• Tell Senator Schumer: Protect LGBT Families in Immigration Bill
    Dear Senator Schumer: As New Yorkers and as leaders of diverse faiths and backgrounds, we write to you today with thanks and a reminder. Senator Schumer, we acknowledge and applaud your sincere friendship with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community over many years. You stood on the right side of history when it wasn’t as popular as it is today and no one will forget that. Today, we call upon you to lead again by including equal protections for LGBT Americans and their families in comprehensive immigration reform legislation. Same-sex bi-national couples should not be forced to choose between their love for America and their love for each other. These couples are our congregants, friends, and leaders in our communities. They are created in the image of God, just like all people, and should be protected as equals by the law. As President Obama, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and so many others have said, LGBT Americans and their families deserve the dignity of the same family immigration rights as all other Americans. You have supported that cause, too, but at the moment, you have not made it clear that this important provision will be included in the original immigration legislation. Not including LGBT protections in the original draft of the bill sends the wrong message and risks that those critical protections will not be included. It also sends the dangerous message that it is acceptable to continue to discriminate against certain groups of people and would be incredibly damaging to those who support LGBT rights and immigration reform. The dignity of LGBT people, who we love and value, must not be traded behind the closed doors of legislative negotiations. They deserve a vigorous, public, and moral advocate in their U.S. Senator. As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote from Birmingham Jail, “an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We, the undersigned leaders in New York’s faith community, urge you to publicly endorse the inclusion of LGBT protections in the immigration bill and to include the principles of LGBT equality represented in the Uniting American Families Act in the first draft you are generating with your Senate colleagues. This moment in history is an opportunity to cement your legacy as a champion for the civil rights of all Americans. This is God’s work. Please don’t let us, or our LGBT brothers and sisters, down. Sincerely, The Undersigned This campaign is a partnership of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, Empire State Pride Agenda, Auburn Seminary, and Groundswell.
    181 of 200 Signatures
    Created by David Elcott, PhD
  • People of Faith Say: Lift the Ban on Gay Scouts
    We issue our call as Eagle Scouts, as Christians, and as ministers ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). We support the full inclusion of gay, bisexual, and transgender boys in the Boy Scouts of America. This is a moral choice: there is no way for us to be true to our oath as Eagle Scouts without affirming the dignity and inclusion of all God’s children. The Boy Scouts Executive Board just announced that they’re considering ending the longstanding ban on gay Scouts and leaders. The question is: Will they only hear from religious extremists advancing discrimination cloaked in scripture, or will we drown out hate with our call for dignity for all Scouts? We invite people of faith and fellow Eagle Scouts to join us in this petition. The Boy Scouts need to know that the “religious” voices calling for the ban to stay in place do NOT represent the whole of the faith or Scout community – especially when we are so close to a victory for equality. (Rev. Dr. Chris Iosso and I, Rev. Patrick Heery, both Eagle Scouts – share our own personal stories in a short letter titled, "Two Eagle Scout Ministers Say, Lift the Ban on Gay Scouts" - http://justiceunbound.org/action-alerts/two-eagle-scout-ministers-say-lift-the-ban-on-gay-scouts/.) To secure victory, the Boy Scouts need to hear from congregations pledging to maintain, if not enhance, support for scouts and their troops when the ban is lifted. And to know that troops currently hosted and sponsored by churches will not suddenly find themselves kicked out and on the street – or that, if they do, new worshiping communities will take them in. It’s why we’re: (1) calling on the Boy Scouts to lift the ban, and (2) promising to support newly inclusive Scouting. Let’s make sure the Boy Scouts know we've got their backs when they stand for equality! We know that this change may be challenging for some, even though troops will remain able to make their own local policies on this issue. Others of us would like to see a stronger policy guaranteeing protection for gay Scouts. But the truth is that lifting the ban will provide an opportunity for Scouts all over this great nation to discuss and wrestle with these questions—to do so bravely and openly as leaders for today.
    1,725 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Patrick Heery
  • Point Loma Should Charter an Official LGBTQ Club
    Point Loma Nazarene University has no institutionalized club that creates a safe space for current students who identify as LGBTQ. Without the explicit support of the university, these students often suffer greatly with feelings of isolation and depression. Knowing that they are supported and celebrated as full members of the community is integral to their health and success. We understand that the chartering of a club is complex because of the institution's ties to the Church of the Nazarene, a Christian denomination that does not recognize the right of LGBTQ people to be in relationship with one another. However, despite the denominational policy, many of us remain compelled to advocate for LGBTQ rights and find it difficult to remain associated with an institution that so blatantly makes LGBTQ students feel unwelcome and unloved. Institutional complexity does not absolve moral imperative to stand for justice even if that stand comes at great cost. Because of this, we--as students, staff, faculty, and alumni of Point Loma Nazarene University--cannot offer financial support in the form of alumni giving until the club is chartered.
    1,315 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Todd Clayton
  • Reject Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda
    Our various faiths teach that every person is made in the image of God, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Whatever our biblical interpretation and religious tradition, we know that God calls us to love each other, not persecute each other. We condemn the criminalization of homosexuality, especially state-sponsored violence against LGBT people, their friends and families. Passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill would rip the very fabric of communities, turning Ugandan families against themselves. Our faith demands we stand with Uganda’s sexual minority community rather than use our religion to justify their persecution. Silencing and criminalizing any group based on who they love or how they express their gender chafes against our very moral fiber. It breaks a core teaching of our many traditions: that we treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves. "Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?" -Job 31:15 “Those who say, 'I love God,' and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen." -1 John 4:20 LINKS TO DETAILS OF THE BILL: -Description and full text of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill: http://bit.ly/2denrG -Info on renewed push to pass Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill: http://bit.ly/TulT60 -Rachel Maddow 2010 interview with David Bahati, who formerly introduced the Anti-Homosexuality Bill: http://bit.ly/TdNOIW
    4,548 of 5,000 Signatures
    Created by Joseph Tolton
  • Reject transphobic rhetoric; stand with Rabbi Silverstein
    As LGBTQI clergy, lay leaders, and allies in a diverse array of faith traditions, we are deeply troubled that Mr. Prager targeted this rabbi, and are alarmed by the attitude of condescension, dismissal, and transphobia that saturates his rhetoric. Beyond that, we find his self-assuredness that compassion is somehow antithetical to the study and interpretation of sacred texts to be unacceptable, and furthermore, dangerous. In this time when unholy acts are being committed around the globe in the name of religion, with the misappropriation of holy texts as justification, we need for than ever for faith leaders to understand and interpret scripture through a lens of compassion and mercy. We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with Rabbi Silverstein, his work, and the work of countless other LGBTQI clergy across faith traditions who continue to thoughtfully engage their communities and sacred texts even in the face of those that seek to discredit and silence them.
    6 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Graham Bridgeman