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7 Straight Nights

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for Equal Rights

Read the first hand reports of the Seven Straight Nights to Cable Muse Network from Irvine California, Lansing, Michigan , Nashville, Tennessee ,  Phoenix, Arizona , Denver, Colorado and Grand Junction Colorado.

New York, NY (Updated 09/29/08) "Gay and transgender Americans are our neighbors" was the simple message for people of faith across the nation the week of September 14-20, 2008.

This September, churches and groups in twenty cities as diverse as Brooklyn, N.Y., Superior, Wis., Danville, Ind., Modesto, Calif., Denver, Colo., and Portland, Ore., sponsored Seven Straight Nights events. These religious leaders were part of Seven Straight Nights for Equal Rights 2008, a week that spotlighted fair-minded straight people around the country. In 2007, the project's inaugural year, nighttime vigils lit up 36 American cities in 25 states over seven nights.

Jay Bakker - Brooklyn, New York
Jay Bakker

Among the clergy speaking out was Jay Bakker, pastor of Revolution NYC Church. "As Christians, if we follow the example of Christ in loving our neighbor as ourselves, then we have to realize that everyone is our neighbor, everyone deserves to be treated with love and respect and grace," said Bakker.

Jay Bakker is the son of Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye Messner. His non-traditional approach to ministry achieved national attention in the Sundance Channel series One Punk Under God, which documented his journey to become a gay-affirming Christian.

Michelle Garland & Family - Ames, Iowa
Michelle Garland & Family

Like Bakker, Michelle Garland has been on a journey to support gay and transgender friends. A Modern Orthodox Jew and married mother of three, Garland initially feared that, even as a straight woman, she would become the target of harassment. "But I was determined to do what I knew in my heart was right. I believe we are all G-d's children and to deny love to a fellow human is to reject the spark of G-dliness that is in each of us," said Garland, who organized a Seven Straight Nights event in Ames, Iowa, for the second year.

At least two states have propositions on their ballets to limit marriage and allow discrimination against gay and lesbian people, Proposition 102 in Arizona and Proposition 8 in California. 

Nationally, Seven Straight Nights is sponsored by Atticus Circle and Soulforce, who are currently seeking straight people who are interested in organizing a Seven Straight Nights event in their communities. For more information, visit www.sevenstraightnights.org

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