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April 29, 2013

Category: Religion & Faith

HRC and OutServe-SLDN Call for Pastor’s Removal from Pentagon Prayer Event

Organizations Launch Petition Campaign

WASHINGTON – Today the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, and OutServe-SLDN, the association of actively serving LGBT military personnel, veterans, families, and their supporters, are calling on the Pentagon to remove anti-gay Pastor Greg Laurie from the program of events at its National Day of Prayer on May 2, 2013.  The groups have also launched a petition for Americans to urge the Pentagon to remove Laurie, who has a long vitriolic history of using anti-LGBT rhetoric and insists that being gay is a sin.

“Pastor Laurie’s message is out of step with what the majority of people of faith across this country believe,” said Dr. Sharon Groves, director of HRC’s Religion & Faith Program. “In greater numbers than ever before, people of faith are feeling compelled to speak up and organize for equality – because of their faith.  It is time for him to listen to the religious voices that recognize supporting all LGBT people as a faith value."

"Mr. Laurie represents the worst our nation's communities of faith have to offer when it comes to fairness, justice, and equality. His hurtful, out-of-the-mainstream rhetoric stands at direct odds with the mission the Commander-in-Chief and the Secretary of Defense have laid out: that this nation's military will be an institution that respects the dignity and honors the service of our gay and lesbian service members, veterans, and their families," said OutServe-SLDN executive director Allyson Robinson, an ordained Baptist minister. “On behalf of our 6,000 members and their families, representing over 67,000 LGBT members of the armed forces, we call upon the Department of Defense to rescind their invitation to Pastor Laurie and invite in his place a faith leader who can speak with integrity and respect to the needs and concerns of all of our nation’s courageous service members,” she said.

Pastor Laurie and his Church’s implication that being gay is a choice is not only inaccurate; it’s also a dangerous assertion. The nation’s leading medical organizations are in lockstep agreement that efforts to change one’s sexual orientation can have harmful consequences. Full statements from the medical groups are available on HRC’s website

Laurie will be participating in a prayer breakfast at the Pentagon Thursday morning. He will then lead the official observation of the National Day of Prayer from an event on Capitol Hill.

The petition can be viewed online here: https://www.change.org/petitions/u-s-department-of-defense-remove-anti-gay-pastor-greg-laurie-from-pentagon-day-of-prayer-on-5-2-13

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

About OutServe-SLDN: OutServe-SLDN is the association of actively serving LGBT military personnel with more than fifty chapters and 6500 members around the world It works to support a professional network of LGBT military personnel and create an environment of respect in the military with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity. It is a non-partisan, non-profit, legal services and policy organization dedicated to bringing about full LGBT equality to America's military and ending all forms of discrimination and harassment of military personnel on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. OS-SLDN provides free and direct legal assistance to service members and veterans affected by the repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law and the prior regulatory ban on open service, as well as those currently serving who may experience harassment or discrimination. For more information, visit www.outserve-sldn.org.

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