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.
Exodus International, a group which adheres to the discredited claim that reparative therapy can “cure” homosexuality, is holding an all day conference in Phoenix to encourage individuals and families dealing with homosexuality to seek a path of denial and repression. Even though their flawed ideals have been disproven medically and psychologically, Exodus continues to promulgate erroneous information.
The clergy and lay supporters of No Longer Silent: Clergy for Justice believe it is the mandate of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to witness against the kind of hate promoted at this conference.
Gather with us at 8:30am for prayer followed by a vigil as people enter the conference and throughout the day. We will stand as a testimony that God’s love excludes no one and that hateful religion has no place in the Valley of the Sun.
Join us Feb. 19th as we proclaim God’s love and promote the dignity and beauty of all God’s children. Head to our Facebook Event Page to let us know you’re attending.
WHEN: Saturday, February 19, 2011 8:30am – 5:00pm
WHERE: Church for the Nations 6225 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ
WHY: To send a clear and strong message that hate will be met with the relentless challenge of radically inclusive love. The people of Arizona know all too well the results of misspoken statements that can and do lead to violence. When some Christian leaders assert that Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual or Transgender people are not accepted by God, they leave the door open for people to do violence under the guise of doing God’s will. We cannot allow that to continue.