging via social media, the "Doors to Equality" campaign is dedicated to bringing marriage equality to the United Methodist Church -- one heart, one mind and one United Methodist at a time.
Rev. Dean Snyder, Senior Pastor of Foundry United Methodist Church, said, “The United Methodist Church is a denomination that has been rooted in a thoughtful approach to the teachings of Jesus Christ. We believe that the overriding message of scripture, and of Jesus, is inclusion, justice for everyone, and loving community. As a denomination, we’ve overcome issues from race discrimination to women becoming ordained as clergy. This resolution for marriage equality is yet another step in the movement of God’s spirit toward an inclusive Church and society promised in scripture.”
Today, more than 100 million Americans live in the 21 states that have some form of legal marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples. Through the efforts of dedicated United Methodists -- such as those with the Reconciling Ministries Network and the Methodist Federation for Social Action -- over 1,100 United Methodist clergy in 13 annual conferences covering 19 states and the District of Columbia have vowed to marry gay and lesbian couples, and support is growing day by day.