getequal

GetEQUAL: Stop Religion Based Bigotry

Dear friends,

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Last week, we asked you to call on President Obama to support full equality for LGBT Americans. We understand that’s not a popular stance for everyone, especially heading into an election year. But when a President hides behind religion to justify discrimination, we’re not OK with giving him a pass. The President has said repeatedly that his refusal to recognize marriage equality is rooted in his faith:

“I’m a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe in that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.” [1]

So, while we will continue to press the President to “evolve” on marriage equality, what we haven’t fully explored and called out yet is the fact that the President — and so many others — have rooted hesitation around marriage equality in their understanding of religion. And it is clear that religion-based bigotry helps to offer political cover to those who want to hide behind the confines of religion, pushing many into the destructive confines of the closet.

While we have seen some religious groups take positive strides toward full equality, groups like the Southern Baptist Convention — known for institutional discrimination against many different groups — take that misuse of religion to the extreme.

That’s why we’re asking you to join us — and join other groups like Faith In America, Truth Wins Out, Soulforce, Welcoming & Affirming Baptists, Believe Out Loud, and others — in fighting the root cause of much LGBT discrimination in this country, religion-based bigotry. We’re calling on the Southern Baptist Convention to issue an apology to the LGBT community for its repeated and reckless discrimination, and for the very real pain and destruction that discrimination has caused.

Read more about the harm that the Southern Baptist Convention has caused the LGBT community, and join us in the call here: http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/6535/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=7147

I identify as a person of faith. And sometimes, because of the immense harm that religion-based bigotry has caused my friends and neighbors, it’s harder to come out as a person of faith than as a lesbian. It’s time for that to change. It’s time to call out religion-based bigotry for what it is, and to remove religion as a crutch for discrimination.

We’re starting with the Southern Baptist Convention, whose clergy has for years terrorized LGBT youth and their families with promises of hellfire and brimstone. Your signatures will be delivered directly to church members and leaders at their big annual convention in Phoenix next week.

Join us in calling on the SBC to apologize here: http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/6535/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=7147

We cannot continue giving cover to those intent on injuring our community or just not courageous enough to stand up for us. Join us in calling out the Southern Baptist Convention, and asking them to join the hundreds of thousands of fair-minded people of faith across the country who speak out for equality because of their faith. I’m one of those people who believes whole-heartedly that religion calls on us to work toward justice and equality — and we intend to do just that as organizers with GetEQUAL Arizona, H.E.R.O., No Longer Silent, and others deliver these signatures to Phoenix next week!

Get Out! Get Active! GetEQUAL!

Robin McGehee, Director

[1] “Obama And Religion: Where Will He Stand On Same-Sex Marriage In 2012?” — http://equalitymatters.org/blog/201103100012

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