Religious, political leaders urged to welcome gays into the fold
Posted by pozlife on June 5, 2007
A coalition of national faith leaders issued an open letter Monday to more than 20,000 religious and political leaders, calling for a faith-based approach that supports diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. The letter, published by the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing, challenges religious leaders to use the pulpit to spread a welcoming message to all people while educating themselves about the diversity of human sexuality.
Aside from thousands of religious leaders, each U.S. congressional member will receive the document.
“While religious denominations continue to debate issues of sexuality,” said the institute’s director, the Reverend Debra W. Haffner, “the silence and…condemnation of clergy have led to destroyed relationships, suicidal despair and discrimination, and violence against LGBT persons. Denying that God created diversity as a blessing is denying biblical teaching.”
“Too many religious institutions have failed to embrace sexual and gender diversity,” the letter reads. “Some have mistakenly called homosexuality sinful when the real issue is heterosexism or the unjust privileging of heterosexuality. Heterosexism devalues gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, just as sexism and male privilege devalue women. Silence, misinformation, and condemnation of differing sexual and gender identities have created despair, destroyed relationships, and led to violence, suicide, and even murder. Sexual and gender oppression can no longer be portrayed as virtuous and morally defensible.”
According to a press release, the letter was developed by theologians and ordained clergy from Jewish, Baptist, Brethren, Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, United Church of Christ, and Unitarian Universalist traditions. (The Advocate)