July 9, 2012        

ReconcilingWorks Assembly Calls On Congress to Support Their Constituents Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity or Expression and End Second-Class Citizen Status

Met in its biennial assembly, ReconcilingWorks passed resolutions calling on the Congress of the United States to take up and pass legislation that relates directly to support of their constituents, their families and their right to live as all others do, in a society that no longer allows discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

On the subject of anti-bullying, the assembly called on the Congress to pass the Safe Schools Improvement Act (H.R. 1648/S. 506) that would establish a framework whereby states and communities make schools safer for students and the Student Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 998/S. 555) that would establish federal protections for students suffering from harassment regardless of sexual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.

On the subject of employment, the assembly called on the Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) (H.R. 1397/S. 812) that would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

On the subject of equality under the law and ending second-class citizenship for LGBT people, the assembly called on the Congress to pass the Respect for Marriage Act that would repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, an act that currently denies many loving, same-gender couples federal recognition of their lifelong commitment to each other through marriage.

And, on the subject of equality in immigration, the assembly called on the Congress to pass the Uniting American Families Act (H.R. 1537/S. 821) that would enable loving families to remain together by extending immigration protections to same-gendered couples.  Under current laws, a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident is permitted to sponsor his/her spouse, child, or parent, but U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents are not permitted to sponsor their same-gender partners.

In all of these cases, the assembly called upon the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the synod bishops, clergy and other church leaders to advocate publically for the passage of these pieces of legislation.  The assembly also called on all to make ReconcilingWorks’s position on these pieces of legislation known to their elected members of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. 

The participants in this 2012 assembly of ReconcilingWorks will do just that tomorrow, Tuesday, July 10, 2012, when they visit the offices of members of Congress for whom they are constituents, to tell how these subjects affect their lives as citizens.