Faith Voices Against LGBTQ Discrimination
Millions of Americans nationwide belong to faith groups, and hold faith as a cornerstone of their lives, a lens for them to better understand the world they live in and how they contribute to that world. Many people of faith believe in the basic tenets of equality, fairness, and inclusion, and it is these people who are helping to lead the conversation about why protecting LGBTQ people matters, and how their support is because of their faith, not in spite of it.
The Freedom to MarryIn the case Obergefell v. Hodges in March 2015, clergy came together and said: "Requiring equal treatment for different- and same-sex couples with respect to civil marriage will, in fact, reaffirm the religious liberty fundamental to this nation’s founding identity." Read the Brief
Dignity for Transgender StudentsIn the case Gloucester County School Board v. Gavin Grimm in March 2016, clergy came together to declare: "Amici ... are united in believing that the fundamental human dignity shared by all persons requires treating transgender students in a manner consistent with their gender identity." Read the Brief
Equal Service for LGBTQ PeopleIn the case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission in October 2017, clergy wrote: "It is morally wrong ... to permit blanket discrimination in the public marketplace for goods and services based on the personal religious beliefs of merchants with respect to same-sex couples’ rights and relationships." Read the Brief
Why People of Faith Support Nondiscrimination Protections
For many Americans, values like treating others fairly, equally and with respect are rooted in faith and religious teachings. Increasingly, people of faith are leading the conversation about why protecting LGBTQ people matters – and why their faith calls them to support LGBTQ freedom.
The Golden Rule
“Do to others what you would do to you” is a basic tenet present in most faiths, and one that people of faith take to heart. Their own personal beliefs compel them to stand up for LGBTQ people and state that they deserve protection. LGBTQ people are our friends and neighbors, and people of faith understand that no one should be denied the opportunity to make a living, have a home, or be served in a public space.
The Importance of Freedom of Religion
Freedom of religion is one of our nation’s fundamental values. That’s why it’s already protected by the Constitution. That freedom doesn’t give any of us the right to impose our beliefs onto others, or to discriminate. People of faith understand and believe in this, and many are speaking out against bills that would allow discrimination against our neighbors based on a person’s beliefs. They understand that such discrimination opens the door for others to be discriminated against in the future.
Our Partners Advocating for LGBTQ Freedom in Faith Communities
Freedom For All Americans has partnered with several faith leaders and organizations across the country to bring faith voices into the movement to win nondiscrimination for all. These voices are an important component of our work, and have the ability to reach people that may not otherwise hear about why this work is so important and relevant.
"My faith tells me that discrimination against persons, even those with whom I disagree, is wrong. If someone, whose political, social, or religious views I did not share, came to my house, I would surely offer them a cake and a comfortable cup of tea, as Jesus would do. So why would I not sell them the same?”Sister Jeannine Gramick, SL • Co-Executive Director of the National Coalition of American Nuns
“I believe God created LGBT as well as heterosexual persons… all people should be welcomed and it’s a violation of my core faith values to discriminate in God’s name. For us to attach God to discrimination is a direct violation of scripture.”Reverend Dr. Larry Bethune • Senior Pastor, University Baptist Church of Austin, TX
“As a Muslim, Arab, and American, I believe this case extends far beyond a gross violation of civil liberties. This opens the door for blatant bigotry and fear mongering toward already marginalized communities. We choose to fight back using the power of love and compassion, two values we can all endorse.”Iman M. Odah • MPA & Co-Founder, Meet the Middle East
“God created all of us equally with no qualifications. Gay and lesbian people were once denied these protections because of who they love. Now we must all stand by our transgender friends and neighbors to ensure that they too are protected against discrimination.”Rabbi Devon A. Lerner, DD, MSW • Longtime Faith Leader in Massachusetts
"When I hear “religious liberty” used as a reason for discrimination against LGBTQ persons today, I hear the echoes of racial discrimination and I speak up for those being discriminated against, not for those defending their discrimination. As the saying goes, even the devil can quote Scripture.”Brian McLaren • Author, Speaker and Former Pastor
“The term ‘religious freedom’ is really about religious exemption. As a Christian pastor, I believe Rabbi Jesus opened doors. And as a black woman, I recognize that our freedoms are interconnected. The rights of our LGBT siblings, our Muslim family, African-Americans, and refugees are all interrelated. As Christians, we are called to work for the marginalized and celebrate the divine in each person.”Reverend Dr. Jacqui Lewis • Senior Minister, Middle Collegiate Church of New York, NY
“Religious Freedom is not a license to discriminate. As people from multiple faith backgrounds we are on the side of love, compassion, equality and opportunity. We will not stand for hate- especially in our name.”Rev. Amanda Henderson • Executive Director of The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado
“Religion, at it’s best, serves all people, in all places at all times with compassion and love. This leaves no room for discrimination – especially discrimination cloaked in the name of faith.”Michael Hidalgo • Lead Pastor, Denver Community Church
"As a faith leader and a believer in the beloved community, it’s incomprehensible to me how anyone, much less the owner of a business that serves the public, could refuse to treat someone the same way as they’d treat anyone else."Rev. Dr. Terence Leathers • Pastor of Mt. Vernon Christian Church in Clayton, NC
Stories of People of Faith Who Support LGBTQ Nondiscrimination
Freedom for All Americans is collecting stories from people of faith across the country who support fair treatment for LGBTQ Americans. It’s time to end anti-LGBTQ discrimination once and for all. Your voice and your story matters – please share, and read more below:Are You a Person of Faith? Share Your Story