West Virginia University at Parkersburg’s Social Justice Committee will host a “Faith is Fairness” panel discussion sponsored by Fairness West Virginia on Monday, Feb. 18 at 6 p.m. in the college theater (room 1305). The event is free and open to the public.
“WVU Parkersburg is committed to being a safe place for open discussion. One of the purposes of universities is to create spaces in which people with differing points of view can share them with mutual respect and courtesy, not expecting that everyone will agree, but expecting that everyone has the potential to be enriched by exploring perspectives that both support and differ from their own,” shares Dr. Chris Gilmer, president of WVU Parkersburg.”Our goal in all of our social justice programs is to be balanced and fair to all while promoting a spirit of inclusion.”
The panel discussion is the namesake of Fairness West Virginia’s “Faith is Fairness” project which asks faith leaders and followers to answer how their beliefs defend the LGBTQ community. Reverends Steve Peck and Shauna Hyde of Parkersburg and Clare Sulgit of St. Marys, will serve as panelists on the topic. The discussion will be moderated by Billy Wolfe, Fairness West Virginia communications specialist.
“So often, religion is abused to justify LGBTQ discrimination,” said Wolfe. “And yet, the Golden Rule – the idea that we should treat others the way we, ourselves, wish to be treated – is a central commandment in nearly every world religion.”
Dozens of faith leaders throughout West Virginia have joined the project to call on local and state government to protect the LGBTQ community from discrimination. “They do so not in spite of their faith, but because of their faith,” added Wolfe.
“We hope members of all religious faiths and Christian denominations will join us for this important conversation,” said Debbie Richards, WVU Parkersburg Social Justice Committee co-chair.