February 17th, 2011
Soulforce and the Human Rights Campaign have announced a vigil this Sunday morning outside of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, to ask fundamentalist pastor Lou Engle to “abandon his hateful and dangerouls anti-LGBT rhetoric and actions.”
The vigil appears prompted by the recent murder of Ugandan LGBT advocate David Kato. Last summer, Engle traveled to Uganda where he voiced his support for the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill that would impose the death penalty of LGBT people under certain circumstances. He denied supporting the death penalty itself, but he did confirm that he does support the criminalization of consensual same-sex relationships between consenting adults. According to an updated press release from Soulforce and HRC, Engle has agreed to meet with the group “at a date to be determined.”
Here is the press release from Soulforce and HRC:
UPDATE – FEBRUARY 17, 2011: As of today, Lou Engle has agreed to meet with a group representing HRC and Soulforce at a date to be determined. HRC and Soulforce look forward to meeting with Engle and directly communicating their concerns about his radical views, and urge him to immediately make statements on record, delivered on Ugandan soil, explicitly opposing both the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and any criminalization of homosexuality in any country. In the meantime, Sunday’s scheduled vigil and delivery of petitions will go forward as planned in order to educate the public about the horrific situation in Uganda and the role American evangelicals have played in escalating it.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 16, 2011
HRC & Soulforce to Pastor Lou Engle: Stop Exporting Hate to Uganda in the Name of Religion
Organizations to hold vigil and deliver 70,000 petition signatures to Rev. Engle calling on him to engage in dialog on anti-LGBT sentiment in Uganda
KANSAS CITY – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, in partnership with Soulforce, a civil rights organization seeking freedom from religious and political oppression of LGBTQQ people, will hold a vigil outside the International House of Prayer in Kansas City on Sunday, February 20, and ask fundamentalist pastor Lou Engle to abandon his hateful and dangerous anti-LGBT rhetoric and actions. Prior to the brutal murder of Ugandan civil rights leader David Kato, Engle called LGBT people a threat to Uganda. Engle has publicly defended the Ugandan government’s efforts to pass the “Kill the Gays” bill, a measure that would have made homosexuality a capital crime.
Following Kato’s murder, HRC sent a nationwide action alert to its members and supporters asking them to sign a petition to three leading anti-LGBT ministers including Engle who have been exporting hate in the name of religion. The petition currently has nearly 70,000 signatures.
Members and supporters of Soulforce and HRC have asked for the opportunity to worship in Engle’s church, the International House of Prayer, on Sunday, February 20, and will be in respectful vigil outside the church throughout morning services. Following the vigil, Rev. Cindi Love and Moses Kushaba, a Ugandan who left his country in fear of his life because he is gay and sought political asylum in the United States, will present Engle with the petition signatures and speak to the press.
WHAT: Vigil and delivery of 70,000 petition signatures to Pastor Lou Engle
Sunday, February 20, 2011
7:45 a.m. – Vigil begins on sidewalk and will continue throughout morning
12:00 p.m. – approximate time for press conference
WHERE: International House of Prayer, 3535 East Red Bridge Road, Kansas City, MO
WHO: Rev. Cindi Love, Soulforce executive director and member of the Human Rights Campaign Religion Council
Moses Kushaba, a gay Ugandan who fled his country out for fear for his life
The Human Rights Campaign (www.hrc.org) is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
Soulforce (www.Soulforce.org) – guided by the spirit of truth and empowered by the principles of relentless nonviolent resistance – works to end the religious and political oppression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning people.
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