August 25, 2009

Encouraging Words 8/25/09-Reclaiming Faith Vital to Attaining LGBT Equality

Bishop Gene Robinson (does he really have to be identified as "the only openly gay Episcopal bishop" anymore?) recently gave a speech in Salt Lake City, UT that I felt contained great encouragement for the LGBT community. I'm excerpting parts of the report from the Salt Lake City Tribune (hat tip to Gay Agenda):

There may be one thing even more difficult than coming out of the closet for many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, said the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop.
And that's coming out as religious.
Yet reclaiming faith is vital to the success of the gay-rights movement, V. Gene Robinson told Utahns this week at a Salt Lake City fundraiser for the nonprofit group Equality Utah.
"We need to lay claim to the fact that we've been able to put our sexuality together with our spirituality in a way that enlivens us and nourishes us," said Robinson,

"When straight allies are joining us in our fight, then we can really make some progress," an optimistic Robinson told the 1,200 gathered at the Calvin Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center.
Homophobia is waning, he said, and there is a "vast, movable middle" in society that can be won over. "They've stopped wanting to kill us, but they're not ready yet to celebrate us either."

Working from within faith communities is important, Robinson said, because "90 percent, at least, of the oppression that you and I face as LGBT people comes from the Abrahamic faiths -- from Judaism, Islam and Christianity."
Robinson predicted The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- as well as other churches -- will change its position.
"Pretty soon," Robinson said, "even the LDS Church is going to realize that no one under 30 is interested in joining a church that discriminates against us."

Robinson said he is confident LGBT people eventually will have full inclusion in all of society, including in churches, synagogues and mosques.
"In the end," he said, "we can keep doing this work because we know how it's going to end."
He encouraged LGBT people to lives of joy, "fabulousness" and integrity so that no one can deny "the eternal light that is in each one of us.
"No matter the setbacks, the costs, the price we pay," Robinson said, "we are inexorably moving to a vision of the culture and of our religious institutions which is closer to God's [vision]."

Make no mistake, God's vision is no less than ALL of His children walking together, equal citizens of His kingdom.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

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