Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Joe Solmonese called clergy a powerful new lobbying force for the gay and lesbian community.

In an interview with Dan Gilgoff, religious correspondent for U.S. News & World Report, the gay rights leader agreed that clergy were becoming powerful advocates of gay rights.

"LGBT people, many of us are people of faith, and there are religious leaders in this country who support LGBT equality, and it has taken us too long to empower those voices and ensure those people are out there fighting on the front lines on our behalf. Our Clergy Call for Justice brought 300 clergy, more than five from each of the 50 states, and we worked with them to walk the halls of Congress and lobby on behalf of LGBT issues in full religious vestments,” Solmonese said.

"One of the most profound things I see whenever we do this is the staff members in those congressional offices oftentimes are confused about whether they're there to lobby for LGBT causes or against them. That itself says to me that we're woefully overdue on that. So clergy will continue to be a powerful front line lobbying force for us."

The group's new religious programs turn conventional wisdom on its head as clergy lobby for gay and lesbian rights instead of oppose them.