As ordained clergy we believe it is time to share our
perspective concerning Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgendered (LGBT)
persons. We celebrate the end of the debate. The verdict is in.
Homosexuality is not a sickness, not a choice, and not a sin. We affirm that
LGBT persons are distinctive, holy, and precious gifts to all who
struggle to become the family of God. We stand in solidarity as those who
are committed to work and pray for full acceptance and inclusion of LGBT
persons in our churches and in our world. LGBT persons are condemned and
excluded by individuals and institutions, political and religious, who claim
to be speaking the truth of religious teaching. This leads directly and
indirectly to intolerance, discrimination, suffering, and even death.
Political and religious rhetoric has monopolized the public perception of
the stance of Religious persons on this issue. This stance continues
to cripple the spirit of innocent people. Religious faith compels us to be
part of the healing for the souls wounded by this tragic, violent, and
We stand with the countless ministers, scholars, and laity who,
from prayerful study of the scriptures and religious tradition, find
no rational biblical or theological basis to condemn or deny the rights of
any person based on sexual orientation. The essence of religious life is not
focused on sexual orientation, but how one lives in relationship with God
with compassion toward humanity.
We gratefully affirm our LGBT brothers and sisters, already a part
of faith communities, who have been born, baptized, confirmed and initiated
- many serving as leaders -- and apologize for their ill-treatment by many
We joyfully welcome LGBT persons, as we welcome all people, into our
communities of faith. We recognize LGBT persons have painfully suffered
long enough from social inequality, from religious rhetoric and political
leaders. We are tired of appalling, hurtful, and violent actions toward LGBT persons.
This violence must stop. Let us clear the air and move ahead to begin the
healing process for the wounded souls who are victims of this tragic and
We celebrate the courage of all people who have refused to let the voice
of intolerance and violence speak for religion. The determination of these
people, especially LGBT persons, to meet hatred with love and to answer
violence with compassion is an inspiration to us all, and prophetic witness
of God's activity in our world.
And so we call for an end to all religious and civil
discrimination against any person based on sexual orientation. All laws must
protect the freedoms, rights, and equal legal standing of all persons.
We will continue to work for and promote the dignity of LGBT persons
and their inclusion in our socio-political cultural and economic life.
If you are a clergy person in Alabama, and would like to add
your signature to this declaration, please send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org
with your name, your organizational affiliation (and your *role* within that
organization), and city. For example, "Pat McGillicuddy, Pastor, Church of
What's Happening Now, Birmingham." The list of signatures will be updated as
The Declaration is primarily the statement of clergy members in
Alabama, but we are also glad to hear from others who support our
statement, such as lay persons, groups, and even those outside of