WASHINGTON - Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese made the following statement on the actions of three Christian denominations yesterday speaking out on the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people of faith.
"Religious bigotry reared its ugly head yesterday. It's a sad commentary that these religious leaders are out of step with most Americans of faith in terms of equality and fairness for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people of faith," said Solmonese. "The real story is that more Americans of faith understand that God's love is expansive, not exclusionary. In fact, church programs welcoming GLBT people are on the rise and have in the last year experienced a growth of between 10 and 20 percent. That is the true story, and one that reflects a growing understanding among religious people that the message of Christianity is about love and not about isolation, exclusion and terror."
On Tuesday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted 194-37 to approve new guidelines, "Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination," that says gays should be told to remain celibate since the church considers their sexuality "disordered." Also yesterday, the North Carolina Baptist State Convention adopted policies to investigate and expel any churches perceived to be too "gay-friendly." And additionally, the Presbyterian Church (USA) will put a minister on trial today for conducting a marriage ceremony for a lesbian couple.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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