Southeastern Sociology and Criminal Justice Department to host series of dialogues


Friday, March 29, 2019 
by: Tonya Lowentritt 

     HAMMOND – The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Southeastern Louisiana University will host a series of interfaith dialogues about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex spirituality. The series, said Assistant Professor of Sociology Marc Settembrino, is intended to examine how diverse area faith communities incorporate LGBTQI+ individuals.
     Dialogues are scheduled April 2, 16, and 30, from 12:30 until 2 p.m. in the Student Union Theatre. Admission is free, and the public is welcome.
     “I’ve met a lot of students who are struggling to reconcile their gender identity or sexual orientation with their religious beliefs,” said Settembrino, who is also faculty advisor for StandOUT, the campus LGBTQI+ student organization. “It’s an issue that I think a lot of people struggle with.”
Settembrino will moderate panel discussions between area faith leaders about how they work with LGBTQI+ congregants.
     “This is a great opportunity for the university community to learn about how religious leaders are dealing with issues of faith and sexuality and gender identity,” he explained. “I hope that this series can bring the campus together and can help foster a deeper respect for diversity.”
     Confirmed speakers include Rev. Paul Beedle of First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans and Rev. Elizabeth Lott of St. Charles Street Baptist Church (April 2); Rev. Jay Hodgewood of Rayne Memorial United Methodist Church and Rabbi David Gerber of Congregation Gates of Prayer (April 16); and Pastor James Hartman of the Metropolitan Community Church of Baton Rouge and Rev. Angie Kretzer of First Christian Church in Hammond (April 30).
     For more information, contact Settembrino at 985-549-2110.

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