The Interfaith Coalition on Sexual Identity of Broome County grew out of the efforts of the UU Congregation of Binghamton and Centenary-Chenango Street United Methodist Church to offer religious homes for persons of all sexual identities. They began in 1996 by sponsoring concerts in their sanctuaries to support the gay and lesbian members of the community.
In 1998 the first interfaith religious service took place in the UUCB building, to mark the beginning of Gay Pride week. Clergy from six faith traditions participated. Since then the June interfaith service has been held at C-CS. United Methodist Church, Temple Concord, and Christ the King Roman Catholic Church in Endwell, with nine faith traditions participating.
In 1999 the UU Congregation, C-C United Methodist, Temple Concord and a number of individuals from other faiths officially formed the Interfaith Coalition on Sexual Identity. The coalition continues to grow, with active participation and support from increasing numbers of churches and religious organizations.
The MISSION of ICSI is four fold:
- To demonstrate that there are organized, mainstream religious communities that support Gay, Lesbian. Bisexual, Transgender lives;
- To increase a supportive presence for people of diverse sexual identity throughout the community;
- To educate other religious organizations and people, promoting understanding and opening hearts and minds;
- To welcome, affirm, support and advocate fair and equal treatment of all persons of all sexual identity.