National Faith Leaders Statement on Anti-LGBTQ Bills

I’m proud to be part of this group of faith leaders challenging the anti LGBTQ moves that are being taken in many states in the wake of the Trump presidency. Please read our statement and the full list of faith leaders backing the statement below. As you might imagine, the statement is a little tamer and less addressing the psychological and spiritual dysfunctions that have led us to this moment when such a statement is needed than it would have been if it had just come from me and Tikkun’s editorial board, but there’s always a lot to be gained by being part of larger and more varied groups of people who fundamentally agree with each other on the substance of this letter.

 –Rabbi Michael Lerner   rabbilerner.tikkun@gmail.com

National Faith Leader Statement on Anti-LGBTQ Bills

May 01, 2017
As religious leaders and people of faith, we are committed to creating a society that embraces the diversity of God’s creation and affirms the inherent dignity, agency, and worth of people of all gender identities and sexual orientations. We believe all people must be free to express their gender and sexuality, unburdened by discrimination, unequal treatment, or systemic injustice. We come from many places, backgrounds, and religious traditions, but we hold these commitments and beliefs in common.

Our faiths compel us to oppose legislation that seeks to stigmatize and marginalize transgender people in particular, legitimize discrimination against all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people, or abuse the notion of religious freedom to deny basic rights and protections to others. In many cases, these bills further false narratives and lead to greater hostility and violence toward transgender and gender non-conforming people. These bills also threaten the dignity and equal treatment of LGBTQ people in general and violate the very tenets of love and justice that are the backbone of our religious traditions.

We will continue to speak out against all attempts to use religion to demonize, discriminate against, or bring harm to LGBTQ people, and transgender people in particular, in the public sphere. We encourage all elected officials to join us in publicly supporting policies that promote the civil and human rights of LGBTQ people, including non-discrimination and access to public accommodations. Together, we must commit to creating communities that embody justice for people of all gender identities and sexual orientations.

Endorsers of the statement:

Imam Daayiee Abdullah
Executive Director, MECCA Institute

Dr. Michael Adee
Director, Global Faith & Justice Project

Rev. Dan Adolphson
Moderator, GLAD Alliance

Rev. Marie Alford-Harkey
President and CEO. Religious Institute

Dr. Ellen T. Armour
Carpenter Professor of Theology, Vanderbilt Divinity School

Rev.  Raymond J. Bagnuolo
Chaplain and Minster Director, That All May Freely Serve

Rev. Dr. Lee Barker
President, Meadville Lombard Theological School

Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara
Executive Director, Campaign for Southern Equality

Matt Berryman
Executive Director, Reconciling Ministries Network

Rev. Sofia Betancourt
Interim Co-President, Unitarian Universalist Association

Rev. Dr. Ken Brooker Langston
Director, Disciples Justice Action Network

Rabbi Sharon Brous
Senior Rabbi, IKAR

The Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown
Interim Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches

Bishop Pat Bumgardner
Executive Director, Global Justice Institute, Metropolitan Community Churches

Rev. Jennifer Butler
CEO, Faith in Public Life

Rev. Dr. Noel Castellanos
President, CCDA

Rev. Dr. Michael Castle
President, Alliance of Baptists

Ms. Catherine Chapman
Executive Director, Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists

Richard Cizik
President, New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good

Rev. Ann Craig
The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries

Mr. Michael Crumpler
LGBTQ and Intercultural Programs Manager, Unitarian Universalist Association

Rev. Dr. Miguel De La Torre
Professor of Social Ethics and Latinx Studies, Iliff School of Theology

Rev. Fred Davie
Executive Vice President, Union Seminary NYC

Ronald Degges
President, Disciples Home Missions

Deaconess Darlene DiDomineck
Executive Director, Methodist Federation for Social Action

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

Ms. Marianne Duddy-Burke
Executive Director, DignityUSA

Rev. Eric Eldritch
Interfaith Coordinator, Center Faith (DC)

Rev. Brian Ellison
Executive Director, Covenant Network of Presbyterians

Rev. Dr. Marvin M. Ellison
Director of Alumni Relations, Union Theological Seminary

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

Jane Fredricksen
Executive Director, FaithTrust Institute

The Rev. Wil Gafney
Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible, Brite Divinity School

Dr. Bruce Garner
President, Integrity USA

Rev. Elder Darlene Garner
Director of Emerging Ministries, Metropolitan Community Churches

Prof. William Graham
Former Dean, Harvard Divinity School

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

Dr. Sharon Groves
Vice President, Partner Engagement, Auburn Seminary

Rev. Dr.  David Gushee
Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics, Mercer University

Rev. Dr. Debra Haffner
President Emerita, Religious Institute

Dr. W. Scott Haldeman
Associate Professor of Worship, Chicago Theological Seminary

