LGBTQ advocacy group and conservative think tank partner to host religious liberty event

Striving for Inclusion: A Religious Liberty Symposium brings together diverse national policy and faith leaders at the Utah State Capitol

NEW YORK — Parity, a New York-based LGBTQ advocacy organization, and Sutherland Institute, a conservative think tank in Utah, are bringing together national policy and religious leaders from across the ideological spectrum to consider how religious freedom can promote equality, inclusion and mutual respect across differences.

The event, “Striving for Inclusion,” is set for Tuesday, May 14, at the Utah State Capitol. Tim Schultz, head of the 1st Amendment Partnership, an organization in Washington, D.C., dedicated to protecting religious freedom for Americans of all faiths, will keynote.

“The culture wars are tearing this country apart,” said Rev. Marian Edmonds-Allen, executive director of Parity.“It’s time for LGBTQ advocates and religious freedom proponents to find a way not only to communicate, but to collaborate.”

Policy panelists include: Asma Uddin, Initiative on Security and Religious Freedom, UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations; Nihal Singh, UC Berkeley; Sharon Groves, Auburn Seminary; Howard Slugh, Jewish Coalition for Religious Liberty. Bill Duncan, moderator.

Religion panelists include: Rev. Dr. Mark DeYmaz, Mosaic Church, AK; The Rev. Dr. Janet Edwards, PCUSA, Pittsburgh; Dr. David Parker, Center for Creating Community; Dr. Juliana Boerio-Goates, Professor Emerita, Brigham Young University, Pastoral Coordinator, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church; Elder Allen D. Haynie, General Authority Seventy, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; and Indra Neelameggham, Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable. Rev. Marian Edmonds-Allen, moderator

“Those at both extremes who continue fighting this culture war are laboring under a false premise, straight out of the Harry Potter series: That neither side can live (or win) while the other survives,” said Derek Monson, Vice-President of Policy, Sutherland Institute. “Under this view, LGBTQ equality and religious freedom cannot coexist. But as with the fictional rivalry between Harry Potter and Voldemort, this premise belongs to a fantasy world.”

Striving for Inclusion: A Religious Liberty Symposium is open to the public, register here. Following the symposium is Parity’s Blessed by Difference Workshop: Bridging the LGBTQ and Faith Divide, also open to the public, register here.


Parity is a faith-based organization that works to empower LGBTQ and allied people of faith.

Sutherland Institute is an independent research and educational institution – a think tank – whose mission is to advance sound ideas and principled public policy.


Marian Edmonds
[email protected]
(801) 452-3674