This week saw hundreds of faith leaders from all 50 states participating in the Human Rights Campaign‘s Clergy Call for Justice and Equality 2011. The leaders, including the largest number of heads of Christian denominations to ever participate, gathered to support legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, to ban employment discrimination against LGBT people, and protect students from discrimination and bullying.
Among those speaking at Tuesday, May 24th’s Press Conference was Bishop Minerva Carcaño, episcopal leader of the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church. Her comments included:
“Hate and violence against persons, whether it is bullying in our schools, the taunting and violating of a person’s privacy to the point of humiliating that person and destroying his or her sense of self worth and belonging, to beatings and even murder on our streets or on the outskirts of our towns, all because of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, cannot be left unchallenged or unconquered. Such violence against our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender sisters and brothers is a violation of all that is good within us, and destroys the inherent human dignity of all of us.” [Bishop Carcaño’s full statement HERE]
Joining Bishop Carcaño were Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop to be ordained in the Episcopal Church; Bishop Carlton Pearson, the Rev. Harry Knox (HRC’s Religion and Faith Program Director), and Bishop Yvette Flunder, who highlighted the faith leaders’ rationale proclaiming, “Too many are being murdered, too many are being bullied, too many have committed suicide!”
In what we’re going to be bold and claim as a shout-out to NLS/CFJ, Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow of the Presbyterian Church (USA) concluded his comments with, “People of faith, let us no longer be silent about the struggles of LGBTQ people! Let us no longer be silent! Now is the time to speak!” Amen, brother!
More on the event HERE.
In related news, a new HRC poll shows that a majority of Christians support LGBT Equality. Check out the poll results HERE.