The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Foundation Institute for Welcoming Resources (IRW) and five partner organizations:
- Lutherans Concerned/North America
- More Light Presbyterians
- Reconciling Ministries Network
- United Church of Christ Coalition for LGBT Concerns
The grant, which will be paid out over two years, will support a strategic, collaborative effort to expand pro-LGBT faith-based organizing efforts and allow the groups to fortify their respective infrastructures. Through the welcoming church movement, congregations decide — through a formal vote — to offer an unconditional welcome to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. To date, more than 3,100 congregations across the Christian spectrum have explicitly welcomed LGBT people to full inclusion in the life and ministry of their congregations. This is largely due to the longtime and tireless work of these organizations, most of which have worked together for years to build the strong foundation of the existing welcoming church movement. (Read More)To put this in perspective:
A groundbreaking study titled David v. Goliath: A Report on Faith Groups Working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality (and What They’re Up Against), released in 2006 by the Task Force’s National Religious Leadership Roundtable, found that conservative organizations and foundations such as Concerned Women for America, Focus on the Family, Coors Foundation, American Enterprise Institute and the Scaife Family Foundation have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in faith-based organizing, while many centrist and liberal organizations have avoided any alliance with or funding of their progressive faith counterparts.
The report also found that organizations surveyed in the mainline Protestant and Catholic churches faced an average 8-to-1 disadvantage in funding compared to anti-LGBT organizations in their denominations. This grant will greatly help to balance those scales.