From Selma to Stonewall Report

posted on March 30, 2020

From Selma to Stonewall Report
by Rev. Ed Horne, New York MFSA
This past fall, forty Methodists from around the NYAC attended MFSA’s presentation of the movie, From Selma to Stonewall, on September 29 at Asbury UMC in Croton-on-Hudson. Produced by the Rev. Gil Caldwell, UM pastor and longtime civil rights activist who walked with Dr. King at the 1964 Selma march, and Marilyn Bennett, activist and former Executive Director of the Reconciling Ministries Network, the movie touches on the events surrounding the Selma March and the Stonewall Uprising and engages in conversation with contemporary activists to explore the similarities, differences and conflicts between the civil rights and gay rights movements.

Following the movie, a panel of four persons from diverse backgrounds addressed issues raised by the film, reflected on their own experiences and the possible convergences of concerns facing the NYAC. Facilitated by Jennifer Berry, the panelists were Traci West of Drew Theological Seminary, Gail Douglas-Boykin, retired NYPD who is a leader with Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR) and a UMC Deaconess candidate, Jonathan Cintron, a Methodist from Puerto Rico now living in New York who is active in the Latin American gay rights movement, and George McClain, who marched at Selma and was the former Executive
Secretary of MFSA.

The discussion that ensued included a rich sharing of perspectives about race, sexuality and the future of the UMC, as well as honoring those who have been engaged in justice-seeking for many years, some of whom were present at the gathering. The day concluded with a renewed commitment to drawing the connections between the issues that were raised and working together towards a renewed commitment in the NYAC to address them.