For the last few weeks I have been helping out at Sunstone, preparing for the August symposium. I couldn’t help but be impressed by the name Reverend Dr. C.Welton Gaddy, but it wasn’t until I had to track down his contact info and realized that he had a secretary and a bunch of assistants, that I started to figure out that Dr. Gaddy is something of a big deal.
I did a little inquiring and a little Googling, and discovered that I already knew about this person, and thought he was pretty terrific. In particular I had seen him several times on The Rachel Maddow Show. I was impressed with his interesting take on the intersection of religion and politics in exchanges like this (his interview starts half-way through):
or this (the interview starts one-third way through):
Gaddy is the president of the Interfaith Alliance. He has a national reputation of a stature that makes him an appropriate candidate for serving as the symposium’s keynote speaker, honored and feted throughout the proceedings. Instead, he is attending the symposium on his own dime, so that he can present a paper on the following topic, which is ever so relevant to Mormonism, politics and human rights:
SAME-GENDER MARRIAGE & RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: A CALL TO QUIET CONVERSATIONS AND PUBLIC DEBATES
While many faith traditions, including Mormonism, have grappled with issues of equality, such as same-gender marriage, much of that work has been viewed through a traditional or scriptural lens. Our goal is to shift the perspective of LGBT equality from a place of “problem” to “solution,” from a scriptural argument to a religious liberty agreement, and to address the issue of equality as informed by the US Constitution.</blockquote>
There are many great sessions at the upcoming symposium–you can check out the program as it currently stands (and hey, if you’re planning to attend, please register sooner rather than later!)–but this, in my opinion, is not to be missed.