Rev. Cedric A Harmon
Executive Director, Many Voices: A Black Church Movement for Gay & Transgender (LGBTQ) Justice

Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson
President, Auburn Seminary

Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza
Public Theologian in Residence, Faith Matters Network

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

Zachary Johnson
Executive Director, Call to Action

Rev. Dr. Mark Johnston
Executive Director, Open & Affirming Ministries, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Rev. Dr. Serene Jones
President, Union Seminary NYC

Rev. Dr. Daniel Kanter
Sr. Minister, First Unitarian Church of Dallas

Zr. Alex Kapitan
Co-founder, Transforming Hearts Collective

Nancy K. Kaufman
Chief Executive Officer, National Council of Jewish Women

Idit Klein
Executive Director, Keshet

Pastor Steve Knight
Founder and Board Member, Transform Network

Mr. Bruce Knotts
Director, United Nations Office Unitarian Universalist Association

Rabbi Debra Kolodny
Rabbi, Portland’s Un Shul

Dr. Joel Kushner
Director, Institute for Judaism, Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

Andrew Lang
Executive Director, Open and Affirming Coalition of the United Church of Christ

Right Rev. Edward Lee
Bishop, The Episcopal Church

Rabbi Michael Lerner
Chair, Network of Spiritual Progressives and Editor of Tikkun Magazine

The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis
Senior Minister, Middle Collegiate Church

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

Rev. Dr. Joretta Marshall
Executive Vice President and Dean, Brite Divinity School

Rev. Dr. James McDonald
President, San Francisco Theological Seminary

Dr. Keisha E. McKenzie
Program Director, Believe Out Loud

Dr. Brian McLaren
Senior Fellow. Auburn Seminary

Alex McNeill
Executive Director, More Light Presbyterians

Rabbi Jay Michaelson
Affiliated Assistant Professor, Chicago Theological Seminary

Dr. Diann Neu
Co-Director, Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual

Jon O’Brien
President, Catholics for Choice

Rabbi Dr. Aaron Panken
President, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Ms. Marilyn Paarlberg
Executive Director, Room for All (RCA)

Rev. Debra Peevey
Community Activist, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner
Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Dr. Judith Plaskow
Professor Emerita, Manhattan College

Rev. LeDayne McLeese Polaski
Executive Director, BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz

Bishop Tonyia Rawls
Founder, The Freedom Center for Social Justice

Bishop Gene Robinson
Retired Bishop of New Hampshire, The Episcopal Church

Rabbi Dennis Ross
Director, Concerned Clergy for Choice

The Rev. Canon Susan Russell
Senior Associate, All Saints Episcopal Church

Rev. Frank Schaefer
Pastor, United Methodist Church

Dr. Bernard Schlager
Executive Director Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion

Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer
Executive for Health and Wholeness Advocacy, United Church of Christ

Bishop John Selders
Co-Founder, Moral Monday CT

William Sinkford
Interim Co-President, Unitarian Universalist Association

Rev. Mykal Slack
Co-Director, Freedom Center for Social Justice

Gregory Sterling
Dean and Professor, Yale Divinity School

Rabbi David Stern
President, Central Conference of American Rabbis

Rev.  Kristin Stoneking
Executive Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation

Rev. Dr. Roland Stringfellow
Senior Pastor, Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit

Rev. Dr.  Justin Tanis
Managing Director, Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion

Aubrey Thonvold
Executive Director, ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full Participation

Bishop Joseph Tolton
National Minister of Global Justice, The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries

Reverend Dr. Emilie Townes
Dean, Vanderbilt Divinity School

Rev. Cameron Trimble
CEO, Center for Progressive Renewal

Rev. Dr. David Vasquez-Levy
President, Pacific School of Religion

Rev. John Vaughn
Executive Vice President, Auburn Seminary

Rev. Dr. Rebecca Voelkel
Director, Center for Sustainable Justice

Minister Naomi Washington-Leapheart
Faith Work Director, The National LGBTQ Task Force

Rev. Dr.  Sharon Watkins
General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Rabbi Elyse Wechterman
Executive Director, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association

Lisa Weiner-Mahfuz
Executive for Program and Strategic Partnerships, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

Rev. Dr. Traci West
Professor of Christian Ethics and African American Studies, Drew Theological School

Rev. angel Kyodo Williams
Founder and Senior Fellow, Center for Transformative Change

Dr. Newell Williams
President and Professor of Church History, Brite Divinity School

Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson
Former Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches

Rev. Dr. Karen-Marie Yust
Rowe Professor of Christian Education, Union Presbyterian Seminary

Ani Zonneveld
President, Muslims for Progressive Values

 
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