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October 22, 2010

Outreach from an adversary

Evans Late this afternoon I received an email from Rev. Anthony Evans, one of the more vocal opponents of the D.C. marriage equality bill that became law last March 3. Here it is:

From: Anthony Evans
To: Rick Rosendall
Subject: NBCI will soon issuse a statement on Bullying but...

I thought we should call a news conference to show how the church and the gay community [sic] on an issues [sic] that effects [sic] both of our communities. What do you think?

Your friend

Rev. Anthony Evans
National Black Church Initiative
Baby Fund Project
P.O. Box 65177
Washington, DC 20035

I replied as follows:

Rev. Evans,

Nice to hear from you, though your message was a bit garbled (there appear to be some words missing from the first sentence). Regarding the church and the gay community, I was interested in a story in today's Salt Lake Tribune. Here's a link:

It reports:

"Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that messages from U.S. religious pulpits are connected to the rising rates of suicide among gay youths, according to a new poll.

"And though Americans are split about whether they see homosexual activity as a sin, 72 percent say religion contributes to negative views of gays and lesbians."

Perhaps the statement you are preparing will be an apology for your own contribution to the anti-gay intolerance that leads to teen suicides, which would nicely contrast with your ally Maggie Gallagher's "Don't Blame Me" statement that came out a few days ago. If so, I would love to receive a copy. Incidentally, your reference to "the church" makes the religious community sound monolithic, which I am happy to say it is not. There are many different faith traditions and perspectives, and GLAA and our allies were gratified by the support of the few hundred gay-affirming clergy who signed the statement by D.C. Clergy United for Marriage Equality, which is here:

We were further gratified by the virtual parade of affirming clergy from many denominations that testified in support of civil marriage equality, and by the dramatic increase in marriage license applications in D.C. since March 3. We are sure that the visibility of same-sex couples being treated with respect will help show our sexual minority youth that they can look forward to fulfilling lives and loving relationships just like their straight siblings. We would welcome your joining us in celebration of this progress, in which our city has taken the lead.

Best wishes,

Rick Rosendall
Vice President for Political Affairs
Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance

(Hat tip to Bob Summersgill for Salt Lake Tribune article. Photo of Rev. Anthony Evans)


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In opposing the judge in the Robert Wone trial does the NCBI and Evans think that the murder of Robert Wone was such a terrible crime that the Three gay men accused of it were not allowed to have a trial? (Actually the charge wasn't the murder, it was destroying the evidence and tampering with the crime scene.) Or does he think they deserved a trial but only one where the outcome was predetermined?

I doubt that Evans sat through the trial and heard all of the evidence the judge used to make her determination. I know I didn't so I am in not position to say the ruling is wrong. Though I do suspect someone is getting away with murder. This is just the way I felt when the O.J. Simpson verdict was announced. I thought both of these trial were probably a miscarriage of justice but I wasn't on the jury so I wasn't in any position to judge the case.

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