We celebrate the progress made over the past ten years:
* In court decisions and legislative victories discriminatory statutes have been eliminated and equal rights affirmed. Sodomy laws were struck down. The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy was repealed. As of this writing 8 states and the District of Columbia protect Equal Marriage. For the first time in history a majority of Americans favor Equal Marriage for all, and there is growing acceptance of Gender Variance as more people identify as Transgender.
* Many Christian denominations and local churches now welcome LGBT persons as full members and Lesbians and Gay men as clergy. The ordination of Bisexual and Transgender clergy is a reality in
several denominations and rapidly gaining ground. A majority of Christians support equality for Lesbians and Gay men in the life of the church, and support for Transgender and Bisexual people continues to rise.
* Respected Professionals and Organizations in the fields of theology, biology, psychology and sociology overwhelmingly concur that LGBT people are a normal, healthy, whole part of the human family.
While we acclaim this progress toward realizing the full dignity and equality of the LGBT community in both church and society, we proclaim that IT IS NOT ENOUGH! Some churches continue to label people born with different sexualities or who live into a gender different from their birth as "sinful," "disordered," or "abominations." Hiding behind dogma and doctrine they deny LGBT people and families access to the graces of the church. In the name of religious liberty they call for the denial of equal rights. Religious liberty is never the right to discriminate. Religious liberty suffers
irreparable harm when the liberties of LGBT people are denied.
In many states LGBT people are denied the basic human rights guaranteed to citizens of the USA. They face unjust employment termination, eviction, and are denied the rights to adopt or marry just for their natural human feelings, how they present their gender, or whom they love.
IN 2012 we boldly declare the justice we are called to pursue as Christians and as a society.
THE TIME IS NOW to end every form of spiritual abuse and discrimination in Church and Society against LGBT people; and, to stand against flawed theologies that are breeding grounds for the sins of homophobia and transphobia and give rise to shame, bullying, murder and other crimes of hate.
THE TIME IS NOW to end all forms of legal discrimination at every level of government: city, state and federal; and to enact laws that protect the dignity and God-endowed rights of every Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender citizen. These include hospital visitation, marriage, adoption, creating families, access to housing, and the right to work free from fear of termination or reprisal because of gender expression or sexual orientation.
THE TIME IS NOW to stand with the growing number of clergy, scholars, and laity who find no biblical, theological, or rational basis to condemn or deny the rights of LGBT individuals or families. As Christian Clergy, in solidarity with those of the Interfaith community and all people of good will, we renew our commitment to the full inclusion of God's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender children in church and society.
TO THIS END we will relentlessly pursue the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), Equal Marriage as the law of the land and the church's affirmation of every LGBT person and family.
OUR FAITH DEMANDS NOTHING LESS!