Monday, June 04, 2007

New "Open Letter on Sexual and Gender Diversity"

This morning, the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing issued an Open Letter to Religious Leaders on Sexual and Gender Diversity that challenges religious leaders to address the complex realities of sexual and gender diversity and to advocate in secular and faith-based contexts for justice and the full inclusion of LGBT persons.

Created by a coalition of theologians from Jewish, Christian, and Catholic backgrounds, this historical multi-faith theological framework, the first of its kind to address gender issues, laments the damage done to gay, lesbian, and transgender people by the silence or, worse, open condemnation of religious leaders. The Open Letter says, “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.” The Open Letter forcefully states that “sexual and gender oppression can no longer be portrayed as virtuous and morally defensible” and that “using the Bible to exclude or attack people violates the very spirit of our traditions and is morally unconscionable.”

The Open Letter urges religious leaders to take action to address the needs of LGBT congregants and their families. Clergy across the country are committed to using the new Open Letter in their Pride Day worship services this June. In the next few days, we plan to distribute more than 20,000 copies of the Open Letter.

Take the time to read the new Open Letter to Religious Leaders on Sexual and Gender Diversity and tell me what you think. Check out our new web site as well.

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