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Alabama Clergy Declare Alabama For Homosexuality

From: rum-nc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:rum-nc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of William King
Sent: Saturday, September 24, 2005 9:36 PM
Subject: [rum-nc] Alabama Declaration

Dear All,
Attached is a document that came to me from a Reconciling friend. She got it through PFLAG in Alabama. It is AMAZING. I have corresponded with "lemonte" and he urged me to get it out to all clergy that I know. I am urging you to do the same.
This is an ecumenical effort, and was signed by at least one UM pastor in Alabama.

Bill and Helen King
169 Montrose Dr.
Durham, NC 27707

No Longer Silent
The Alabama Declaration

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 destructive hatred.

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 religious leaders.

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 violent abuse. 

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 lamontebe@aol.com 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 time permits.

Note: 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 


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