Fair Is Fair And All That Jazz

I hope you’ll join me May 4th in Billings for an amazing night of all-stars!

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Interchange- A Festival Of Color

6cafa7f65ae286b6d782da379ac5af04Mark your calendars- because June is going to be a kick-ass month for Montanans into celebrating diversity and human rights!

Interchange is a festival conceived and created by the team who brought you Montana Pride 2012 and I’m proud to be a part of it. The lead on this is Tate Chamberlin- check out his video- it’s powerful:

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/interchange-a-festival-of-color

When I was 15, I attempted suicide- a symptom, a statistic- of a social injustice. But I survived oppression with the hope of love. As we stand together and fight for equal rights, we look to one another for strength, support and power in numbers. Now as the tide turns our way, there is no turning back the power of history. With love and tears for all those who have suffered before us just wanting to be treated equal.

Listen closely. You are not sick, you are not a criminal. You are human, you are loved. You are not lambs- you are lions. It’s time to solve this. No more apologizing, no more hiding between pride and shame. We have to change us.

So Yeah. This is me. Might be you.
No more hiding- No more fear.
This is me.
I tried to kill it. I tried to hide it.
I’m not alone.
This is me. This is you.
This is us.
It’s time to get social.

Please share this.

-Tate Chamberlin

You’re Invited

Pride Foundation - Celebrate!
JOIN THE CELEBRATION – YOU ARE INVITED! 

Announcing a special reception to honor the 2013 Montana Pride Foundation Scholars and the 20th Anniversary of the Pride Foundation Scholarship Program! 

Twenty years ago, Pride Foundation received a special request to memorialize a family member by starting a scholarship fund in his honor. Growing from that first, single scholarship award to six scholarships awarded the following year, we never could have imagined the growth and joy that would follow. This year, Pride Foundation will support the educational dreams of more than 100 students from across the region—bringing the total number of students supported since 1993 to over 1,000. In partnership with and with great thanks to the thousands of volunteers, fund-holders, and donors of the Scholarship Program, nearly $3 million has been awarded.

We will be celebrating this special anniversary as well as honoring the 2013 Pride Foundation Scholars at events across the region. Please join us as we celebrate our scholars, acknowledge family members, teachers, and mentors in their lives, and also thank our generous donors and volunteers for their support.

Please join us:

  • Missoula, Montana
  • Friday, May 10
  • 5:00 PM
  • The Florence: 111 North Higgins Avenue | Missoula, Montana 59802

This event is free to attend. Hors d’oeuvres, beer, and wine will be hosted.

It is important that you RSVP to Caitlin at caitlin@pridefoundation.org or by calling 406-546-7017 by May 8. Space is limited.

We look forward to seeing you there!

With Pride,
Kris Hermanns
Executive Director

PS: If you cannot join us but would still like to support the Scholarship Program, pleaseclick here to make a secure gift online.

Hepatitis C Seminar In Missoula

On Thursday, April 25th from 5:00pm-6:00pm, Open Aid Alliance is offering the first of three community seminars on hepatitis C. The first presentation will feature Dr. Rebecca Kinney. Dr. Kinney completed medical school at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and did her residency at Family Medicine Residency of Idaho in Boise. She is a family physician specializing in infectious diseases, with specific expertise in hepatitis C. This presentation will provide an overview of hepatitis C infection, transmission, and recommendations for testing. All three seminars are free and open to the public.

Thursday, April 25th, 2013
5:00pm-6:00pm
MCT Center for the Performing Arts (use the Main Street entrance)
Room 302
For more information, call Open Aid Alliance at 406.543.4770 or email stephanie@openaidalliance.org
Please join us for this opportunity to expand your knowledge of hepatitis C

Fair Is Fair

This past weekend was important to me for a number of reasons.

