As Lutherans, our faith teaches us to love God and love our neighbor, it is not our place to judge, and to treat others the way we want to be treated. While outrage grows over potential discrimination allowed by religious refusal laws in Indiana and other states, Texas lawmakers are considering at least 20 bills in the current legislative session that would subject lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to discrimination and even criminal prosecution.
We are calling you, as clergy and members of congregations in Texas, to speak out. Your state and community need to hear from people of faith on this issue.
☻ We ask that you talk with your families, friends, and congregation members to let them know how your love for God and your neighbor leads you to advocate—in civil life, in teaching, in preaching.
☻ We encourage you to let your community know discrimination is wrong by writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.
☻ We suggest that educational forums be presented in your congregations and synods.
The 1991 ELCA social statement, The Church in Society: A Lutheran Perspective, provides a firm foundation for advocating in the public sphere, stressing the Christian’s “responsibility to defend human rights and to work for freedom, justice, peace, environmental well-being, and good order in public life” and to “recognize the vital role of law in protecting life and liberty and in upholding the common good.”
Additionally, we highlight the ELCA’s commitments made in the 2009 social statement, Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust, declaring 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.”
Please join us in the work to ensure all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Texans are able to live free of discrimination.