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The LGBTQ+ community has long been marginalized and discriminated against, both in the United States and around the world. In recent years, there has been a growing movement to address the issues facing LGBTQ+ people, and to ensure that they have equal rights and opportunities. This movement has been met with resistance from some religious and political groups, who believe that LGBTQ+ people are sinful or immoral.

It is important to talk about LGBTQ+ issues in faith and politics because these issues have a significant impact on the lives of LGBTQ+ people. When LGBTQ+ people are denied the right to marry, adopt children, or serve openly in the military, it sends a message that they are not equal members of society. This can have a devastating impact on their mental and physical health, and can make it difficult for them to live full and productive lives. Many people believe that LGBTQ+ people are a threat to traditional values, or that they are trying to "change" the definition of marriage. These beliefs are simply not true. LGBTQ+ people are just like everyone else, and they deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, and we hope this series helps you better understand this community. 

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Nicole Verdes

She / They

Nicole has been living and working in San Diego since 2002, when she relocated from San Bernardino for work. She is a passionate community leader with six years of experience in nonprofit management and board governance and more than twenty years of experience in the financial services industry. She is well-versed in client account management, budget development, tax laws and reporting, and conflict resolution. Nicole holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and a Master’s Degree in Sociological Practice from Cal State San Marcos. She enjoys volunteering in the Queer community, most recently as the Board President of Lambda Archives–the first nonbinary person to hold this position.

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Megan Rohrer

They / Them

The Rev. Dr. Megan Rohrer served as the Bishop of the Sierra Pacific Synod (ELCA).  The first openly transgender Bishop in a major Christian denomination, Megan is an award winning filmmaker, musician and historian, Megan  was a finalist for the Lambda Literary award, received an honorable mention as an Unsung Hero of Compassion by Wisdom in Action, with His Holiness the Dali Lama and has been featured on Queer Eye, Cosmo (see the video to the right), People and in Wittenberg, Germany for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.

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Image by Markus Spiske
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Casey Flores

Casey Flores is the former President of the Log Cabin Republican, Richmond Chapter. He also served briefly on Virginia’s Governor, Glenn Youngkin’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Board where he would advise the Governor on issues related to LGBTQ+ Virginians and policy. Log Cabin Republicans is the nation’s largest Republican organization dedicated to representing LGBT conservatives and allies. For more than 40 years, they have promoted the fight for equality through their state and local chapters, their full-time office in Washington, DC, and their federal and state political action committees.

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Dr. An Pham

She / Her

Dr. Pham (she/her) is an Adolescent Medicine specialist. She went to medical school at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev, completed a pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and finished an Adolescent Medicine fellowship at Seattle Children’s Hospital. In additional to providing Adolescent Medicine general primary and specialty care, Dr. Pham’s medical expertise is in holistic gender-affirming care which goes beyond hormones and puberty blockers and includes mental health, reproductive health (including menstrual suppression, pregnancy prevention, sexually transmitted infections, and pre-exposure prophylaxis), eating disorder care, and primary care. Her research on transgender and gender non-conforming youth has covered disordered eating, youth response to the news, and health care transition.

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Father James Martin

Fr. James Martin, SJ is a Jesuit priest, editor-at-large of America magazine and bestselling author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, and Between Heaven and Mirth.Father Martin has written for many publications, including the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and he is a regular commentator in the national and international media. He has appeared on all the major radio and television networks, as well as in venues ranging from NPR’sFresh Air, FOX’s The O’Reilly Factor, and PBS’s NewsHour to Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report

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