47985_10200301350709797_307221521_nI got to meet and spend some quality time with one of my heroes, Bishop Gene Robinson. (story/interview to follow)

But I also got to meet and spend some quality time with dedicated Montana people who care about equality in our state. Some became even more strongly convinced after watching “Diversity Day” and “Love Free Or Die” presented in local churches.

Even I- a committed partner of the ACLU and the Fair Is Fair Campaign- became inspired after hearing Bishop Robinson speak about the need for Christian compassion and understanding in the face of fear and unintentional ignorance about LGBTIQ persons.

“Our job is to make this an issue of compassion and justice, not theology”, Bishop Robinson said. “We have to make the issue of fairness one that brings a face to mind whenever we talk about equality. This is about people.”

But being inspired is only as good as the actions it produces.

I want to encourage you to bolster the ACLU’s Fair Is Fair campaign by taking your inspiration and desire for justice and take action- by becoming a member.

My family belongs because we believe in the work of the ACLU. We believe it is important to support a coalition of organizations to bring full equality to all Montanans- but that only works if we all come together. The Montana ACLU is helping to make that happen, and I’m proud to be a supporting member.

I hope you’ll join us.

~Greg

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At INTERCHANGE: “Scripture and Science and Sex, OH MY!”

6cafa7f65ae286b6d782da379ac5af04Evangelical Christian and LGBTIQ ally, Kathy Baldock, is confirmed for INTERCHANGE on Saturday June 29th at the Bozeman Public Library.

You may remember Kathy from last year’s Montana Pride Celebration- she was the one leading the contingent of people wearing T-shirts that said “Hurt by Church? Get a Str8 Apology Here.”

She also led the counter protest against the “Christian” on the ladder during the parade.

When I asked Kathy what she hoped to give us at this workshop, she said, “I want people to realize that the limits of scripture and science and human knowledge have to always be tempered by human experience. In the six years of engaging in dialogue with the straight Evangelical and Protestant communities, I have learned what works to bring understanding on the issue of homosexuality and the Bible. I want to help you find the way to productive conversations through Scripture, science, reasoning and discussion techniques.”

Kathy Baldock, of Canyonwalker Connections, represents the journey many Evangelical Christians are considering as they try to reconcile what the have been told about the LGBTQ community and what they are experiencing  in relationship with gay and transgender friends. The tension of “How do I understand what the Bible says?” with “How do I accurately represent Jesus?” is creating conflict in the conservative church. From her own life, Kathy will share how she has been able to guide people with their personal questioning in a new way to a fuller understand of the message of God’s inclusion of His LGBT children.

This presentation is sponsored by Gallatin Valley PFLAG.

Former Felons Celebration Thursday

From the Facebook event page:

mtgayflagSenate Bill 107 is on its way to the Governor’s desk for his signature and last week’s historic vote deserves a celebration!

SB107 finally removes the unconstitutional language from Montana law that labels gays and lesbians felons, punishable by fines of up to $50,000 and/or up to ten years in jail. It was ruled unconstitutional by the Montana Supreme Court in 1997, but remained on the state’s law books because of homophobia and fear. Last week it passed the Montana House on a 64-35 vote, after passing the Montana Senate 38-11.

The passage of SB107 is a “decades in the making” event that deserves some celebrating!

Come enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres, music and fun sponsored by the Montana Human Rights Network, Planned Parenthood of Montana, ACLU of Montana, Pride Foundation, and generous personal donations from Senators Tom Facey, Christine Kaufmann, Pat and Carol Williams, Diane Sands, Jamee Greer and Linda Gryczan.

What: Former Felons Celebration
When: Thursday, April 18th at 5:30pm
Where: Jorgenson’s Ballroom, 1714 11th Ave. in Helena
Cost: Free, although donations accepted!

** Governor Steve Bullock will sign Senate Bill 107 earlier that day in a special signing event in the Montana Capitol Building Rotunda at 12:30pm.
All supporters are welcome to attend!

And yes-I’ll be at that signing. No way I’d miss it…..