WHAT: On Thursday, a coalition of mainstream Christians and progressive advocates will hold a media conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to take back the mantle of religion from anti-LGBT extremists. They will offer a different, more enlightened vision for the future of America – one where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. The media event will take place one day prior to the annual Values Voter Summit, the annual conference that is organized by America’s most virulent hate groups and anti-LGBT activists.
The Values Voter Summit’s featured speakers include individuals who send the message that LGBT people are unworthy, morally and spiritually broken, and a danger to society. This message literally drives many LGBT teens to believe that taking their own lives is better than growing up gay.
The Very Rev. Gary Hall, Dean, Washington National Cathedral
Michael Keegan, President, People for the American Way (PFAW)
Frank Schaeffer, author, “Sex, Mom, & God”
Brent Childers, Executive Director, Faith In America
Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out, co-founder of The NALT
John and Catherine Shore, Co-Founders, The NALT Christians Project
Andy Lang, Executive Director, United Church of Christ Coalition for LGBT Concerns
Vivian Taylor, Executive Director, Integrity USA
Additional Speakers TBA
BACKGROUND: This is National Coming Out Week. At Thursday’s media conference, NALT Christians will step out to proclaim that people can be both pro-LGBT and fully Christian. An acronym coined by Dan Savage, NALT, stands for “Not All Like That” — meaning that not all Christians are anti-LGBT. Last month, NotAllLikeThat.org was launched. An immediate sensation (written about in TIME, The American Prospect, The Washington Post, Leonard Pitts’ syndicated column, and others) it is a website whereon, through their YouTube videos, LGBT-affirming Christians share their belief that there is nothing anti-biblical or sinful about being LGBT. One NALT video went viral, with more than a quarter of a million views in one week.
On Thursday, several prominent LGBT people and allies will release NALT videos: Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal Bishop; Jay Bakker, minister and son of Jim and Tammy Faye; Mel White, former ghostwriter for the late Rev. Jerry Falwell and Rev. Pat Robertson; award-winning gospel singer Ray Boltz; Randy Roberts Potts, the grandson of Oral Roberts; Justin Lee, founder of the Gay Christian Network; and author Frank Schaeffer, whose father, Francis, was a founder of the modern religious right.