In recognition of LGBT History Month and National Coming Out Day, National Action Network (NAN) is announcing the creation of NAN’s LGBTQ Alliance, whose mission is to support action and activism on behalf of civil rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people.
Emerging from the leadership of Reverend Al Sharpton’s advocacy for gay rights over the last decade, the Alliance will seek to integrate specific concerns of LGBTQ people with the holistic social justice agenda. The Alliance is chaired by Reverend MacArthur Flournoy, Director of Faith Partnerships & Mobilization and Religion & Faith Programs at the Human Rights Campaign. Members will include clergy, civil rights activists and others in the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Grounded in faith, hope and love, the goal is to challenge injustice based on sexual orientation and gender identity by implementing social change at the intersections of issues.
The NAN LGBTQ Alliance will create initiatives to address issues such as anti-violence, over-policing, education, economic development, health, wellness, HIV/AIDS and voter protections and work to create a new understanding of sexual and gender diversity and to promote full equality of LGBTQ persons in all areas of religious and public life.
According to Reverend Al Sharpton, President and Founder of NAN: “Fighting injustice in all of its forms is our mission and purpose. This is not about being gay or straight, this is about ensuring basic civil rights for all Americans. We have made progress, but cannot turn a blind eye to the continued struggle the LGBTQ community is facing. Limiting the civil rights of any American weakens the civil rights of every American — and that is simply unacceptable. NAN is a full-time civil rights organization that fights injustice wherever it presents itself and we are proud to launch this alliance to fight this battle alongside the LGBTQ community.”
Janaye Ingram, National Executive Director, NAN: “Over the last few years, people have been surprised that NAN has been a fervent supporter of issues impacting people who are viewed solely as members of the LGBTQ community. It is only when we view people through a narrow lens or put people into categorical boxes that we lose sight of the human being. NAN stands for civil rights for all people and many people live their lives not as members of one community, but as dynamic individuals who find their identity at the intersection of all the traits and experiences that make up who they are. We are delighted to bring attention to the issues and challenges of people who identify as LGBTQ within the fight for civil rights and look forward to continuing the fight for one standard of justice and decency for all.”
Reverend MacArthur Flournoy, Chair, NAN LGBTQ Alliance, adds: “Faith, religion and spirituality are integral in the lives of many LGBT people and our families. Religious freedom is secure supported by the United States Constitution. Our hope as the Alliance, is to foster communication, build relationship and mobilize clergy and congregation for justice. We hope to work collaboratively, to support public policies that disallows discrimination on the basis of anyone’s sexual orientation or gender expression. Faith communities have a vital role in supporting LGBT people and our families. This is not about uniformity in our faith beliefs or how we interpret scripture; rather, the Alliance is committed to our faithful call to advocate justice for all.”