"Speaker to Explore Challenges to Same-sex Marriage within the Black Church"

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Rochester, NY – Gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or transgender Christians have recently found open acceptance within some churches across the US. However, there are fewer still that will perform a same-sex marriage.

While there are mainstream Christian denominations and communities that endorse same-sex marriage, many have voiced strong opposition. This includes some leaders in the Black Church, which has historically embodied equal rights, as demonstrated in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. This presents a significant challenge to LGBT Christians within that tradition.

The theologian Rev. Dr. Horace L. Griffin will address this in his lecture, "Reruns in Color: God, the Bible, Civil Rights and Marriage Equality," on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (CRCDS). Dr. Griffin specializes in gender and sexuality issues related to pastoral ministry and the Church. His first book, Their Own Receive Them Not: African American Lesbians and Gays in Black Churches (Pilgrim Press, 2006), received the 2006 Lambda Award in LGBT Studies.

The lecture is the second in a week-long series of lectures, community worship and art, "Challenges of the 21st Century," that will take place on the CRCDS campus April 1-5, 2013.

About the Speaker

The Rev. Dr. Horace Griffin is Associate Professor of Religion at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. Dr. Griffin holds a Ph.D. in Religion and Personality and an M.A. from Vanderbilt University and an M.Div. in Pastoral Care and Counseling from Boston University School of Theology. He has held teaching positions at Fisk University, the University of Missouri-Columbia, Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and the General Theological Seminary in New York City. Dr. Griffin has published with numerous academic journals, including the article "Revisioning Christian Ethical Discourse on Homosexuality: A Challenge for the 21st Century."

About "Challenges of the 21st Century" (April 1-5, 2013, CRCDS Campus)

"Challenges of the 21st Century" is a week-long event with five engaging lectures. Each explores the challenges of ministry in the 21st century.  In addition to Dr. Griffin, lecturers include the Rev. Dr. Raphael Gamaliel Warnock ("Piety or Protest: Black Theology and the Divided Mind of the Black Church" on April 1 at 7:00 pm at Memorial AME Zion Church in Rochester), Dr. Quentin Schultze ("Servant Communication: Faith and Technology in Worship" on April 3 at 1:30 pm) and Dr. Mark Braverman, who will offer two lectures ("Beyond Interfaith Dialogue: The Role of the Church in Bringing Peace to Israel and Palestine" on April 4 at 1:30 pm and "Toward a New Theology of Land: How a Renewed Church Can Bring Peace to Israel and Palestine" on April 5 at 10:00 am).

This Spring lecture series also includes a screening of the documentary "Made as Makers" by Callid Keefe-Perry at 1:30 pm on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, and an art exhibition by Claire E. Roll entitled "Acts of Limitation" that will be on view throughout the week.

Notes for Editors

Please contact to arrange an interview with Dr. Griffin (phone).

  • EVENT: “Challenges of the 21st Century”: A Week of Lectures, Reflection and Worship
  • DATES: April 1-5, 2013
  • PLACE: Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, 1100 S. Goodman Street, Rochester, NY 14620

For more information, please contact Chris White, Director of Communications, CRCDS, at this email or at (585)290-0498.