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Religious Institute Announces Online Guide to Promote Gay Inclusion in Faith Communities



WESTPORT, CT, Oct. 6, 2009 – As hundreds of thousands of people converge on Washington, D.C. for the Oct. 10-11National Equality March for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, the Religious Institute is launching Acting Out Loud, a new resource for full inclusion of LGBT persons in the religious sphere.

Acting Out Loud is an online guide for religious leaders who want to take the next step toward full inclusion of LGBT persons and their families in congregational life. A multifaith resource, Acting Out Loud offers resources and tools applicable across a range of Christian, Jewish and Unitarian Universalist traditions.

The guide is available

“Churches and synagogues have made extraordinary efforts to welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender congregants, but even the most welcoming congregations can do more to fully embrace LGBT individuals and families as full and valued members of the community,” said Rev. Debra W. Haffner, executive director of the Religious Institute.

A recent Religious Institute survey found almost unanimous support for LGBT equality among progressive clergy. However, the survey also revealed that support did not always translate into preaching, youth and adult education programs, support groups or advocacy efforts serving LGBT congregants.

Acting Out Loud offers guidance for creating ministries and policies that support the diverse needs of LGBT persons, addressing sexuality issues in congregations, leading a congregation through a formal welcoming process, and speaking out on behalf of LGBT concerns.

Acting Out Loud will serve to educate congregations and motivate people of faith to speak out as Congress debates the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would protect people from job discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and the Respect for Marriage Act of 2009, which would repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). “As the nation continues to debate LGBT equality, religious communities and people of faith must indeed ‘act out loud’ in the name of justice,” Rev. Haffner said.

The Religious Institute is among more than 200 faith-based and secular organizations that have endorsed the National Equality March. The March is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of activists and allies to Washington to demand equal protection in all matters governed by civil law throughout the U.S.

The Religious Institute, based in Westport, CT, is a nonprofit, multifaith organization dedicated to advocating for sexual health, education and justice in faith communities and society. More than 4,800 clergy and religious leaders, representing more than 50 faith traditions, are part of the Religious Institute’s national network.


The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. For more information, please visit



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