This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, host Rev. Welton Gaddy will speak with award-winning filmmaker – and founder of the Washington Jewish Film Festival – Aviva Kempner, about her latest film, “The Rosenwald Schools,” and the film festival’s 25-year run in the nation’s capital. We will also hear from Todd Whitley about the work his organization, Equality Texas, is doing to oppose bigotry, homophobia, and hate throughout Texas. Later in the show, the first legally married same-gender couple in Texas, Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant, will join us to discuss their family, their struggle for equality, and the challenge to their marriage by Texas State Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Aviva Kempner and Jewish-Themed Cinema
A careful look at the films from the past year shows a large number of Christian-themed films – often released and supported through outside-the-multiplex methods like church screenings. Jewish-themed cinema is also reaching a growing audience, thanks in part to film festivals like the Washington Jewish Film Festival. This year, the festival is celebrating 25 years of sharing groundbreaking Jewish cinema. Founder of the festival, award-winning writer, director and producer Aviva Kempner, will join us to discuss her latest film, “The Rosenwald Schools” and the impact the film festival has had over the past 25 years.

Fighting For Equality in Texas
The struggle for social justice in Texas has deep roots in immigration and religious freedom. In the Lone Star State, advocates for equal rights must combat the common misperception that professed religious faith grants a mandate for bigotry and exclusion. Organizations across Texas are continuously fighting anti-gay initiatives and laws imposed by the state government. Welton will discuss the fight for equality and justice throughout Texas with Todd Whitley, communications manager of Equality Texas.

The First Legally Married Same-Sex Couple in Texas
While political leaders in Texas have been hostile to marriage equality, one Austin couple – Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant – became the first and only legally married same-sex couple in the state on February 19, 2015. The couple is facing a challenge to the legality of their marriage by Texas State Attorney General Ken Paxton. Sarah and Suzanne will speak with Welton about their lives since their wedding day, the actions taken by Attorney General Ken Paxton to challenge their marriage and the role the faith community is playing in fighting for equality for LGBT people in Texas.

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