Light Candles For Progressive Politics

Straights Come Out For Gay Rights

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It’s like a homo-Hanukkah! Only shorter. For seven glorious October nights, straight activists around the country will light up their homes to support gay rights:

On October 7-13, 2007, straight people across the nation will “come out” as supporters of equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans.

From Santa Rosa, California, to Montgomery, Alabama, to Augusta, Maine, overnight vigils will light up American cities over the course of seven nights, providing unprecedented visibility to heterosexual men and women with the conviction to stand up for their gay and lesbian friends and neighbors.

So, all of you gays who think straights don’t care can suck it.

Organized by the gay religionists at Soulforce and gay activists Atticus Group, the week-long vigil not only emphasizes the importance of gay rights, but reminds people that religious groups can be gay-friendly.

Faith traditions also provide inspiration for many families and individuals who are organizing Seven Straight Nights vigils. In Raleigh, North Carolina, the vigil organizer is Rev. Jack McKinney of Pullen Memorial Baptist church, a local institution with a long history of involvement in civil rights struggles. The Raleigh vigil will feature church choirs and offer thanks to North Carolina corporate leaders who have taken progressive stands on domestic partner benefits.

Julie Morgan, vigil organizer for Duluth, Minnesota, is active in an interfaith committee called Standing on the Side of Love. Of her involvement with Seven Straight Nights, Morgan says, “my faith as a Unitarian commands me to be active in the world, to take my values and live them.”

“These fair-minded straight folks are showing their elected officials that equality is not a secular issue, not a gay issue, not an urban elite issue, not an east coast or a west coast issue–it’s an American issue,” says Jeff Lutes, Executive Director of Soulforce.

If only American politicians realized that.