Marriage Equality Panel Discussion
Submitted by admin on Friday, April 27th, 2012 at 9:58 PM
Marriage Equality Panel Discussion: New England and Beyond with Mass Equality
Geographic and issue updates plus Q&A
Part of Sixth Anniversary Celebration as a Welcoming Congregation
Join us at the Wakefield UU Church as we celebrate our sixth anniversary of being a Welcoming Congregation! As part of being a Welcoming Congregation, we believe that an LGBT orientation is neither inconsistent with spiritual values nor an aberration. We celebrate the diversity of our congregation and the world as a whole, recognizing that each individual deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Through being encouraged to be open and self-accepting, we see each person ultimately becoming a more productive member of our society.
On Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 7:30pm, we will kick off our Welcoming Congregation celebration with a panel discussion, Marriage Equality: New England and Beyond, led by MassEquality Education Board members. (A $5.00 donation at the door is greatly appreciated.). The discussion will be an update on the state of marriage equality in New England and in other parts of the country. A question and answer period will follow.
We may have same-sex marriage in this state, but that issue is only the tip of the iceberg of what MassEquality promotes and defends. They have been at the forefront of advancing a wide array of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered rights. MassEquality states that its “premise is simple: we believe that every LGBT person deserves to be treated equally, to feel safe, and to be free from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
It is a simple premise, but one that is complicated to carry out due to existing federal laws (think “Defense of Marriage Act”: defining marriage as between one man and one woman) as well as the gender gap that still exists. Couple this with the impact that homophobic and transphobic speech has on our youth struggling to be true to themselves, and we are sure you will agree that discussion, which leads to action, is desperately needed.
Our MassEquality Panel is sure to stretch your comfort zone and increase your understanding of what faces LGBT couples and individuals today. The panel will be led by (biographies are condensed version found on the MassEquality website):
Priscilla Lee, who has worked for 30 years to improve access to basic public health and education services both abroad and locally, in direct service and advisory capacities. She has served on the Cambridge Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Commission since 2005.
Michelle Figueiredo, the only known transgender employee and the only known person to transition on the job in the State Street Corporation worldwide. Committed to “paying it forward,” Michelle serves on the board of SpeakOUT Boston, on the steering committee of State Street’s LGBT Global Inclusion Group, State Street Pride, as a camp counselor at Aranu’Tiq, a summer camp for transgender and gender questioning youth, and is an active member of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition.
David Wilson, the past president of the Greater Boston Business Council, Men of Color Against AIDS, and currently the Chair of the National Verizon Consumer Advisory Board, the National Board of Directors for the Human Rights Campaign and the Massachusetts Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth. In addition, he is currently a diversity consultant with AKConsulting Services, Inc. specializing in race, gender and LGBT diversity and inclusion. Mr. Wilson and his husband were one of the seven plaintiff couples in the Goodridge v. Department of Public Health (2003) lawsuit that won the right for same-sex couples to legally marry in the state of Massachusetts.
On Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 10:30am, our regular Sunday Service will celebrate diversity and inclusion by featuring Robyn Ochs. Robyn Ochs is a professional speaker and workshop leader, award-winning activist, and the editor of the 42-country anthology, Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World (2nd edition) and the Bi Women newsletter. Her writings have been published in numerous bi, women's studies, multicultural, and GLBT anthologies, and taught courses on LGBT history and politics.
An advocate for the rights of people of all orientations and genders to live safely, openly and with full legal equality, Robyn’s work focuses on increasing awareness and understanding of complex identities, and mobilizing people to be powerful allies to one another within and across identities and social movements.
The Wakefield UU Church has three Community Ministries that represent our principles and commitments: a Welcoming Ministry, creating a safe space and honoring the worth and dignity of each person; a Social Action Ministry, an expression of our principles in the community; and the Music Ministry, touching hearts with the universal language of music. For more information on the Community Outreach of the Wakefield UU Church, go to www.wakefielduu.org/content/community-involvement.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - 7:30pm