INDIANAPOLIS — More than 100 Hoosier religious leaders joined together to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community, especially its youngest members.
The leaders came from institutions around the state, including churches in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Columbus, Lafayette, and Muncie. In total, 28 cities were represented in a letter written by the group.
Signees noted their worries for the LGBTQ+ community following a few controversial bills that have been introduced by the Indiana General Assembly. The letter referenced these bills with the nickname “Slate of Hate.”
You might remember a discussion surrounding LGBTQ+ youth and how school staff could be required to share identifying information with their families. Faith leaders who signed the letter emphasized their worries for trans youth who would be affected by such changes.
To Hoosier officials they wrote, “As our elected leaders, your first responsibility is the well-being of your constituents. Above all else, your actions first must do no harm.” They said many of the proposed bills make “political pawns” of LGBTQ+ individuals.
They went on to note, “None of the record number of bills threatening our LGBTQ community are rooted in love of neighbor. And as a wise old preacher once said: ‘If it isn’t about love, then it isn’t about God.'”
The full message of the letter is shown below:
To the elected leaders of the Indiana General Assembly,
As faith leaders from across traditions and denominations, we strive every day to make Indiana a safe place to live, work, worship, and learn for all people, including members of the LGBTQ community. We write to you today unified by our deep concern regarding bills introduced by the Indiana General Assembly that unfairly target the LGBTQ community- particularly transgender youth.
As our elected leaders, your first responsibility is the well-being of your constituents. Above all else, your actions first must do no harm. But the Indiana General Assembly’s Slate of Hate is a disgraceful attempt by a handful of politicians to score political points by harming the children, teachers and families they claim to represent. We ask you to ensure that no action is taken on any of these bills.
As clergy and pastors from a variety of faith traditions, we all share in common one religious value: God’s commandment that we love our neighbors as ourselves. None of the record number of bills threatening our LGBTQ community are rooted in love of neighbor. And as a wise old preacher once said: “If it isn’t about love, then it isn’t about God.”
We are especially concerned about the ways these proposed bills will harm young trans people in our communities. We know that these harmful laws threaten their physical safety and mental health by denying them access to evidence based health care and erasing them from their schools. Across our diversity of faith traditions and backgrounds, we share the fundamental belief that we are all called to treat others with respect and love and in that same sense of human dignity we ask you, our leaders: quit making political pawns out of our LGBTQ friends, neighbors, and family members.
Each and every LGBTQ Hoosier is made in God’s own image and all God’s people deserve dignity and respect. We encourage you to join us in this public commitment to equality, respect and justice for all by opposing the Slate of Hate.
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