The introduction of Proposition 8 in 2008 generated heated debates over same sex marriage issues in Los Angeles. The measure prompted marches in the streets, ugly name calling, highly aggressive public debates leading to an on-going challenge through the courts and legal systems. The City Human Relations Commission (City HRC) played an initial role in monitoring marches and attempting to bridge communication between protesters and police.
However, the Commission understood that a more in-depth approach would be required to preserve the essence of who we are as Angelenos. In 2010, City HRC convened ten faith leaders who represented differing ends of the religious spectrum and engaged them in a very difficult and emotional conversation.
“The Way of Openness” captures the follow-up dialogue, which City HRC re-convened in 2012 two years after the initial clergy meeting. The video reflects the fundamental nature of our pluralistic society. It begs the question of our ability to engage divisive and entrenched positions, such as the deeply-seated divide over same sex marriage. It reveals that engaging a dialogue does not dismiss one’s core beliefs or identity. On the contrary, it affirms one’s identity and existence by acknowledging the other.
The featured video is the product of two years worth of collective work. City HRC hopes that this video serves as a template to engage any number of heated divides and public policy conflicts. Several key people played a significant role in guiding this effort. City HRC acknowledges their partners at the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy, USC’s Center for Religious Life, and LA Cityview 35 for making this production possible.
City HRC encourages expansion of the discussion and invites all to attend the opening launch event scheduled for February 27 to personally meet the participants in the video and ask your own questions.
For additional details please contact City HRC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Video Airs: Monday, February 25 at 10:30 a.m. & 8:30 p.m. and
Thursday, February 28 at 1:00 p.m.
Opening Launch Event: Wednesday, February 27
Location to be announced