Jerry M. Dale, Jr.
For the last 30+ years members of Community of Christ have been working toward full acceptance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA+) individuals through an organization called GALA, Gay and Lesbian Acceptance. A separate organization from the church, GALA has been an advocacy organization and a place of retreat and community for members of the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies. The work of GALA has helped move the church forward, sometimes kicking and screaming, into a bold new future.
The question often comes up, with national conferences requesting changes to the policy regarding marriage and ordination of LGBTQIA+ people, does the church still need GALA? I say YES, emphatically, YES!
What we often see in organizations is that a change in policy does not change the culture of the organization. Continued conversation, education, growth, understanding and courageous leadership is what helps change culture. Community of Christ has a long way to go, and it will take anyone associated with GALA to continue to speak out for justice.
What can we do?
At the World Church level:
At the local level:
The need for GALA will exist until the entire Community of Christ around the globe is truly a safe place for all.