In 2023

2023 is already a record year for anti-LGBTQ+ bills in the U.S, with at least 385 anti-LGBTQ+ laws having been introduced at the state level as of March 3. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, Maharat Rori Picker Neiss, Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis, and The Rev. Nicole Garcia, Faith Work Director at the National LGBTQ Task Force, will dissect these attacks and how people are fighting back in their own communities. Then, Sarah Levin, founder and principal at Secular Strategies, will discuss how to most effectively build a coalition well-equipped to take on the dangers of Christian nationalism, from the grassroots to grasstops.

In addition to her work with the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis, Maharat Rori Picker Neiss is a rabbinic fellow at the David Hartman Center, and the loving mom of an 11-year-old son who identifies as Transgender. At JCRC, she works to build bridges between the Jewish community and other faith, ethnic, civic, and political groups. In the activist spirit of his mother, her son began testifying on anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in the State of Missouri when he was just 8 years old. The National LGBTQ Task Force’s Rev. Nicole Garcia, who identifies as a Queer Transgender Latina and is a licensed professional counselor in the state of Colorado, will join Rori and Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, host of State of Belief, to share how everyday Americans can oppose bigotry in their communities and in the halls of power.

Sarah Levin is founder and principal of Secular Strategies, and a co-chair on the Democratic National Committee’s Interfaith Council. She joins Paul this week to raise up the inspired, and growing, opposition to the Christian nationalist movement in the U.S. Defending a pluralistic democracy for this and future generations will take all of us – and Sarah is expert at coalition-building across communities of identities and beliefs.

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