By BTL Staff
ANN ARBOR – The Washtenaw Faith Action Network was formed in September 2004 as an interfaith group specifically concerned with LGBT people of faith and their allies in faith communities. The Washtenaw chapter is a branch of Faith Action Network, a project of the American Friends Service Committee.
According to the Faith Action Network’s website, “Faith Action Network is an interfaith, multiracial, multi-generation alliance of Michigan People of Faith working to secure positive outcomes LGBT policy issues and to shape public opinion in key Michigan areas by organizing and mobilizing progressive clergy, lay people and faith communities to take a firm and proactive stand for justice.”
W-FAN is a public testimony and action group supporting LGBT people of faith and the faith communities that support them.
According to Bob Snyder, one W-FAN’s organizers, “W-FAN wants the public to know that there are faithful religious testimonies throughout our community, in a wide range of faith traditions, which welcome and affirm LGBT members and which expect continued religious freedom to do so in the state of Michigan.”
W-FAN’s first public activity was an interfaith service and candlelight vigil held Oct. 26. More than 100 members representing a wide range of faith communities joined together at the event to show support for equal LGBT rights, blessings on same-sex unions, and to urge the defeat of Proposal 2, which banned equal marriage rights for lesbian and gay couples and threatens civil unions and domestic partnership benefits.
“I’m really excited about their future direction and what they plan to do in Washtenaw county,” said Michael Gibson-Faith, director of the American Friends Service Committee’s LGBT project and director of the Faith Action Network. “They plan to raise the visibility of progressive people of faith in Washtenaw county, and that’s really important right now.”
W-FAN’s purposes include supporting advocates for LGBT people within varied faith communities, support for the efforts at inclusion and education within various local faith communities and their efforts to influence wider social policies, visibility to the general public to testify that there is a significant interfaith religious community supporting LGBT people, and outreach to LGBT individuals who are seeking spiritual support or have found themselves isolated or separated from religious expression.
Contact Bob Snyder, 734-665-5524, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the Washtenaw Faith Action Network and how to get your own faith community actively involved.