Friday, January 28, 2011

Statement on the Murder of David Kato by the Bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of New York

Statement on the Murder of David Kato
by the Bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of New York

January 28, 2011

Like many around the world, we are horrified to learn of the vicious murder of Ugandan LGBT rights activist David Kato in Mukono, Kampala. Though the circumstances of Mr. Kato's death are still under investigation, we know that he, along with other activists in Uganda have lived under the threat of violence and imprisonment in recent times. Mr. Kato, who was the advocacy officer for Sexual Minorities Uganda, as well as Anglican Bishop Christopher Senyonjo and many others, was targeted last fall in a Ugandan magazine. All LGBT persons along with their advocates are at risk due to the general hostility toward them in Uganda and, in particular, due to pending legislation which would call for imprisonment or even death.
We call upon all people of good will, and especially the people of the Episcopal Diocese of New York and our sister and brother Anglicans around the world, to stand in solidarity with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons, and to resist language, laws and actions which marginalize and even criminalize their relationships. Further, given the current hostile climate in Uganda, we call upon the Anglican church of Uganda to speak up for human rights for all God's children. Further, we call upon the United States government to grant asylum to LGBT persons from Uganda and other nations where the threat of violence is great.
We pray for the repose of the soul of David Kato, for his family and friends as they mourn, and for the LGBT community in Uganda and their allies as they struggle for an end to the fear and violence, which threaten them every day.

The Rt. Rev. Mark S. Sisk
Bishop of New York

The Rt. Rev. Catherine S. Roskam
Bishop Suffragan of New York

The Rt. Rev. Andrew D. Smith
Assistant Bishop of New York

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Two dads, two boys, a horse, and a lot of love

The New York Times has this article about Maurice Mannion-Vanover, his two dads, brother--and horse, in Montclair, New Jersey.

The love and support of their parish, St. Luke's in Montclair, comes across in the article as well. I was at Maurice's funeral, and the outpouring of affection from parish family, friends, and family was incredibly moving.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Integrity NYC-Metro Congratulates Erik Bottcher on NY Cabinet Seat

Members of the Integrity NYC-Metro steering committee were pleased to learn yesterday that Erik Bottcher, most recently the LGBT/HIV community liaison to New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, has been named to the cabinet of New York's recently-elected governor, Andrew Cuomo, as Special Assistant for Community Affairs, a new position.

"I've worked with Erik Bottcher--a fellow activist and New York City Council staffer--quite often over the past couple of years," said Integrity NYC-Metro Steering Committee member Michael Mallon, who is on the staff of Council Member Daniel Dromm. "Erik proved himself to be a tireless advocate for the LGBT community during his tenure as LGBT Liaison for NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn; I know he will continue the stellar work as a member of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's cabinet."

Bottcher, 31, is a native of Wilmington, N.Y., and a graduate of George Washington University. He was recently named to City Hall's "Rising Stars" list of 40 influential people under the age of 40.

Michael Mallon and Erik Bottcher at the "We Will Not Be Silent"
Community Rally in 2009

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Short Films Encourage Acceptance by Families

Courtesy of the Impact Program blog, "Always My Son" is one of a series of short documentary films called are being produced by the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University to encourage the families of young LGBT people from a variety of cultural backgrounds to be supportive vs. judgmental.  Studies show a family's response can have a dramatic effect on a person's well-being.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Why Integrity/NYC-Metro? Why Now?

In its original incarnation, Integrity/NY served as a support and refuge for gay and lesbian Episcopalians who had very few welcoming parishes to choose from.

Today, we are blessed in the dioceses of Long Island, New York and Newark with a wide variety of parishes who have integrated LGBT people as members, leaders, and clergy.

You might well ask, “Why is Integrity/NYC-Metro needed?”

Our LGBT brothers and sisters need our support. There are many Episcopalian and Anglican LGBT people who are not as blessed as we are. This past fall, Integrity/NYC-Metro helped raise $6500 to support Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, a Ugandan supporter of LGBT rights who has been stripped of all his income and threatened with death, because he believes in our equality before God. There are U.S. dioceses in which no openly LGBT person can present themselves for vocational discernment, solely by virtue of their orientation or identity. We need to continue to stand with those in need.

There are LGBT Christians who are seeking welcoming churches. Many LGBT people who were raised in hostile churches or denominations still love Jesus Christ and want to follow him as Lord, even though they feel shunned or alienated by “organized religion.” Integrity/NYC-Metro wants to reach out to these Christians and offer them the same gift we have found for ourselves—membership in welcoming, truly integrated faith communities. Parents of LGBT people have also found themselves choosing their love for their children over the condemnation of their churches, and they too seek church homes. We are actively working to identify parishes who want to be part of this Integrity/NYC-Metro movement.

We need to be as out as Christians as we are as LGBT people. Many progressive people scoff at Christianity as a close-minded, ignorant refuge for the hate-addicted and self-righteous. We need to fight that stereotype by coming out as Christian and LGBT wherever and whenever the opportunity presents itself. Integrity/NYC-Metro is a supportive group for coming out as Christian!

Please join Integrity today. A portion of every member’s dues comes back to our chapter. This is how you can support our ongoing outreach to the LGBT community and the church. Visit and sign up at the Membership link. Be sure to specify Integrity/NYC-Metro as your chapter!


Mary O'Shaughnessy