Catching the Spirit of 76
Most people are surprised when they learn there are still 76 countries in the 21st century who send lesbians and gay men to prison just for being true to their own God given nature. Transgender people also suffer enormous persecution and violence with few places to turn. Seven countries still execute gay people and often the religious dimension to the institutionalized homophobia is hidden. It is also illegal in many of these countries to provide HIV prevention and health services, so millions of people will suffer and die needlessly unless people stand up to denounce it. Orange County will honor five individuals who are leading the way to create services for these people, bring about religious and political change and educate the community about it.
Rev. Canon Albert Ogle, former Rector of St. Georgeâs, Laguna Hills now leads the St. Paulâs Foundationâs work in Africa and is bringing 30 witnesses from these countries to the World AIDS Conference and to Congress in July. He is looking for partners in Orange County, the home of a form of Christianity that still supports ex-gay therapy and remains silent on LGBT criminalization to engage the moral debate and break the silence of complicity.
Bishop Christopher Senyonjo is being honored as Grand Marshall of San Francisco Pride for his courageous work with LGBT people in Uganda and is featured in the soon to be released film âCall me Kuchu (slang for queer) which has received four awards at the Berlin Film Festival. http://vimeo.com/27391482
Malika Zouhali-Worrall and Katherine Fairfax Wright who directed the film and are in Los Angeles for the USA Premiere to days before our Laguna Beach event on June 18th will be talking about the impact of the film and will be showing some highlights.
Robin Voss from Newport Beach, will be honored for raising awareness about bullying and the negative impact of Christian fundamentalism through âFor the Bible Tells Me Soâ and âTeach Your Children Wellâ.
Orange County is honored to have such a distinguished group of local and international activists who are looking forward to telling us how Orange County can make a major difference in the lives of millions of people, A cocktail reception is planned for Monday 18th June from 7-9 p.m. at the beautiful Lucas Stevens Gallery , 1945 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. The event is hoping to raise funds to bring several people to the USA to educate our community and build an inclusive coalition to counter the rabid fundamentalism that has led to the global witch hunt against LGBT people and their straight allies and faith communities. Tax deductible $25 tickets can be purchased online or send a donation through this link.