Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Stop the Hate and Homophobia!! Demonstration March 14 at Holy Grounds Coffeehouse

From Arise's President (and Out Now's coordinator) Holly Richardson:

It's that time again to turn out against the hate and homophobia that has been and is being perpetrated by Springfield’s own, Scott Lively.  See the attached (and pasted in the body of this email, below) press advisory.
The Stop the Hate and Homophobia Coalition is organizing a demonstration Wednesday, March 14th at 1:30pm to speak out against Scott Lively (and Evangelical hate) and the re-introduction of the “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda last month.  There will be solidarity demonstrations also happening on this day from Kansas City, Sacramento and Washington, D.C.
We will meet at the Federal Courthouse at 300 State Street, where we will begin with a speak-out.  From there, we will march up the street to the front of Lively’s Coffee House/Church, 455 State Street.  This march will be a somber, silent march to commemorate those who have died as a result of homophobic violence in Uganda. 
Please join us in wearing all black, if you can.  We will have written messages for folks to carry that explain what we are doing and why, and that also include the names of 12 Ugandans killed.  We will also all be carrying flowers (that you will be provided with), and when we arrive to Lively’s coffee house, we will place them in front of the storefront.
Again, this will be a silent, more serious march as compared to the one organized last November.  Here is the link to the past march:  
Please join us in a show of solidarity against hate and homophobia in Springfield and worldwide.
If you have questions please feel free to contact me at:  outnow@comcast.net or 413.348.8234

For Immediate Release:  March 7, 2012

Holly Richardson                                                            Cathy Kristofferson                                               
Out Now, Arise for Social Justice                                      GetEQUAL MA
413.348.8234 (cell)                                                        cathy@getequalma.org
“Stop the Hate and Homophobia Coalition” Organizes Nationwide Protest Calling for an End to Scott Lively’s Promotion of Hate against the Gay Community Worldwide
 What:      Action/Rally
When:    March 14, 2012pm at 1:30pm
Where:   In front of the Federal Building, 300 State Street, Springfield
In early February 2012 the Ugandan government reintroduced the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (AHB), a.k.a the ‘Kill the Gays’ bill, legislating draconian measures against its gay community, which continues to include the death penalty for homosexual acts.  One week following the reintroduction of this legislation the Ugandan government raided a peaceful gay rights conference causing the sponsor’s leader to go into hiding.  The LGBT community of Uganda is under increasing threats of violence, imprisonment and stigma.  American evangelical Christians played a role in stirring the anti-homosexual sentiment that culminated in the initial AHB legislation in Uganda and continues to heightened homophobia in that country today.
Scott Lively was one of three evangelical leaders who presented at a 2009 conference in Kampala, Uganda which resulted in the original Anti-Homosexuality Bill’s introduction just one month later.  Scott Lively likened his appearance to “a nuclear bomb against the gay agenda in Uganda.”  From his home base at the Abiding Truth Ministries housed in the Holy Grounds Coffee Shop at 455 State Street in Springfield MA, Scott Lively’s anti-gay message filled with lies, propaganda and pray-away-the-gay quack science fuels anti-homosexual sentiment worldwide.
The Stop The Hate & Homophobia Coalition had an action against Scott Lively on November 18, 2011 to help educate the people of Springfield, MA about just who Scott lively is.  The protest on March 14th is a continuation of that action.  National solidarity actions also are scheduled for Kansas City, Washington DC, and Sacramento.  We will continue to advocate against the hate and homophobia Scott Lively and others promote until they stop.
The Stop the Hate and Homophobia Coalition was formed in January 2011 upon learning that Scott Lively was living and ministering in Springfield.  Lively is president of the Abiding Truth Ministries, which has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and he has been running the Holy Grounds Coffee House on State Street, right near Commerce High School.  The coalition deplores hateful messages and actions, and calls for community education about the impact of homophobia on our communities, as well as calling for community leaders, neighbors, co-workers, family members, etc. to speak out against homophobia whenever it is perpetrated.  The coalition involves a number of community-based organizations, local college professors and students, members of the faith community and individual community members.   
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