Witness for LOVE! continues, and you can join us!
2. Find a Witness for LOVE! event.
4. Get on our front page by being a Daily Witnesses for LOVE.
Clergy--from many faiths and traditions, and from all parts of Virginia--are ready to marry gay and lesbian couples.
Many have been doing so for a long time within their own traditions, and look forward to the day when they will be allowed to sign certificates of legal marriage.
Until that day arrives, many will continue to perform religious marriage ceremonies and will prepare for that very first day when civil marriage ceremonies become legal for all in Virginia. If you desire to be ready when that day arrives, consider reaching out in advance to talk with someone whom you would like to perform your wedding service.
To more widely share our journey in preparing Virginia for equality, POFEV President Robin Gorsline has begun another blog, "Prophesy Now: Speaking Faith to Power," on Tumblr at http://prophesynow.tumblr.com/. Check it out and let us know what you think. And continue to look to our regular blogs featured below: the New Virginia blog that Robin also writes and Voices from New Virginia penned by friends and allies in the movement for equality.
POFEV's campaign for equality for LGBT Virginians is anchored in a broader and deeper mission to create a wider movement for a new Virginia. In our New Virginia Blog we want to share what we experience on that journey and what we see as Virginia moves forward toward becoming a more inclusive and welcoming community.
We also are eager to share with you the wisdom, thoughts, and perspectives of the many different individuals who make up this movement as well. That's why we created a second blog called Voices from New Virginia where we can share with you the vision of others from where they view this work.
Building Change: Inside and Out
by Rev. Dr. Robin Gorsine, POFEV President & CEO
January 6, 2014
The General Assembly of Virginia begins its 60-day session this week on January 8. A few days later, on January 11, the new Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General will take office.
It is an exciting time to be in Richmond--and an important time. POFEV will be there (and we hope you will be there, too).
AND, and this is a big AND, we will be all over Virginia organizing for Witness for LOVE on February 14. . . . READ MORE
Good News of Great Joy for ALL the People
by Rev. Steve Hyde, Pastor
Ravensworth Baptist Church, Annandale
Last Saturday, I officiated at a wedding for two men, Richard and Mark. For me, it was a Peter the Apostle and Cornelius the Centurion moment.
In the 10th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, an angel appears to Cornelius--a Roman centurion--and tells him to summon Peter to his home in Caesarea. Peter is in Joppa, and while the messengers are on their way, the unsuspecting apostle goes up to the rooftop to pray. His message from heaven arrives in a vision, as Peter falls into a trance and is given a clear message that he is not to consider unclean what God considers clean.
Peter’s arrival at the home of Cornelius sets the stage for one of the most dramatic moments in the New Testament. For Peter to step across the doorstep of Cornelius and enter the home of a Gentile is momentous. We might wonder, “So what’s the big deal?” . . . ..READ MORE
Fifteen Virginia congregations and forty-six individual clergy signed on to a brief supporting marriage equality submitted on behalf of POFEV by its Board Chair (and Alexandria attorney), John G. Humphrey. The brief was submitted as support for the two couples suing in federal court to overturn the anti-Marriage Amendment in the Virginia Constitution. The brief was submitted to the Federal Appeals Court for the 4th Circuit that will hear arguments on May 13 on the appeal to the powerful ruling by Federal District Judge Arenda Wright Allen--POFEV wants the Appeals Court to affirm Judge Wright Allen's opinion.
"This is a big step for POFEV, and one we are proud to take," said POFEV President Rev. Dr. Robin H. Gorsline. "John Humphrey's painstaking research into the history of marriage in Virginia convinced us that the Court needs to know the truth about 'traditional marriage' in Virginia--the history of how the powerful have used marriage as a tool of social control to deny the dignity of disfavored groups.
Read more, including the brief itself, here.
We love to help publicize events taking place in or being sponsored by faith communities and faith-based organizations across Virginia that help promote equality and understanding. You can read more about such events your and other communities have held here. If you have events that you would like us to help publicize, please let us know by sending us a message from our contact form here or calling Robin Gorsline at 804-519-3196.
