Rev. Kimble Sorrells and Lanie Cohen

Each year, Pride Month is a vital reminder to uplift and celebrate the inherent dignity of all people while honoring LGBTQ people and allies who bravely fought against hate and extremism before us. This year, we have seen a rise in anti-LGBTQ hate and know that extremist groups intend to target, disrupt, and intimidate Pride events this June. That’s why Interfaith Alliance and our partners help organize Faith for Pride every year, to let extremists know that faith will not be weaponized to oppress our LGBTQ siblings. This week on The State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush is joined by two effective activists to discuss why this year, it’s more important than ever that faith communities play a leading role in defending LGBTQ communities and Pride celebrations: Rev. Kimble Sorrells and Keshet’s Lanie Cohen.

“We as people of faith have that responsibility to reclaim that faith voice. To say that this is not in my values, to say that we affirm trans and queer people, to try to protect the youth in particular that are, I think, being affected by this, and to engage in a way that gets involved in the process, the legislative processes that are happening.”

Rev. Kimble Sorrells is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, and is dedicated to integrating spirituality with social activism. Kimble is a trans-identifying pastor seeking to support transgender people’s well-being through increasing access to wellness and resilience skills, while also organizing to counter anti-transgender legislation and other oppressive forces. In addition to a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University, they hold a certification in cognitively based compassion training and is a registered yoga teacher. Kimble is also a member of Interfaith Alliance’s new Interfaith Leadership Network.

“I think part of this is realizing that LGBTQ Jews have always existed and been a part of our history, of our stories, of our culture. it’s not a new phenomenon,” they said. “And maybe we just have this new language to talk about ourselves and to talk about our experiences. But LGBTQ Jews have always been our people. and so it’s only going to become more and more important to make sure our spaces are inclusive.”

– Lanie Cohen, community mobilization manager at Keshet, an organization dedicated to LGBTQ equality in Jewish life. Lanie has a rich background in social justice and community building, from facilitating gender violence prevention trainings, to contributing to the passage of progressive policies such as the Reproductive Health Equity Act. She’s a part of the Faith for Pride Coalition which includes Interfaith Alliance, Keshet, SPLC, Pride Peacebuilders, and other leading organizations working for the dignity and inclusion of everyone.

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