Voices of Love for the South’s LGBT Community
Inspired by the Midwest’s “Heartland Proclamation“ from earlier this year, a group called Southern Clergy for Inclusion has put together a “Southern Proclamation” apologizing for the faith community’s silence on LGBT equality issues. ”Proclamation” organizer Amy Hinton says, “We are asking clergy in the South to support and sign this document to show LGBT individuals and allies they do have support here in the South. So many times LGBT people are faced with rejection from the churches they have called home…We feel there should be more religious acceptance in order to bring people back into the folds of faith communities.”
The document’s introduction reads:
As people of faith:
We proclaim God’s love for all, including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons and we publicly apologize where we have been silent. As reasoned people of faith we believe that the truth sets us free and we recognize that the debate concerning sexuality is over. The verdict is in. The debate should end. Homosexuality is not a sickness, not a choice, and not a sin. We find no rational biblical or theological basis to condemn or deny the rights of any person based on sexual orientation. Silence by many has allowed political and religious rhetoric to monopolize public perception, creating the impression that there is only one biblical perspective on this issue. Yet we recognize and celebrate that we are far from alone in affirming that LGBT persons are distinctive, holy, and precious gifts to all who struggle to become the family of God. The tenets of all faiths recognize that all people, no matter their color, ethnicity, sexuality or religion, are children of one God and equally loved by their creator. Further, our books of faith ask us to love God, love our neighbor, and to follow the path that leads to true justice.
Southern Clergy for Inclusion is seeking additional clergy members, faith communities, and organizations to support this effort. If you are interested, visit www.southernproclamation.us for more information.