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Singer-Songwriter Josh Ritter Advocates for LGBT Rights at Anti-Gay Messiah College Venue

Josh Ritter

Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter has posted on his  Facebook page about his concert at the anti-gay and hostile Messiah College

I travel a lot – this month I was in fifteen cities in as many days. I always like to learn a little bit about the place I’m going to play – that Chicago has the fourth largest GDP of any world city, or that Louisville is famous for a sandwich known as the “Hot Brown.”

Today I was Grantham, Pennsylvania, at Messiah College, and as I was doing a little digging about the place I learned something that surprised and disappointed me.

Messiah College requires all students to sign a “Community Covenant” promising to, among other things, “avoid such sinful practices as…homosexual behavior….”

This policy, which I see as exclusionary and bigoted, could not run more counter to my personal beliefs. If I had done my homework, and read about Messiah’s policies ahead of time, I would never have agreed to play there.

I did play at Messiah College tonight, and I chose to use the opportunity to talk to the students – to encourage them to seek openness and change. I spoke honestly about my personal views – that we should all have the right to love – and to marry freely, no matter what our sexual orientation.

Everyone was respectful and kind, and it is my hope that they’ll continue to demand a change to the Community Covenant.

I hope to have made the best of a difficult situation. I’m donating the fee I received from Messiah College tonight in its entirety to The Trevor Project (thetrevorproject.org), the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.

I won’t play Messiah College again – not until they welcome, in word and deed, all members of their faith regardless of sexuality, and I urge my fellow musicians to do the same.

– Josh Ritter

I applaud  Ritter for his handeling of this.. This is the perfect way to show up these bigots. Honour your agreement, state your disgust of their policies and beliefs, and then have none of their blood money and donate it to whats exactly opposite of thier hateful warped teachings.

Bravo dude.

 

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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1 thought on “Singer-Songwriter Josh Ritter Advocates for LGBT Rights at Anti-Gay Messiah College Venue”

  1. Indeed, he must be applauded!

    On the other hand, firstly, it shows also that every artist should prior to do a gig (as I think it is called), check the policies and viewpoints of the organizer….. if at least to prevent general or personal embarrassment …………..

    Secondly, I think that this Messiah College should be banned from all artist’s list of possible places to have a gig……. that all agents of artists who are progressive and or pro-equality should denounce any request from the Messiah College, and last but not least that the Messiah College should be removed from the no doubt existing list of tax-payers money receiving institutions as long as they oppose full equality!

    Just my opinion!

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