Religious leaders to hold vigil Monday in protest of North Carolina anti-gay marriage amendment



Leaders and members of various religious congregations will gather at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church Monday night to show interfaith solidarity with the Charlotte area's gay and lesbian community. The event is part of a larger series of statewide vigils protesting the North Carolina Legislature's special session on an anti-gay marriage amendment to the state constitution.

  • Leach
Among the speakers at tonight's vigil is Jay Leach, minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte, who said this morning that N.C. lawmakers need to hear from religious congregations that do not support the right-wing anti-LGBT status quo.

North Carolinians, Leach said, hear a lot from the Christian right, but not nearly enough from religious people who support progressive social change. "There have always been those voices coming from the status quo, resisting change, even threatening God's wrath on people who support change," said Leach. "But there's also always been religious voices calling for meaningful change."

Leach cited the religious backing of past monumental issues of rectitude ranging from the abolition of slavery to women's suffrage, civil rights and interracial marriage. "Tonight we will coalesce a strong religious voice in Charlotte that says we should go forward" in terms of equality for gays and lesbians, "and not hold the status quo, and certainly not go backwards."

Other religious leaders appearing at tonight's vigil alongside Leach include Holy Trinity minister Nancy Kraft and Temple Beth El associate rabbi Jonathan Freirich. The gathering, sponsored by Equality N.C., will begin at 7 p.m. at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 1900 The Plaza.