2016 Staff retreatThe diverse staff of the Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion gathered in their yearly retreat in Berkeley, CA (June 20-21, 2016). As a multi-faith, multi-cultural group of different sexual orientations and gender identities, we jointly speak out in support of LGBTQ+ and Latinx people, and against gun violence and Islamophobia.

As we gather from different communities and constituencies across the United States we recognize the continued sense of mourning impacting LGBTQ+ people and those who love us.  We continue to express our solidarity with the members of the LGBTQ+, Latinx, and Puerto Rican communities attacked in Orlando, and their families and loved ones.

With unified diverse voices, we proclaim that this is the time to address gun violence and to bear witness that violence is a violation of God’s intention for our human community and inherent interconnectedness.

  • We call on people of faith to recognize and speak about this loss of LGBTQ+ and Latinx lives; to address the homophobia and racism that lead to spiritual and physical violence; and to heal the damage caused by religiously-based homophobia.
  • We call on all people in the United States to decry the use of Islamophobia, which further divides and weakens our communities; our diversity is our strength.
  • We call on all branches of government to take concrete steps to keep weapons of war off our streets and out of all neighborhoods
  • We call for increased efforts to prevent and address violence against LGBTQ+ persons, Latinx, and other marginalized groups.

The Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion is located at the Pacific School of Religion. Our mission is to advance the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and to transform faith communities and the wider society by taking a leading role in shaping a new public discourse on religion, gender and sexuality through education, research, community building and advocacy. Our retreat gathered the leaders of our African-American, Latinx, Asian-Pacific Islander, Transgender and Jewish Roundtables; these communities form the core of our work.