We now have regular clergy lunches in Northern Virginia, the Richmond area, and in Hampton Roads. Recent lunches have included a discussion on the topic "What If My Congregation Isn't Ready"? in Alexandria, a session with Kirsten Bokenkamp of Equality Virginia in Arlington, and get-to-know-one-another sessions in Richmond and Norfolk.
The first two Hampton Roads/Tidewater area lunches were held on November 21 at New Life Metropolitan Community Church in Norfolk on January 9 at Hilton Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Newport News, the congregation of new POFEV Board member Rev. Terrye Williams.
At the November 21 lunch, we had a wonderful if unexpected celebration. Our host Rev. Mark Byrd (center in picture), newly elected Pastor at New Life MCC was interrupted by the arrival of a team from Old Dominion University to present Mark with this year's "ODU Diversity Champion Award." Read More
At Charlottesville Pride on September 14, Robin Gorsline with Virginia marriage equality plaintiffs Joanne Harris and Jessica Duff and with Mary Ann Archer.
POFEV is organizing and traveling across Virginia to Pride celebrations, congregations, interfaith services, and clergy lunches, with new events scheduled weekly. To learn more about what POFEV is doing each week and when we might be in your community, please check out our Events page. Our Events page also has links to stories about past events of note like Pride Festivals and Interfaith Services.
If you like for POFEV to speak or be a part of an event in your community or congregation, contact Robin Gorsline at revdocrobin[at]gmail.com or use our Contact Us link. Until then, please join us at one of the events we'll have near you!
In D.C. on Monday, June 30th, activists from D.C., Virginia, and Maryland gathered at the MLK Memorial to herald LGBT civil rights heroes Bayard Rustin & Eleanor Roosevelt, lift up our fallen children, and launch the national campaign for 4 Words - "sexual orientation & gender identity" - to be added to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, marking its 50th Anniversary in July.
The event was hosted by by The Equality Pledge Network, Walk Across America, and The Equality Bill Project. Speakers included Todd Fernandez of The Equality Pledge Network, Rev. Robin Gorsline of POFEV, Rev. Wes Jamison of Silver Spring, Maryland, Rev. Dennis Wiley of Covenant Baptist Church (D.C.), Rev. Abena McCray of Unity Fellowship, and Richard Noble of Walk Across America.
On May 15 & 16, Razoo held its annual GiveOUT! campaign to help support groups like POFEV that are working to support the LGBT community. It was a great opportunity for POFEV to launch our campaign to raise much-needed to funds to support our Grassroots Equality Project that is working in all corners of Virginia to make everyone welcome in every corner of Virginia regardless of whom they love!
Thank you to Razoo for your support and thank you to all who donated! We raised more than $1,000 from longtime supporters and many new donors to help support our organizing work across Virginia. If you want to help us strengthen our presence in communities and congregations across the Commonwealth, please support us financially by clicking here or on the Grassroots Equality Project logo above!
Recently, POFEV received some very good news . . . . the Laughing Gull Foundation , headquartered in Durham, N.C., awarded us a grant of $10,000 for each of three years beginning in 2013.
Here is part of what Meg Coward, President of the Foundation, said in her message, “the board of the Laughing Gull Foundation enthusiastically approved a grant to POFEV of $10k/yr for 3 yrs. We are all very excited by the possibilities ahead of you, and happy to be a part of this relaunch of POFEV.”
This is the first foundation grant received by POFEV, but President Robin Gorsline says it will not be the last.
“We are most grateful that in its first year of operation, Laughing Gull Foundation chose POFEV for generous support,” he said. Read More
POFEV (People of Faith for Equality in Virginia), P.O. Box 4919, Richmond, VA 23220 • 804-519-3196 • www.facebook.com/pofev
Rev. Dr. Robin Gorsline, President & CEO • firstname.lastname@example.org