Webinar: Law, Religious Liberty & LGBTQ Lives in America

On June 12, 2020, the Dept of Health & Human Services  finalized a rule under the Affordable Care Act that rolled back health protections for transgender people by  excluding gender identity from the legal meaning of “sex discrimination.” Just three days later, the US Supreme Court ruled that the  1964 Civil Rights Act includes LGBTQ employees in protections from sex discrimination. What do these contradictory policy decisions mean—for people of faith, for queer people, for freedom of conscience in general in this country?

We’ve invited a legal expert and queer Christians from across the spectrum of theological and political convictions to discuss the issues at hand and respond to your questions and concerns.

  • Are you a faith leader who cares about LGBTQ people but also wants to be able to hire according to your convictions?
  • Are you a health provider who worries you’ll be required to administer
    medical care that you believe goes against God’s design?
  • Are you a Christian who fears that increased protections for some translate to fewer freedoms for you?
  • Do you identify as LGBTQ and wonder how these laws will affect you?


You won’t want to miss this conversation! (If you’d like a list of resources that our panelists prepared for this conversation, send an email to Oriented to Love program director Kristyn Komarnicki.)

Meet our panelists:

Casey Pick is the Senior Fellow for Advocacy and Government Affairs for The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people. She works to advance state and federal policies that support LGBTQ youth in crisis, educating policymakers and the public about LGBTQ youth/mental health issues. She also writes and coordinates amicus briefs, collaborates with state and local advocates, and testifies in support of legislation to protect LGBTQ youth.

A self-described born again Christian, Casey has also spent much of her career at the intersection of conservative politics & faith and LGBTQ inclusion, including drafting legislation balancing religious freedom and LGBTQ civil rights. Casey holds a bachelor’s degree in Government from Claremont McKenna College and a juris doctorate from the UCLA School of Law, and in 2019 was named one of the National LGBTQ Bar Association’s “40 Best LGBTQ Lawyers Under 40.”

Darren Calhoun is a justice advocate, worship leader, and photographer based out of Chicago, IL. He works to bridge connections between people of differing perspectives through story and relationship. Currently, Darren leads worship at Urban Village Church and serves in multiple capacities with organizations like Christians for Social Action, The Reformation Project, and Q Christian Fellowship. He also sings with a progressive Christian band called The Many.

Darren has facilitated workshops and lead worship for local and national gatherings and events. He brings with him an intentional focus on communities being inclusive of diverse people and expressions as an authentic reflection of God’s love and justice.

Lastly, Darren is an extrovert who loves hugs. Follow him on social media at @heyDarren or through his blog

Bridget Eileen Rivera is a writer, speaker, and educator completing her doctoral studies in sociology. She engages in public advocacy related to faith, gender, and sexuality, challenging the church to do better in its inclusion of LGBTQ people.

Her first book, Heavy Burdens (Brazos Press, expected 2021), unpacks the legacy of LGBTQ discrimination in the church, helping Christians to better understand the experiences of LGBTQ people within Christianity and guiding readers to consider the tough questions necessary in charting a new path for the church.

Learn more about Bridget or by follow her on Twitter @travelingnun.

Myles Markham (he/him or they/them) has worked for almost a decade in grassroots organizing to advance LGBTQ inclusion and racial justice in evangelical faith communities. Myles is based in Atlanta, GA, where they are pursuing a Master of Arts in Practical Theology at Columbia Theological Seminary and exploring the intersection of religious education, media arts, and systemic change.

Myles loves liberation and postcolonial theologies, working to embrace their Japanese American/Native Hawai’ian identity, and their most recent work has been helping to plan and implement impact strategies for the documentary feature films Pray Away and Flint: The Poisoning of an American City.

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