First United Methodist Church Withdraws from Pgh Pridefest To Stand With Marginalized LGBTQ Community

I received this statement from First United Methodist Church in response to recent disclosures about Pridefest ~ Sue

PRIDE 2015 RESPONSE– First United Methodist Church, 5401 Centre Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15232

Our response to the contracting of IGGY AZALEA for be the musical headliner for PrideFest 2015.

IGGY AZELEA is a rapper who in both her songs and in her tweets has used homophobic and racist references.

Those who have sensed they are marginalized by Delta in the planning and implementation of PRIDE events have cried out that this is the last straw.  (Those feeling marginalized by Delta include but is not limited to People of Color,  transgendered LGBTQIA folks, or anyone who does not fit the white male cisgender stereotypes for “gay”)

Faith Communities have been in conversation with each other about how to respond.

Our discussion led us to affirm:

Our participation in Pride March and PrideFest is motivated by the same conviction that leads us to participate in the Circle of Faith—we support full inclusion and folks are welcome to participate at every level in the life of First United Methodist Church.

First United Methodist Church seeks to stand alongside those who are most marginalized by discrimination of any kind.

While we know something about the actions of Delta Foundation, we do not see ourselves at this particular moment offering a public attack on Delta Foundation concerning the contracting of Iggy or other recent actions of Delta.  We know the issues involved are bigger than simply the contracting of IGGY.

We recognize that in some ways our participation in PRIDEFEST is primarily in our self-interest as a Church, providing us with an opportunity for making ourselves visible.  We regret surrendering this opportunity for 2015 Pride, but we recognize that standing alongside those who are most marginalized is more important.

JUDAH FELLOWSHIP (a predominantly African American LGBTQIA congregation) is withdrawing from PRIDEFEST and has requested we consider doing the same.

We have been supportive of other opportunities with JUDAH FELLOWSHIP.

Therefore FUMC withdraws from PRIDEFEST 2015 as an expression of our standing alongside our brothers and sisters of JUDAH FELLOWSHIP and others who are being marginalized in the planning and implementation of PRIDEFEST, and in other ways that Delta has been less than supportive of the diverse LGBTQIA community in Pittsburgh.

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