Judith Light on Faith and Religious Institutions

Actress talks religion, equality and her support of the LGBT community.
8:45 | 11/11/11

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Transcript for Judith Light on Faith and Religious Institutions
What you think. So many people such as yourself need to go beyond organized. Institutional religion in order to find -- -- talking about. It's such a good question I. I think. Partly from me it's because I want it to. Move away from things that were. Potentially. And I qualified -- The week things should be how it should be done. Any kind of thing that was. How to. Should to -- my relationship. To god my higher power my a and money and since. Comes outside -- all of a four alarm button. Partly because since his -- marks. And it is something that I experienced in my heart. I feel so. I don't. When he. In -- -- Someone else telling me how to live my life. And I don't mean that in a rebellious sort of way I mean it it's that. Those are things that I want to come to. Myself and I know that many people who are religious and -- stay in religious. Institutions and followed that and stay. Going every Sunday. And do that the rigors and the demands of what I think religion really does -- I think that that works for them and I think that's terrific I just didn't want to stop my own personal growth. In relation. To confine their excellence in line with only what -- When one of the things spiritual traditions and all religions teaches that. It can't stay with us and asked -- go out of us and social action social concern -- doing work for justice. And I love that I love Regis I think that's essentially think that's -- context but will and you are an example of that because what I've read about you heard about you is that you're extremely involved in. Social justice causes especially. With the gay and lesbian community and for aids research and aids cure to -- why did you focus on the gay and lesbian community and the whole. -- -- -- I began and who the real trajectory began. Many years ago and I've said this a lot and in several interviews but I just sort of give you that small piece of it just just for you to it came to let. I was doing a film called the Ryan White story an prior to that. I had been. Many of my friends in the theater had. Contracted aids and we didn't know what was and they were dying and I began to -- that something. On toward was happening. To my friends and so I ended up ABC Caspian is moving. This movie called the Ryan White story about the young boy who was sure hemophiliac contracted aids. And was not allowed to go to school and he fought the system and -- mother and I think his mother infant. And unsettling day there was so an -- were -- and Ryan and his mother runs that this is when he was still alive and just before he died. And he. Is she said to him so what was it like for you. And you know how -- the community treat you -- talking about how badly had been treated any said. And you know sometimes people would split -- Meehan call me a -- -- -- And you know those moments in your life when. All of the pieces of something just sort of didn't come together and solidify. And you wake up in that moment. You know those moments of weakness in the way -- -- enlightenment. That's something that has been in the dark that there's a light the -- on it and it is revealed. I said I'm not going. I'm having compassion -- go to see them I do whatever but I -- I'm not really I'm not really doing anything and when I began to -- How my friends and people -- -- community. We're dealing with each other supporting each other. When did he -- nothing. And two presidents members have to -- and seats. Me and you for a unique organization to take -- defeat this help them with their homes to clean their house has. I watch this community I watched the lesbians in this community come to the native became man and said we will help you we are here. I mean I watched the events that came up around this and I watched a community. That was icing like the Phoenix from the -- death and despair. And instead of being angry and and and at what the eight. Were inspiring. And that you were operating. From their highest sales -- -- Lewis hopes. And you watched organizations like I'll come back and when Larry Kramer created and that people were saying we must do something to change the dynamic and speak out. And and we support people not being closeted so that they could or could in find. Speak their truth and -- who they work and live their lives as free open courageous people I said I want to be part of a community that does that. I want you or inspiring me and to this day. I have to say I think it is this community. That holds them -- to our country. About how big gated -- and now narrow minded it means. And how unfortunate news that we do not do the principles. Of what all great religions teach he's -- Every. The and as you know sometimes it's religion itself and religious traditions that can be the worst perpetrators of -- I think that use -- fairy true statement. I want to talk about the organization faith in America that your faith in American in on the board yes and. When its ultimate enough faith in America they thought it was evangelical Christian groups I I now I know I tell us what is it it is an organization that supports. The discussion and the ending of faith based bigotry against the PPT -- -- -- it's so ironic that you can have faith religious tradition that was supposed to teach compassion. Inclusion mercy forgiveness in the perpetrators discriminate. Yes I think it's. And I think it's something that has not been addressed as powerfully and as importantly. -- troubled its founder has has -- I -- Mitchell is Mitchell gold and of magical -- Williams at the furniture company. And Mitchell and I grew up in Trenton, New Jersey together -- Mitchell said. It is essential. Then and Mitchell is openly gay and has been out for many many years and he said it is time that we find. We found an organization. That literally speaks to this particular point and the point that you -- yes I think it and and part of the problem is that. As a society we live in denial of those things we senator -- religion is a good thing. Where religion is a good thing yeah. But it is complicated and we have to not think simply strictly about these things and can be -- -- it can be abused and so it's like. Every one. Has the right. To speak. Their truth. And this organization is seen. You wanna be vacated and you are doing -- the LG BT community. Is the the new civil rights. Movement and I think that's the next. Place to be paying content. Once again -- other desert cities that the Booth theater on west -- street you -- --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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