LOS ANGELES — Equality California and California Faith for Equality today announced a historic new collaboration that will advance faith-based LGBT equality initiatives in California and across the country. As a result, CFE’s renowned work will become a cornerstone initiative of EQCA and EQCA Institute, and CFE will become a special program within EQCA.
Founded in 2006, California Faith for Equality has been dedicated to educating and mobilizing California’s faith communities to promote LGBT equality and safeguard religious freedom. From helping to enact one of California’s most comprehensive safer schools initiatives for the San Diego Unified School District, to marshaling support for marriage equality in California and building a national network of leaders from the faith community, CFE’s work advancing LGBT equality in faith communities has been unparalleled.
“Because California is the state with the strongest civil rights laws, the next phase in the work of Equality California is to assure that all LGBT people are fully accepted in our communities. Key to ensuring this acceptance is engagement with communities of faith and that is why we are so excited that California Faith for Equality will continue its work as part of EQCA,” said Rick Zbur, executive director. “With a network of hundreds of passionate faith leaders throughout our state, CFE’s work within faith communities is a crucial part of our goal to demonstrate that religious faith and LGBT equality are not mutually exclusive.”
“Working with EQCA, the premier statewide LGBT civil rights organization, is an exciting opportunity to further California Faith for Equality’s core mission,” said Rev. Dr. Neil Cazares-Thomas, senior pastor of the Founders Metropolitan Community Church and chair of the CFE board. “We knew from our prior work together that this would be a perfect fit.”
In addition to CFE’s programs moving within EQCA, Cazares-Thomas and another CFE board member will join the EQCA board. The remaining CFE board members will become advisors to this program. Both EQCA and CFE previously participated in the Breakthrough Conversation project, in which both organizations conducted thousands of person to person conversations endeavoring to advance LGBT equality and increase acceptance of LGBT people.
Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization dedicated to creating a fair and just society. Our mission is to achieve and maintain full and lasting equality, acceptance, and social justice for all people in our diverse LGBT communities, inside and outside of California. Our mission includes advancing the health and well-being of LGBT Californians through direct healthcare service advocacy and education. Through electoral, advocacy, education and mobilization programs, we strive to create a broad and diverse alliance of LGBT people, educators, government officials, communities of color and faith, labor, business, and social justice communities to achieve our goals. www.eqca.org