LGBT Evangelicals March in Indianapolis to Offer Olive Branch to IN Lawmakers

The Message is Clear: Get to know us before making laws against us.

The Evangelical Network (TEN), an association of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and straight Christians held its annual conference this year in Indianapolis, culminating in a march and prayer vigil held at the steps of the Indiana Statehouse.

Todd Ferrel Speaks to Members of The Evangelical Network on IN Statehouse steps
Todd Ferrell Speaks to Members of The Evangelical Network on IN Statehouse steps

LGBT and Straight evangelical Christians from across the U.S. and Canada marched from the Marriott Hotel downtown Indianapolis to the Indiana Statehouse. The march was in response to the Stateʼs Religious Freedom Restoration Act that would allow business owners the right to refuse services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people if they felt doing so would conflict with their religious beliefs.

The law was later amended stating that it would not authorize the discrimination based on religious beliefs, however the amended version is confusing. In only eleven Indiana cities are LGBT people considered a protected class.

“We are Evangelical Christians and we happen to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and even straight,” said Todd Ferrel, President of the organization.

“We believe in the same God, in the same Jesus as many of the Indiana lawmakers who passed RFRA. Would you sit down and talk with us as real people? We are not here to hurt you or anyone. If you got to know us, you might find that you like us.” Ferrell concluded.

Faith leaders from across the country and locally, spoke about the need to stop the fear speech about people of different sexual orientations and gender identities, noting that churches are not in danger and the state is not in danger.

The message was an invitation to lawmakers: “Letʼs just talk.”

During the demonstration Ferrell held an olive branch that is known universally as a gesture of peace, reconciliation, and goodwill.

Before concluding Ferrell placed the olive branch on the Statehouse steps as an invitation to Indiana lawmakers to talk and get to know LGBT evangelicals and other types of Christians as unique, respectable, individuals who share many of their same beliefs.

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Todd ferrel Evangelical network Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 10.04.51 AM

Todd Ferrel Speaks to Members of The Evangelical Network on IN Statehouse steps
Todd Ferrell Speaks to Members of The Evangelical Network on IN Statehouse steps

12 thoughts on “LGBT Evangelicals March in Indianapolis to Offer Olive Branch to IN Lawmakers

  1. TEN should stop wasting their time trying to reconcile their homosexuality with their Christianity. Like ALL who follow Abrahamic religions they need to study to see how they developed and how we go the bible which is a book of fairy tales.

    1. We all have the absolute right to believe and practice any faith of our choice. Including any non-religion – that is the ultimate point. Respect for all as long as it does not hurt anyone else. I am grateful for those who can stand up for what they believe and the challenges that presents to those who reject them.

      1. Melanie, I am not questioning anyone’s right to believe or not to believe. I am challenging those who follow the Abrahamic religions to take one more step and study how these religions came into being and for Jews and Christians how the bible as we know it came into being.

        1. Thanks Jerry. I understand. I am about to put up a real fun piece by a conservative gay man who just made history in the South with his marriage. Keep an eye out for it – ad consider adding your thoughts.

    2. As Evangelical Christians we seek to show respect to those who disagree with us, while at the same time create a conversation. We believe we are called to this and have been successful. Religion and church wounds go deep. We clearly understand.

      1. Todd, What TEN trying to do Is all well and good but if you truly “study to show yourself approved” you would fine the Abrahamic religions are based on myths and there is pretty good proof that Jesus never lived. Free yourself from all religion and live a life free of guilt that religions bring.

        1. Jerry – that is a big ask for a person of faith. Surely your own belief should not be imposed on anyone else – regardless of whether such belief is derived from science or what “proof” you refer to. I think Todd and TEN’s exercising of their freedoms are equal to you exercising yours. Asking him to “free himself” under your terms is an impingement. Perhaps he feels excitedly free within the realm of his beliefs. I dont think Todd needs your direction on this. I think either respect or at least tolerance – would be a fair request of you Jerry. Though you are free to express what works for you – it may not work for others.

          1. Melanie, Where do you get that I am trying to impose my beliefs on anyone. I have stated repeatedly I am issuing a challenge to them to step beyond faith and look at facts and the facts are ALL Abrahamic religions are myths. It took me many years of study and challenge to understand this. As a former Fundamental Baptist who when to Bible school with Jerry Falwell and a former minister with MCC who established two MCC congregations from scratch I understand the struggle to step outside “faith.” All religions use guilt to control the actions of their adherents and demand their money (tithe) to support them. Yes it is a BIG ask of them to meet this challenge.

            1. Your ask is an oxymoron!!! Why should anyone step beyond their faith – faith is not finite – its is infinite in and of itself. So you ask for the impossible Jerry. I am sad that you do not have some form of understanding of FAITH beyond your own experience of rigidity…FAITH may mean something different to others who do not share your experience. for example – Atheism is a faith in and of itself. Its faith that there is no other “greater” realm to answer prayer….. (forgive the linear simple definition) – if it serves as one’s comfort zone so be it . No one is asking that person to go beyond that. You should not ask others to go beyond theirs – it is not possible.

        2. Jerry it is important to understand that the word “evangelical” is based on two Greek root words “evangel” and “euagelion”. They mean “good news.” This may be confusing as many people who identify as evangelicals are really extreme fundamentalists. As far as Abrahamic religions go, I can no speak about Islam or even Judiasm. What I can tell you is that as a child I was hurt by a women who was married into my extended family. For more than 30 years I carried the weight of emotional pain and the inability to forgive this person for my childhood pain. During one of the TEN conferences the pastor who was speaking to the assembly offered prayer for anyone who needed to deal with issues of unforgiveness. A long line formed. When the pastor was praying I physically felt weight lift off my shoulders and my head. For years I had prayed for God’s help to forgive this woman. For some reason on that night at the conference the prayer was answered. It was a miraculous experience to be free from that weight of more then 30 years. If you choose not to believe me then so be it but I know what I experienced and I thank God for this miracle in my life. I will never forget what happened that night. It changed my life forever.

    3. You do not understand. There is no reconciliation need with my sexuality to my Christianity. I am created int he IMAGE of God. Which means many Christians have it wrong to judge those that are lesbian like me or others in our community. I did not feel it a waste of time to be there a the rally and take part in this peaceful gathering. I was where I felt I should be. 🙂

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