BY JESSICA JENKINS
One of our priorities at Groundswell is promoting dignity and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people in all aspects of life - including our legal system, our schools and our faith communities. That means standing up to bullying and discrimination of all kinds. So we are heartened to see a group of Methodist pastors and laity in New York and Connecticut pledge to support marriage equality - despite their denomination's stated ban on same sex marriages.
In their Covenant of Conscience, published Monday, hundreds of pastors and laypeople pledged to "openly and joyfully [affirm] the lives and loves of all United Methodists, regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression" by performing same sex marriages in their congregations and by creating open and welcoming communities for same sex couples and their families.
We're glad to see these congregations take a stand for equality and dignity, particularly since doing so could invite backlash and recrimination. And we hope that many more faith communities follow their example. When religious leaders publicly affirm the dignity and worth of LGBTQ people, it sends a powerful message to their wider communities that people of all sexual orientations and gender identities deserve equal respect. Young LGBTQ people in particular need to hear these messages of love and acceptance, as the teen bullying and suicides taking place throughout our country have made painfully clear.
A year ago, a young woman named Brittany McMillan called for a Spirit Day to remember the young people who had taken their lives because of anti-gay bullying. Her call spread like wildfire. This year we're joining the call on Thursday, Oct. 20 to wear and display the color purple, which symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag. Millions of other Americans will be doing the same, in their communities, schools, congregations and place of work, and on their online profiles. Visit the GLAAD Spirit Day website and Facebook page for more information about how you can join us.
In their Monday statement, the Methodist congregations quoted Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” We take Dr. King's message to heart, and we're confident that we can change the way lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people are treated throughout our country. But it can't happen with just one new law, one bold statement, or one day of action. It takes a movement. It takes a groundswell. Join us.
Right now the Internet is under attack, and I'm in the fight to save it. There's a big vote this Thursday and if people like us speak up now, we can make the moral case for why we need a free and open Internet.
After living in Sanctuary for 58 days in Philadelphia, Angela was granted a stay of deportation by our local ICE director.1 Now, she’s using her freedom to make sure no one in Sanctuary is left behind.
In the midst of so much pain and suffering, let us stand with our Muslim American brothers and sisters. Please join me in offering a prayer or message in solidarity.
Big news! The New York Times and Newsweek just covered the story of Arturo fighting his deportation in Sanctuary in Denver.
My favorite part of President Obama's address this week raised up the beauty and power of the human spirit—exactly what you'll find in these three stories of faith and unity.
We are thrilled to announce that after 58 days in Sanctuary at West Kensington Ministry, Angela's final deportation order was stopped!