In my local atheist group we have discussed setting up a booth at the
local gay pride day event to get some new members- the logic behind it
being that these people were directly harmed by religion... it seemed
to make sense to me. But I sent out a newsletter saying "okay this is
what we're working on right now and we need donations desperately" one
of those things was the booth (among a couple other things including a
billboard and protesting our local city council who have decided to
pray before meetings now) and I got a huge huge backlash of people
telling me that we shouldn't get involved with gay people.. it was too
controversial.. that i was trying to force my beliefs on them- that i
just had an agenda because i am bisexual.. we even had about half a
dozen people leave. So what are your thoughts on leaving out lgbt
issues and the like from an atheist group? Some people even said if we
did a gay pride booth then we should do a pro life booth.. again, what
are your thoughts on this? I could really use some advice.. It just
seems like specifically not doing this booth is saying "oh no, we can't
get involved with *those* people". I should also add that about half of
the people who spoke up about it were for the booth and half were
against it (it was about 45% for and 55% against).

I try very
hard to have activities for everyone and I know that not everyone will
want to attend every meeting- some want a social group, some want an
activist group.. we have things like this booth, the billboard, the
city council thing, as well as plans for a helping the homeless
program, adopt a highway, etc and we also have bowling nights, movie
nights, dinner nights, and backyard BBQ's for people who just want to
have some social time with non religious people.

As members of the atheist and lgbt communities, how would you feel if
you saw an atheist booth at a pride day event? Do you think the two
mesh? How many church booths do you usually see? Do you think some lgbt
members feel like the churches are their only choice? Opinions?

**EDIT** just in case anyone wants to donate for the atheist booth at the pride day our website is http://www.greensboroatheists.com and there's a donate button

Views: 33

Replies to This Discussion

Honestly, here in Utah, the major atheist group (I think it's called Freethinkers of Utah now) has had a booth at pride for the past 6 years (the 6 years that I've been going to) and always seems to get plenty of attention.

There have been several churches that I've seen, though, the only ones I can remember the names of are Universal Unitarianism and Eckankar.

Personally, I think it's a good idea to have an atheist booth at a pride event. Most of my GLBT friends are non-denominational at best. So, the chance to help people reach out to new places and new ways of thinking is well worth it.
Being a Gay Atheist, I can only speak for myself, but I think it is a good idea. The problem stems from the double negative response. As a Gay person I have seen amazing strides forward in our Civil Rights in the last 40 years (I am 76 years old), and yes, we have still got a long way to go, but some fear that being known as Gay AND Atheist would further sideline them in their surrounding society. Having an Atheist booth at a Gay advent would allow Atheists, if only a brief experience, the opportunity to meet like thinking folk that could not be anything but positive. Good luck, and let us know how it works out.
I would love to see all marginalized groups band together as allies. That will show the middle-class christian white male what-for.

This year will mark my first pride and I hope to see an atheist booth at the events here (Toronto, Ontario).
If there's an atheist booth, will you please report back?
yes i will :-) i've been going through my lgbt facebook groups to see if we can get some more donations so.. here's hoping!
Thanks. I hope you are able to do this!
I see no problem in having a booth at Pride. The best way to go about it would be to focus on a "theme" for the booth, like Equality. It could address both gay inequality (like ENDA, DADT, DOMA, etc.) and atheist inequality (city council prayers in CA, laws against atheists in the South, etc.). It would be a common ground that ties the two disparate worlds together under a common banner.
If it's about half against and half for it, perhaps the best solution would be for half of the atheist group to participate in the LGBT pride booth who wants to support it, and the other half who doesn't can participate in a pro-life booth if they want to?
you'd think they'd be happy with that but no- they dont' care that people actually do want to do it.. they want to make sure we don't do it at all regardless. and none of our members actually want to support a pro life booth nor is there even one locally.
Why can't they just not go to the event if they don't want to?
again, this was my point to them.. we have soo many other activities- just in two weeks we have bowling night, lunch out, drinking skeptically and a movie night! They weren't satisfied with this and they thought it would give the entire group a bad name. For example, if any of my groups attended a KKK meeting I'd absolutely leave because it's not something I could support... of course, I see that as much different but if you're really against supporting the lgbt community i can see how this would be an issue... but everyone professes to absolutely be 100% FOR gay rights so it's really confusing.
So basically the half who are against it are homophobes?

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