Friday, August 22, 2008

Make Houses of Worship Truly Inclusive

From PFLAG executive director Jody Huckaby's latest op-ed, via the Progressive Media Project.

The doors to our houses of worship ought to be open to all. That includes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, who often feel that religion has been used to divide and conquer their families and their rights.

On Saturday night at the Saddleback Church forum, Pastor Rick Warren asked both candidates about their definition of marriage, and both said that it was between one man and one woman.

This felt like exclusion, if not discrimination, to many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans. And unfortunately, neither presidential candidate was asked about how they would welcome the LGBT community into the conversations about faith.

That’s too bad because history and progress are often made in the pews. The struggle for civil rights for blacks began largely in our churches — and was led largely by clergy — and was born out of a deep sense of religious conviction, rooted in the tradition of loving thy neighbor as thyself.

Today, however, LGBT Americans struggle to find the same passion for equality within some communities of faith.

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