SOULFORCE PRESS RELEASE: August 6, 2008
For Immediate Release
Contact: Paige Schilt,
(Austin, TX) - There's never been a more exciting time for straight Americans to take a stand for their lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) friends and neighbors. That's according to Soulforce and Atticus Circle, the sponsors of Seven Straight Nights for Equal Rights 2008, a project that will spotlight straight Americans' support for equality over the week of September 14-20.
In 2007, the project's inaugural year, a week of nighttime vigils lit up 36 American cities in 25 states, providing unprecedented visibility for fair-minded straight people.
This year, Seven Straight Nights events will again provide a unique venue for straight Americans across the nation to express their support and hone their advocacy skills - now, amidst a changing cultural and political landscape.
According to a recent Newsweek poll, 57% of adults believe that gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry or form civil unions, up 10% since 2004. In addition, a July 2008 Washington Post poll found that 75% of Americans now support allowing gay and lesbian soldiers to serve openly in the U.S. military.
"We can feel the momentum of change, yet we know that much more must be done to protect our LGBT friends," says Jodie Eldridge, Executive Director of Atticus Circle and a straight ally. "Ironically, this year's divisive ballot measures provide ample opportunity for straight and LGBT Americans to find common cause."
The measures on the ballot this fall include Florida's Proposition 2, which would inadvertently affect the state's straight seniors, many of whom form domestic partnerships rather than remarry after they are widowed in order to keep essential benefits. And in Arkansas, a proposed ballot measure would ban all unmarried couples, gay and straight, from fostering and adopting children, thus harming children and potential parents.
By creating an opportunity for straight Americans to learn about discrimination and connect with LGBT equality organizations, Seven Straight Nights will provide further opportunities for LGBT and straight Americans to come together across perceived differences.
And by providing straight-organized and headlined events all across the nation, Seven Straight Nights seeks to create an empowering experience for straight Americans who believe that everyone deserves to be treated fairly, but have not yet taken a public stand for LGBT equality.
Atticus Circle and Soulforce 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
Atticus Circle is a national organization that educates and mobilizes fair-minded straight people to advance equal rights for LGBT partners, parents, and their children.
Soulforce is a national social justice organization that advocates freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance.