New Commercial Calls Viewers to Join ‘the Civil Rights Movement of This Generation’
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 12, 2009 — The Rev. Rizi Nasele Timane’ and the Gospel Truth Music Ministry (http://www.rizigospel.com) are airing a 30-second commercial identifying the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community’s struggle for full equality as a civil rights issue and promoting equality for all. The ad has been running locally in California on CNN, E TV and Bravo TV.
The ad is also available on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rfre1lV61Es) where it has generated controversy and discussion among viewers who have posted more than 200 comments expressing both support and dissent.
“This is not about a special right for gay people but about basic civil rights for all Americans and the need to treat every American citizen and resident as equal under the law,” said Timane’. “The ad is part of our campaign to educate the public about LGBT issues and refute claims that equal rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community would be a detriment to the general wellbeing of fellow Americans.”
Timane’, a gospel singer as well as an out lesbian member of clergy in the Gospel Truth Music Ministry, has also been conducting a nationwide summer concert tour to spread the “gospel of inclusion.” Her tour has included gay pride events such as the San Francisco Pride Celebration, Rhode Island PrideFest and San Diego Gay Pride. The tour, which features songs from her album “Come Out,” will end November 7-8 at the Riverside United Church of Christ in Jacksonville, Fla. “My music’s message has been very well received by all LGBT people, including those who are not religious but who still welcomed the message of tolerance and God’s love for all,” said Timane’.
“I am the first out lesbian member of clergy from Nigeria, West Africa,” Timane’ continued. While growing up in a fundamentalist Christian home, she was taught from an early age that homosexuality was a sin that would lead her straight to hell and even underwent an exorcism to “heal her from the demons of homosexuality.” After much soul searching and research, Timane’ discovered that nothing was wrong with her and her sexuality was a natural God-given trait. Her struggles and the persecution that she experienced when she identified openly as an out lesbian in Africa are the inspiration behind her music.
As part of their campaign for full human rights, Timane’ and the Gospel Truth Music Ministry also participated in an Equality March that took place in Washington D.C. on October 10 – 11, and encourage anyone who is a supporter of full equality to join similar events. “It is important as a community that we make our voices heard and stand prominently in one accord and cry out for our rights. The battle for equality can be won and indeed it will be won, but we must stand together and be seen and heard for it to be achieved,” said Timane’.