PO Box 100, Carlisle, Ontario L0R 1H0 | Phone: 1-833-236-0280 | hfrc@united-church.ca
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This fall, the Tri-Region Affirm Network received a letter seeking endorsement of a statement of multi-faith solidarity for a Hindu priest who has been condemned for officiating a same-sex marriage ceremony. The Affirm Network has signed the letter and the individuals on the Network have committed to signing it. We, the members of the Affirm Network, are now asking leaders in communities of faith across our regions to consider signing to endorse a multi-faith statement of solidarity.

Excerpts of the letter that started it:

Dear friends,

This is Nikhil Mandalaparthy from Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus and Hindus for Human Rights.I’m writing today because we at Sadhana are calling on religious leaders and representatives of faith-based organizations to endorse a multi-faith statement of solidarity with Sri Ranganathan Kurrukal, a Hindu priest based in Toronto, Canada. …

Recently, Kurrukal conducted a marriage ceremony for a same-sex couple. This has led to a severe backlash from his family and conservative members of the community. Kurrukal has received multiple death threats by text, phone, and social media. Toronto Hindu organizations have pushed him out and he is facing exclusion from a local association of Hindu priests. …

We hope you will add your voice to condemn this backlash against a religious leader who sought to honor and celebrate the love between two LGBTQ+ community members. We must resist homophobia and transphobia wherever they manifest and commit to uplifting inclusive religious leadership in all of our communities.

Best regards,

Nikhl Mandalaparthy

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For more information contact:

Thérèse Samuel

Thérèse Samuel

Minister, Right Relations and Social Justice for Antler River Watershed, Western Ontario Waterways and Horseshoe Falls Regional Councils

Phone: 905-659-3343 | 1-833-236-0280
Extension: 9
Email: TSamuel@united-church.ca

Thérèse shares the Social Justice position with the Minister, Social Justice, serving the Mission and Discipleship Commissions and social justice ministries in the region. She also supports Indigenous and Non-Indigenous churches in the region in the work of building right relations.

Diane Matheson-Jimenez

Diane Matheson-Jimenez

Minister, Social Justice for Antler River Watershed, Western Ontario Waterways and Horseshoe Falls Regional Councils

Phone: 905-659-3343 | 1-833-236-0280
Extension: * (an asterisk)
Email: DMatheson@united-church.ca

An Ontario Certified Teacher, Diane has long been passionate about empowering people of all ages to engage in meaningful justice work. She serves the Mission & Discipleship Commissions, as well as working with and building social justice networks in the regions.