The Justice and Advocacy Committee of the North Carolina Synod (ELCA) has submitted a resolution to the synod assembly calling for the repeal of the state’s discriminatory law known as House Bill 2. House Bill 2:
- discriminates in housing, employment, and other areas on the bases of age, sex, religion, national origin, race, class, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity by taking away of citizens to file discrimination cases in state courts;
- discriminates against the working poor by taking away municipalities’ ability to require a living minimum wage; and
- especially targets and discriminates against the transgender community and creates a hostile community atmosphere.
The resolution calls for the bishop to speak out publicly against House Bill 2 and to “defend equal protection under our laws for all.” The Rev. Tim Smith, bishop of the North Carolina Synod, strongly supports the resolution.
The synod’s Justice and Advocacy Committee has strongly grounded the resolution in ELCA social policy, citing The Church in Society: A Lutheran Perspective (1991), a social statement calling for the church to “stand with poor and powerless people, to advocate justice, and remove obstacles of discrimination”; and Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust (2009), which calls for the church to “protect civil rights and to prohibit discrimination in housing, employment, and public services” for LGBT people.
The North Carolina Synod Assembly meets in Charlotte, North Carolina, June 3-5. Voting members of the assembly review the work of the synod, adopt a budget, elect representatives, adopt resolutions, and oversee various other business of the synod. The synod assembly is the highest legislative authority.
As of Wednesday, May 4, the U.S. Department of Justice has declared that House Bill 2 violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act, at least as it pertains to gender identity. It is unclear how the federal ruling may affect House Bill 2 as it relates to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer people.
ReconcilingWorks urges the North Carolina Synod Assembly to adopt this resolution.