‘One of our most influential founders’: Sacramento LGBTQ community mourning loss of Rev. Jerry Sloan

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The local LGBTQ community is mourning the loss of an icon after the death of Rev. Jerry Sloan.

The Sacramento LGBT Community Center posted about Sloan’s death on Facebook Tuesday, calling him one of its “most influential founders.”

“We are at a loss for words,” the post says. “With great sadness we’ve learned that one of our most influential founders, Jerry Sloan, has passed away. For those who did not know, Jerry helped fund the opening of the first Lambda Community Center in 1986 which eventually would become the Sacramento LGBT Community Center known today.”

Sloan was originally from Kansas City, Missouri, but has lived in Sacramento since 1980. 

“Sloan has been a gay activist since he came out in 1960. He has marched in countless marches, picketed enough to wear out several pairs of shoes, confronted our foes face to face, and fasted for 14 days on the steps of the Federal Building in Ft. Worth seeking justice for the gay community of Texas (1977),” the Sacramento LGBT Community Center wrote in a 2016 Facebook post honoring Sloan and his local contributions. 

In the 1980s, Sloan sued televangelist Rev. Jerry Falwell over remarks made against an LGBT church.

“Best known for his successful 1984 lawsuit for breach of an oral contract against the late televangelist Reverend Jerry Falwell who reneged on a promise he made on live television to pay Sloan $ 5000 if he produced an audio tape of Falwell making derogatory remarks about the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, a Christian church founded in 1968 and the communicants are mostly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered.”

Sacramento LGBT Community Center

In 1986, Sloan used the money won in the suit to help fund the Lambda Community Center, Sacramento’s oldest non-profit, tax-deductible charity serving the LGBTQ community.

Sloan was announced as the SacPride 2016 Community Grand Marshall in spring 2016. 

“I am honored to be selected as parade Community Grand Marshall for this stellar event commemorating the 47th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and the 30th anniversary of the founding of the LGBT Community Center,” Sloan was quoted in a Facebook post. “It has been a privilege to work all these years with so many talented and dedicated people to obtain our civil rights.”

“Rest in peace, Jerry. You are loved, will be missed, and your legacy will never be forgotten, the center wrote.

Sloan’s cause of death is unclear.

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