Faith Leaders Speak Out for Marriage in the Free State
February 8, 2011 by Christine Sloane, Regional Field Organizer
Last week, I had the amazing opportunity to join dozens of members of clergy representing the pro- equality contingency of the faith community.
Arriving at 7:00 in the morning at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Annapolis, MD, leaders ranging from the Jewish community to the Baptist community, from the Unitarian Universalists to the Catholic Church convened with Equality Maryland and us here at HRC to demonstrate their commitment to fairness and justice for all.
The lineup of speakers, including a Catholic nun who’s been standing for equality regardless of sexual orientation or identity for decades, brought tears to my eyes at some moments and brought me to song others. The inspirational, poignant messages of love for all reminded me that being of faith does not have to be synonymous with discrimination. The message I took away this morning was that to be of faith is to believe in the integrity and worth of all people. I am certain that when the clergy made their way to the state legislative offices following the breakfast to lobby key state Senators and House Delegates to support pending marriage equality and gender identity non-discrimination language, they left the same impression behind.
I can only hope that following their conversations, Maryland legislators walked away with a gained perspective, a “lightbulb” moment, that it is a mistake to make a sweeping assumption about the teachings of faith and faith leaders; to be pro-equality does not mean to be at odds with God, whatever incarnation that God takes. If you are a faith leader or a person of faith who wishes to join our voice for equality, please contact Sultan Shakir at [email protected]. We need your voice and strength, and we cannot gain housing and employment protections for the transgender community and recognition for all of the Free State’s families without your help. Today is also a hearing in the Maryland legislature on the marriage equality bill. We'll provide updates throughout the day so check back!
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