ReconcilingWorks Statement on Anti-LGBT “License to discriminate” Laws

RFRA btn webFor over 40 years, ReconcilingWorks has worked for the welcome, inclusion and equity of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities within the Lutheran Communion and society. Our Lutheran faith shapes and informs our beliefs that God values and embraces each person as a beloved child, that the Spirit gives a diversity of gifts for the common good, and that Jesus Christ calls us to work for justice. On these grounds, ReconcilingWorks opposes and will work to defeat laws creating broad, harmful religious exemptions for private business owners, government employees and landlords, such as was recently passed in Indiana, that undermine existing legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans. Such laws violate both our Christian values and people’s right to equal protection under the law.

ReconcilingWorks calls on state lawmakers to provide full, statewide protections against discrimination of LGBT people.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), to whom ReconcilingWorks most directly relates, has taken strong stances in opposition to discrimination in housing, employment, and services due to sexual orientation. In its 2009 social statement, Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust, the ELCA declared its support for “legislation and policies to protect civil rights” for all and, in our call to “welcome, care for, and support same-gender couples and their families” to also “attend to the need for equal protection, equal opportunities, and equal responsibilities under the law.”

ReconcilingWorks believes freedom means freedom for everyone.  As Christians, we are called to love God and love our neighbor and to treat others as we would want to be treated. Religion should never be used as an excuse to discriminate or refuse to follow the law.

Please join us in the work to ensure all LGBT people, no matter where they live, are free from discrimination.