Rev. Manish Mishra speaks about the Gender Inclusive Enda at the HRC Clergy Call 2009

Rev. Manish Mishra has traveled extensively throughout the world, living in India, Oman, Finland, and for brief periods in Switzerland. This international exposure gave him the opportunity to live in countries where Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity have helped define the cultures. He brings this multi-religious appreciation to his ministry, and draws on a variety of faith traditions and narratives in his preaching and worship.

I stand before you as a Unitarian Universalist minister in the Tampa Bay region of Florida who has witnessed firsthand, and been deeply troubled by, a question that cuts to the very core of who we are as Americans, and that question is this: do we have the right to fire people from the workplace for factors other than merit? Can we fire people just because we feel like it?

The answer should seem obvious — we are a country that values hard work, and believes in rewarding hard work. People who are doing a good job should be able to keep their job. And, yet, this commonly held understanding is not our reality. We need look no further than to former Largo, Florida City Manager Susan Stanton for proof of this fact.

In February of 2007, Stanton was identified by The Saint Petersburg Times as being in the midst of a gender reassignment process. Stanton had served Largo faithfully and well for over 14 years, with strong job evaluations, and in fact earning a pay increase in the preceding year. Upon this story breaking, Largo City Commissioners called for an emergency hearing, and subsequently voted to fire Stanton, explaining that ‘the public had lost confidence’ in her.

What had we, the public, lost confidence in…? Was it Stanton…? Or was it our own ability to work side-by-side with individuals who are vastly different from us? Was it our commitment to judge people on the merit and quality of their work, and not the basis of identity? Yes, Largo faced a crisis of confidence, not in Stanton, but in the American dream.

I am not transgender, and I don’t consider myself to be an activist on transgender issues: I am an activist when it comes to human dignity. We are all activists when it comes to human dignity because we all know how we would want to be treated ourselves — with compassion and respect, with openness and understanding, with the ability to work hard and be rewarded for it.

Employment discrimination is alive and well, but we mustn’t tolerate it, we musn’t be complicit with it. Rather, we must live boldly, giving witness to our most deeply held values. Now is such a time. I call on our Congress to take action in supporting the dignity of every working American.

HRC Clergy Call 2009


Mormon's victims from supporting Prop 8 ?

By Kelli Busey
Is the Latter Day Saints (LDS) or (Mormons) experiencing a backlash from its misogynistic hypocritical support of Prop 8 or are they the victims of the times?


Source AP Gay marriage fight, `kiss-ins' smack Mormon image

"Church representatives don't discuss public relations strategies or challenges publicly, but at a semiannual conference in April, church President Thomas S. Monson seemed to be clearly feeling a post-Prop. 8 sting."

"In an era of "shifting moral footings," Monson said, "those who attempt to safeguard those footings are often ridiculed, picketed and persecuted."


Like many religions the LDS claim to love the sinner and hate the sin. This is more than don't ask don't tell from a church will allow us membership as long as we do not engage in any same sex relationship. The LDS has proven it believes 'the end justifies the means". The LDS will then misinform, misdirect and attempt to obscure the truths about its participtation in efforts that are clearly in violation of the obtruse laws that so poorly define the church and state.

But unlike many other religions the LDS does not have a clean cut mainstream image that is supported by a worldwide following. The LDS has a history of supporting of child farm camps, tax evasion, polygamy and marriages between fully grown men and minor females.

So now the LDS is feeling the lash-back from pouring millions of dollars into a law that strips the most basic of human dignities, civil marriage from LGBT people. The LDS is experencing the results of a religion that forced it's religious views on the general public. The LDS is feeling the anger not just LGBT people but former members who once would have defended the LDS with unquestioned loyality.

This should be a learning experience for all religions that cross the line of civil rights to impose their religious beliefs. People universally will rebel against oppression. People will leave diocese's en mass. No religion is impervious to this truth.

After all, we are all just human.