I’m always pleased to find evidence that all Religious leaders aren’t like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson…
I really have to be reminded of that sometimes as those guys, and similar opportunists and zealots, really created a negative image or organized religion for so many of us….
I’m also particularly pleased to see the diversity in this group…
We’ve come a long ways from Jesse Helms….
Thanks to my friend Kirk for originally sending this to me…
As anti-LGBT forces once again used religious reasons to justify their support of a ban on marriage equality on the outside, inside Rep. Brandon, and the statewide coalition of religious leadership standing beside him, took on these claims directly, citing the religious and historical context for opposing anti-LGBT legislation like the constitutional amendment current circulating the North Carolina legislature.
“The Bible has been used in this nation to support slavery, segregation, laws against interracial marriage, and to deny women’s rights,” Brandon said, adding that he’s a Christian himself. “Jesus was a compassionate person. And Jesus would not be having a rally outside right now.”
During the hour-long press conference, five faith leaders, flanked by other people of faith and state legislators, publicly spoke to the specific harms of Senate Bill 106/House Bill 777:
“This extreme legislation will only cause needless pain and suffering,” Rev. Anthony Spearman is pastor of Clinton Tabernacle AME Zion Church in Hickory said of the proposed amendment. “It sends a message to major employers that North Carolina does not welcome a diverse workplace,” Spearman said. “It tells young people who are gay they’re second class citizens, unworthy of basic dignity and equal treatment…It is not fair and it is certainly not just.”
“Martin Luther King Jr. said the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice,” said Rev. Stephen Shoemaker from Charlotte’s Myers Park Baptist. “We’re here to say today it also bends toward inclusiveness.”
“Don’t let those selling fear on the cheap, buy your hearts,” said Rev. Dr. Amy Laura Hall, ordained elder, United Methodist Church in Durham. “I appeal to you, dear children of God, charged with leading us in North Carolina, please do not block the true recognition of gay and lesbian families in North Carolina as what they are…families, with all the vulnerability, need and intimate trust that go with the word ‘kin.'”
“We oppose the use of sacred texts and religious traditions to deny legal equality to gay and lesbian couples,” said Ari Margoils, assistant rabbi at Temple Beth Or in Raleigh.
“This, I would like to suggest, is our moment,” said Bishop Tonyia Rawls of Unity Fellowship Church in Charlotte. “We will in this moment in time acknowledge what type of a state we really are.”
During the press conference, it was announced that clergy and congregation members from all denominations could sign on with a statewide faith coalition, joining more than 300 faith leaders who have already publicly opposed this type of discriminatory legislation.