Activism

Women Praying at Western Wall

Orthodox Worshipers Protest Bat Mitzvah at Western Wall

March 3, 2017

As feminist prayer group Women of the Wall arrived at the Western Wall in Jerusalem Monday for a bat mitzvah ceremony and their monthly prayer service, they found their way blocked by crowds of dissenters.

The Women of the Wall have sparked extreme backlash in Israel for their petitions to change gendered restrictions at the Kotel, or Western Wall. They seek a space at the wall for women and men to pray together—currently, the Western Wall has only sex-segregated spaces. The group has also advocated for women’s right to read Torah at the Kotel.

Michigan Court Drops Charges of Transgender Discrimination

Michigan Court Drops Charges of Transgender Discrimination

August 26, 2016

Last week, a Michigan district court ruled to dismiss charges of discrimination against a Detroit-area funeral home, citing religious freedom as legitimate grounds upon which one can fire a transgender employee.

The legal battle began in 2013, when funeral director Amiee Stephens—then known by her birth name, Anthony—presented her boss with a letter announcing her intention to begin living as a woman.

“Reason Rally” Galvanizes Non-Religious Voting Bloc

“Reason Rally” Galvanizes Non-Religious Voting Bloc

June 8, 2016

Last Saturday, over 10,000 people gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in a show of solidarity for the fastest growing religious affiliation group in the nation: the non-believers.

Sponsored by a coalition of atheist and freethought organizations, this “Reason Rally” was the second of its kind. The first took place in 2012 in an effort to galvanize the non-religious into a cohesive voting bloc before the 2012 presidential election.

After Rejecting Hate Crimes Bill, Utah Honors LGBT Activist

After Rejecting Hate Crimes Bill, Utah Honors LGBT Activist

April 28, 2016

Last week, the Salt Lake City Council unanimously voted to rename a street in honor of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the state of California. 

Many see the symbolic act—the street lies just a few blocks down the street from the headquarters of the LDS Church—as a stand for LGBT rights in light of the state senate’s recent rejection of a bill that would have bolstered Utah’s hate crimes protection.

Christian InterVarsity Endorses Black Lives Matter

Christian InterVarsity Endorses Black Lives Matter

January 5, 2016

Last week, evangelical college ministry InterVarsity endorsed the Black Lives Matter movement in front of 16,000 conference participants.

Held every 3 years, the InterVarsity Urbana conference draws tens of thousands of students to learn about global Christian missionary opportunities. This year, the conference offered over 180 seminars, many of which focused on global health issues, multiculturalism, and racial justice.

“Best Ever” Parliament of World’s Religions Addresses Climate Justice

“Best Ever” Parliament of World’s Religions Addresses Climate Justice

October 23, 2015

Last Thursday, Salt Lake City, Utah, was filled with the sound of Native tribal drums. The music provided the soundtrack to a procession that kicked off the 5th Parliament of the World’s Religions. Referred to by some as “the Olympics of religion,” the Parliament is the oldest interfaith gathering in the world.