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CLOUT Community and Commitments


In November of 1990, Carter Heyward, Jan Griesinger, Melanie Morrison and CathyAnn Beaty issued an invitation to ten openly lesbian clergy to meet. They gathered in New York City to talk about their common vision across denominations from the vantage point of being lesbians who are “out” in the church. At this meeting, a Statement of Commitment was drafted and CLOUT was born. The statement was circulated ecumenically and all lesbians able to show their support publicly were invited to sign it. By March, 1991, the West Coast Regional CLOUT membership was begun through the initiative of Janie Spahr and Coni Staff. The first CLOUT Global Gathering was held in 1991 in Minneapolis, the second took place in California two years later, and the third was held in Rochester, New York in 1995. The 1997 CLOUT Global Gathering centered in Portland, Oregon. There are many regional gatherings of CLOUT across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.

  • Fall 1990 – A invitation is issued to about 15 lesbians by Carter Heyward, Melanie Morrison and CathyAnn Beaty to meet at Dr. Beverly HarrisonUs apartment in New York City in November. 10 lesbians attend. At that meeting the original CLOUT statement was adopted, the name CLOUT chosen, a treasurer desgnated to open a bank account, and a date set for a preliminary, regional gathering.
  • March 1991 – 21 lesbians gather in northern California to discuss the idea of CLOUT and agree to go full steam ahead.
  • October 1991 – first advertised CLOUT gathering, in Minneapolis. 29S of snow complicates life and most women sleep in the church where we are meeting because their hosts cannot drive to pick them. Pioneer sisters honored – Mary Daly, Sally Gearhart, and others CLOUT Council elected for 2 year terms
  • October 1992 – regional Great Lakes gathering in Kalamazoo, MI 32 lesbians
  • October1993 – CLOUT gathering in Marin County north of San Francisco 68 lesbians
  • May 1994 – regional gathering in Columbus, Ohio – 12 lesbians
  • August 1995 – CLOUT gathers near Rochester at State University of New York at Brockport – 38 lesbians
  • October 1997 – CLOUT gathers near Portland OR – 51 lesbians
  • August 1999 – CLOUT gathering near Madison Wisconsin – 50 lesbians
  • May 2000 – first ever CLOUT gathering in Canada held in Kitchener, Ontario – 14 lesbians
  • August 2001 – CLOUT gathers near Asheville NC at Christmount retreat center – 58 lesbians
  • August 2002 – CLOUT gathers for the first time only one year after its last gathering and holds public event in Washington DC.
  • August 2003 – CLOUT sponsors a Nite of Passion dinner, reception and display booth at the WOW (Witness our Welcome) conference in Philadelphia.
  • July 2004 – CLOUT gathers in Oakland, CA