The rights of LGBT people to retain custody and visiting rights of the children they already have, or to adopt, to have children in foster care, to give birth to a child either through IVF, insemination or surrogacy and yes, even Marriage Equality, are all issues of Reproductive Justice.
Okay, I'll give some of you who read this blog a moment to get your heads wrapped around all of that. If you think about it for one red hot second, you'll hear some of the old (well, not as old as we'd like to think) arguments about LGBT people and their rights which include such things as:
...... "they can't reproduce so they recruit" (hence, the association in some little minds between homosexuality and pedophilia); and....
..... "they can't marry, they are too promiscuous" (actually, the situation is reversed).
In the past decade or so - well some of us for longer than that - LGBT people, our families and friends and allies have been working very hard to reverse that stereotype. We enjoy families of origin and families of choice. Some of us even enjoy grandchildren of choice.
We can only fully enjoy the privilege of 'choice' when there is justice and equality.
Women - and especially women of color - have known that for centuries. We've known it because we live it. In the presence of injustice our choices rapidly diminish, sometimes leaving us the choice between several bad options.
LGBT people also know this truth. The struggle for Marriage Equality and parental rights goes on so that all people - all God's children - can know the liberty promised us by the founders of this country as well as the liberation promised us in the Gospel of Christ Jesus.
So, there it is, kids. The new faces of Reproductive Justice: A heterosexual woman of color who is a self-described "overcomer" of Breast Cancer, and a Caucasian gay man who is passionate about health care and justice.
Two passionate people who are deeply committed, along with a strong, vibrant board of many interfaith voices, to strengthen our alliances with other progressive organizations of varied interfaith perspectives who are working for justice and equality.
In the midst of the War on Women, which has its foundation and gains its strength and funding from the religious voices on the Right, I can't think of better leadership for this time for progressive voices of faith.
So, rejoice with me. And, rejoice for us.
And, get ready to hear a lot more from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
Somebody tell the Boyz on Capitol Hill to fasten their seat belts.
Nah, never mind. They'll find out soon enough.
Reverend Knox is a national leader in the progressive faith community and a well-known advocate for reproductive and sexual health and justice. As a compelling moral voice for human rights, Reverend Knox was appointed in February 2009 by President Obama to the President’s Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
“Harry Knox has advocated for the rights of women and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in some of the most hostile venues imaginable, including the Georgia General Assembly, and with staunch opponents of human rights in the United States Congress,” said Reverend Dr. Alethea Smith-Withers, Chair of the RCRC Board of Directors.
“In the current climate of relentless attacks on abortion and birth control in the name of religion, our country needs the faith-inspired courage Reverend Knox brings to safeguarding and advancing women’s health and the dignity of all people.”
Reverend Knox says of his appointment: “There is no more vital work to be done in this historic moment than stopping the rollback of women’s access to health care and self-determination. Women need more health care resources and options, not less. Young people are a priority for RCRC and we look forward to an expansion of engagement with youth and young adult leaders through our Spiritual Youth for Reproductive Freedom program. Church, temple or synagogue should be the first place people of faith and their families turn when facing difficult decisions about reproductive health. RCRC will continue to lead in providing faith leaders the resources they need to offer responsible guidance and support. I ask for the prayers of all those who care about reproductive justice as I begin this new role.”
Reverend Knox was the founding director of the Human Rights Campaign’s Religion and Faith Program, where he supervised the creation of a national speakers’ bureau that reached more than 10 million Americans monthly and was instrumental in creating a national network of 22 progressive state clergy coalitions. Since 2011, he has been Interim Executive Director of Integrity USA, the voice of LGBT Episcopalians and their allies. He will begin his position at RCRC July 16,2012.
Reverend Knox’s management and advocacy experience includes positions with the American Cancer Society; Equality Florida; Georgia Equality; and Freedom to Marry. He has pastored churches in Georgia and Texas. He was the recipient of the 2000 Cordle Award for Promotion of God’s Diversity and Lancaster Theological Seminary’s 2005 Robert V. Moss Medal for Excellence in Ministry.