Baptists who support the Equality Act currently pending in Congress — in contrast to a resolution recently passed by the Southern Baptist Convention — will be featured in Baptist News Global’s next webinar. The free event is scheduled for next Tuesday, June 29, beginning at 5 p.m. Eastern time.
BNG Executive Director Mark Wingfield will moderate the conversation with a group of LGBTQ Baptists and allies of LGBTQ equality. Confirmed panelists include Nancy Petty, pastor of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C.; Timothy Tee Boddie, former general secretary and chief administrative officer of the Progressive National Baptist Convention; Michael-Ray Mathews, president of the Alliance of Baptists; Amanda Hambrick Ashcraft, executive minister for community development and justice at Middle Collegiate Church in New York City; and Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons, a fellow with the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress and a member of Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky. Additional panelists will be announced as they are confirmed.
The Equality Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year with bipartisan support and is now being considered by the U.S. Senate. Advocates say this legislation would provide clear and consistent nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans across many areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs and jury service. The Equality Act also updates the range of public places covered by federal nondiscrimination to include retail stores, banks, legal services and transportation services.
The SBC, the nation’s largest non-Catholic religious body, two weeks ago passed a new resolution condemning the Equality Act, but there are other Baptist leaders who support the legislation. Majorities of all major religious groups in the United States support nondiscrimination protections for the LGBTQ community, according to the Public Religion Research Institute.
Webinar participants will be able to ask questions of the panelists. Projected topics to be covered include the impact of the Equality Act on the lives of LGBTQ Americans, how the legislation actually expands religious liberty protections, and growing support for LGBTQ rights in Baptist churches across the country.
Registration for the webinar is free but required. Register here.
The event will be simultaneously livestreamed on Facebook and will be recorded for later viewing.