National Faith Statement on Anti-LGBTQ Legislation

Nearly 1,000 Clergy and 2,500 People of Faith Respond to New State Anti-LGBTQ Legislation

Responding to the passage of the North Carolina and Mississippi laws and to anti-LGBTQ legislation being considered throughout the country, today a broad faith coalition released a statement urging public officials to “reject anti-LGBTQ and, specifically, anti-transgender legislation and to commit to creating loving, just communities that embody justice for people of all gender identities and sexual orientations.”

The statement reads in full:

2016 has been a startling year for legislative attempts to restrict justice, dignity, and equality for LGBTQ people. More than 175 anti-LGBTQ bills have been filed in 32 states. Of the record 175+ anti-LGBTQ bills filed, 45 of those bills directly target transgender people. Already in 2016, legislatures in South Dakota, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, and North Carolina have considered and, in some cases, passed anti-transgender bills. Too often these anti-LGBTQ efforts are perpetrated in the name of religion.

“These bills and their proponents perpetuate false narratives about transgender people and vilify transgender women, in particular, as threatening safety in women’s restrooms. This dishonest rhetoric perpetuates hostility and violence toward transgender and gender non-conforming people seeking to access public accommodations. Some of this anti-LGBTQ legislation, like the recently passed bill in North Carolina, override local ordinances protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination—preventing local municipalities from outlawing discrimination against LGBTQ people.

The voices of people of faith and religious leaders are needed to respond to any attempt to target transgender people and to restrict justice, dignity, and equality for all LGBTQ people. We must stand up and speak out against these attacks on transgender people and on LGBTQ justice, dignity, and equality. We must call for a world that embodies justice for people of all gender identities and sexual orientations.

As religious leaders and people of faith, we have an obligation to create a world that embraces the diversity of God’s creation. We urge religious leaders and people of faith to publicly advocate for the civil and human rights of LGBTQ people, including anti-discrimination laws, access to healthcare, access to public accommodations, and freedom to use the restroom with which they identify. In this time, we also call religious leaders to address the pastoral needs of those in their congregations and local communities who face injury and discrimination because of anti-LGBTQ efforts. Finally, we call on public and elected officials to commit to creating loving, just communities that embrace everyone.

As religious leaders and people of faith, we believe all people must be able to live fully and express their gender and sexuality with integrity. Together we must create a world where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people are celebrated in our local communities and where sexual and gender diversity is acknowledged as a blessing that enriches all.

Endorsers of the statement include:

Imam Daayiee Abdullah
Executive Director
MECCA Institute and Light of Reform Mosque

Rev. Daniel Adolphson
GLAD Alliance

Marie Alford-Harkey
Deputy Director
Religious Institute

Rev. Raymond Bagnuolo
Chaplain and Minister Director
That All May Freely Serve

Rev. Elder Pat Bumgardner
Executive Director
Global Justice Institute, Metropolitan Community Churches

Angel Collie
Trans & GNC Advisory Council
Metropolitan Community Churches

Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre
Professor of Social Ethics and Latino/a Studies
Iliff School of Theology

Rev. Ronald J Degges
Disciples Home Missions, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer
General Minister and President
United Church of Christ

Rabbi Denise Eger
Central Conference of American Rabbis

Rabbi Marla Feldman
Executive Director
Women of Reform Judaism

Mr. Todd D. Ferrell
The Evangelical Network

Rev Dr. Yvette Flunder
Presiding Bishop
The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries

Rev. Gwen Fry
Vice President for National Affairs
Integrity USA

Clayton Gibson

Rev. Dr. Larry Greenfield
Executive Director
Parliament of the World’s Religions

Dr. Sharon Groves
Vice President for Partner Engagement
Auburn Theological Seminary

Rev. Debra W. Haffner
President and CEO
Religious Institute

Rev. Cedric A. Harmon
Many Voices: A Black Church Movement for Gay and Transgender Justice

Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza
Visiting Assistant Professor
Pacific School of Religion

Dr. Mary E. Hunt
Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER)

Rev. Mark C. Johnston, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Open & Affirming Ministry Program
Gay Lesbian and Affirming Disciples Alliance

Ms. Nancy K. Kauffman
National Council of Jewish Women

Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell, PhD.
Scholar in Residence
Washington Hebrew Congregation

Rev. Dr. Pamela R. Lightsey
Associate Dean and Clinical Assistant Professor
Boston University School of Theology

Rev. Barry Lynn
Executive Director
Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Ms. Daryl Messinger
Chair, Board of Trustees
Union for Reform Judaism

Rev. Rodney McKenzie, Jr.
Director, Faith Work
National LGBTQ Task Force

Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt
Starr King School for the Ministry

Mr. Alex Patchin McNeill
Executive Director
More Light Presbyterians

Rev. Peter Morales
Unitarian Universalist Association

Ms. Maryland Paarlberg
Executive Director
Room for All Inc.

Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker
President Emerita
Starr King School for the Ministry

Rev. Dr. Cameron Partridge
Episcopal Priest, Theologian
Boston University

Rev. Debra Peevey
Faith Director
One Community

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner
Director, Religious Action Center
Union for Reform Judaism

Mr. Chett Pritchett
Executive Director
Methodist Federation for Social Action

Rev. John Russell Stanger
Executive Director

Dr. Justin Tanis
Managing Director
Center for LGBTQ Studies in Religion

Vivian Taylor
Lay Person
Episcopal Church

Rev. Dr. Emilie M. Townes
Dean, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society
Vanderbilt University Divinity School

Rev. Dr. Rebecca Voelkel
Center for Sustainable Justice

Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson
Metropolitan Community Churches

Katey Zeh
Board Chair
Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

To endorse this statement, click here to visit the Groundswell petition.

Posted in Social Statements.