Barack Obama’s campaign has assured Pam Spaulding (author of Pam’s House Blend) that his faith-based initiative funding will not be allowed to be used for “ex-gay” therapies or for any project that advocates for a particular faith. Via Pam:
A source with Senator Obama’s campaign (Director of the LGBT Vote, Dave Noble) has now confirmed to Pam’s House Blend that under no circumstances will funds from the program will be granted to FBOs for proselytizing or reparative therapy. Under the Obama plan, MCC congregations, LGBT-welcoming Methodist and Unitarian congregations, and other affirming churches will have access to funds to do much-needed work in communities large and small of great importance — HIV/AIDS education, for instance, relief efforts, etc.
With these principles as a guide, my Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships will strengthen faith-based groups by making sure they know the opportunities open to them to build on their good works. Too often, faith-based groups – especially smaller congregations and those that aren’t well connected – don’t know how to apply for federal dollars, or how to navigate a government website to see what grants are available, or how to comply with federal laws and regulations. We rely too much on conferences in Washington, instead of getting technical assistance to the people who need it on the ground. What this means is that what’s stopping many faith-based groups from helping struggling families is simply a lack of knowledge about how the system works.
Kudos to Pam Spaulding for seeking and getting this clarification. Let’s hope Obama sticks to this one.