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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
November 23, 2007

Film premières with Biblical take
on gays

Columbus--What does the Bible really say about gay and lesbian people?

The holy book is often misinterpreted and misused by religious and political groups to advocate hate and discrimination against LGBT individuals. Sometimes it is oversimplified.

“There’s nothing wrong with a fifth-grade understanding of God--as long as you’re in the fifth grade,” says a character in For the Bible Tells Me So.

Told through the experiences of five families with gay or lesbian children, director Dan Karslake’s documentary uses Biblical and Talmudic experts to explain what the Bible truly says, if anything, about homosexuality in the 21st century.

The film was shown at the Wexner Center on November 14 and 15. The first day’s screening was part of a Network Columbus meeting, co-presented by the Ohio State University GLBT Alumni Society and OSU Pride Network.

Newly-reinstated university president Gordon Gee, who also served in the position in the 1990s, was on hand to address the crowd about LGBT issues in the context of the university.

The second day’s showing included a panel discussion moderated by Pastor John Kalis, who is working on religious outreach with Equality Ohio.

The panel included Rabbi Javier E. Cattapan, Pastor John Keeney of King Avenue United Methodist Church, Archbishop Philip Zimmerman, President Bishop of the Reformed Catholic Church, and Randi and Philip Reitan, who are featured in the film.

Wexner Center director Sherri Geldin introduced the panel, along with Lynne Bowman of Equality Ohio and Terry Penrod of the Human Rights Campaign.

The Reitans, who came to activism through their gay son Jake, spoke powerfully of their journey from being anti-gay to now working towards the full equality of lesbians and gays in America.

“We need to hear from all pulpits that God loves everyone,” said Mrs. Reitan.

Zimmerman spoke passionately about how the church has abused its power. He said, “As a gay man, I don’t want to be tolerated when I go to church. I want to feel welcomed.”

 

 

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