• People of Faith Statement on Pulse Orlando Shooting
    Our faith traditions call us to love one another, to mourn those who have died, to comfort the despairing, to speak out against injustice, and to work for the transformation of our world. In this time of mixed emotions and responses, we turn to our faith for guidance, hope, and healing. We lift up the voices of LGBTQ people and stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community against transphobia, biphobia, and homophobia. We acknowledge that this shooting is part of a larger culture of hostility toward transgender, gender nonconforming, lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. We reject the use of religion to promote judgment or violence toward LGBTQ people. We acknowledge that the shooting at Pulse occurred on “Latin Night” and disproportionally affected the Latinx LGBTQ community. We lift up the voices of LGBTQ Latinx people and stand in solidarity with the Latinx community against racism, the targeting of black and brown bodies, and the ongoing criminalization of Latinx lives. We disavow rhetoric that seeks to devalue and dehumanize Latinx people. As we seek to respond to this tragedy, we celebrate the lives of those who were killed and the gifts of their sexual and gender diversity. Our faith traditions draw us closer together—not to further exclusion, fear, or enmity. We lift up the voices of LGBTQ Muslims and stand in solidarity with the Muslim community against Islamophobia, anti-Muslim bigotry, and the scapegoating of Islam for this act of violence. We mourn and seek justice together as a community of faith. We also lift up those who are diagnosed with mental illness. We refuse to succumb to rhetoric that hastily or unduly assigns mental illness as the cause of this tragedy, further stigmatizing those diagnosed with mental illness. As people of faith, we long for a world where love triumphs over hate and fear. Our faith traditions call us to seek justice. We commit to working so that all people can flourish and live whole, authentic lives.
    1,326 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Religious Institute Picture
  • People Of Faith Supporting President Obama's Efforts To End Discrimination Against LGBTQ Students
    President Obama: As people of faith with a deep and abiding concern for the welfare of all children, we want to applaud you and your administration for the recent decision to interpret and enforce Title IX — a statute, written in 1972, that prohibits sex discrimination — as also prohibiting discrimination on the basis of "gender identity, including discrimination based on a student’s transgender status.” We recognize that this is a confusing and even unsettling issue for many, while for others who have faced discrimination this has been a harmful experience long ignored. From our perspective, however, you have simply taken another step toward creating a nation where the basic civil rights of all are protected. Too many LGBTQ youths are lost and abandoned. Many of these young people end up living in poverty and on the streets. None of these children should face discrimination at school or barriers in getting an education. We believe that protecting young people from discrimination is consistent with our faith. Love – not fear – should be our guiding principle. We challenge those who might respond to this decision to open their hearts and listen to the stories, particularly of transgender students, who are so often marginalized. Thank you for showing us a better path. Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie Director, Center for Peace and Spirituality & University Chaplain, Pacific University Rev. Dr. Alice Hunt, President and Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible & Theological Education, Chicago Theological Seminary Rev. Dr. Traci D. Blackmon, Executive Minister, Justice & Witness Ministries, United Church of Christ Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director, NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby Rabbi Michael Z. Cahana, Senior Rabbi, Temple Beth Israel | Portland, Oregon Rev. Dr. Deborah Krause, Academic Dean and Professor of New Testament, Eden Theological Seminary Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, Professor of Theology and President Emerita, Chicago Theological Seminary Rev. Michael Neuroth, Policy Advocate for International Issues, United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries Rev. Dr. Derrick Harkins, Senior Vice-President for Innovations in Public Programs, Union Theological Seminary in New York City * titles are used for identification purposes only
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    Created by Rev. Dr. Chuck Currie Picture
  • Tell the Obama Administration to Prohibit LGBTQ Discrimination in Foster Care
    For the more than 400,000 children in foster care across our nation, this action would have an enormous, life-changing impact. The teachings of our respective faiths may diverge on issues of theology and practice, but all speak clearly of our duty to protect the stranger, the orphan and the widow: the most vulnerable members of our society. We are called to do all we can to ensure children grow up with loving, supportive families that will set them on the path toward happy and healthy adulthood. Removing the barriers that currently prevent LGBT adults from becoming parents for these children has the potential to bring an estimated two million potential parents forward to provide loving, permanent homes. The primary reason hundreds of thousands of children remain in, or age out of, the foster care system is a lack of qualified homes. This is a moral travesty. This Administration has made historic progress in the advancement of LGBT rights across the country and your Department has been at the forefront of these changes. Yet, if action is not taken before the end of the Administration to prohibit discrimination in adoption and foster care, a critical piece of this work will remain woefully unfinished. It is crucial that the Obama Administration takes decisive action to ensure that otherwise qualified adoptive and foster parents are not turned away simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, and that LGBT and gender non-conforming youth in care do not face discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. A foundational principle of our child welfare services is the best interest of the child. We firmly believe that ensuring qualified parents are not turned away, simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, in addition to protecting youth themselves, is one of the most important steps you can take to meet the needs of children in foster care. Further, we do not believe there should be any exemption to permit religiously affiliated child welfare providers to discriminate against LGBT youth and prospective parents while conducting public foster care and adoption placements and service delivery with significant sums of taxpayer dollars. Such an exemption would undermine this foundational principle by prioritizing the provider’s religious beliefs over the best interests of the children they contract with the government to serve, while also sanctioning discrimination with public dollars. Although the primary responsibility of child welfare agencies and their contractors is to meet a child’s need for safety, permanency and well-being, many LGBT youth face physical threat, harassment, rejection and discrimination from state-funded providers. Due largely to family rejection, LGBT youth are over-represented in child welfare systems compared to their non- LGBT peers, are placed in group homes and residential facilities at higher rates, and often exit to homelessness and increased risk of commercial sexual exploitation. While some states offer explicit protections for LGBT youth, most do not, and an LGBT youth’s safety, well-being, and fair treatment depends largely on a luck of the draw. This month is the last National Foster Care Month of the Obama Administration. We hope you will take this opportunity to use your authority as Secretary to put the needs of children first by issuing guidance ending discrimination against potential adoptive and foster parents and children in foster care based on their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, without exceptions.
    4,154 of 5,000 Signatures
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  • Catholics Support Women Priests. Pope Francis Should Do The Same.
    Pope Francis says that "No one can be excluded from the mercy of God...[the Church's] doors remain wide open." Pope Francis has demonstrated his commitment to this mercy by reaching out to other orders of priests who have broken away from the church. In this spirit, we ask Pope Francis to affirm primacy of conscience for the women priests worldwide. In prophetic obedience to the Spirit, women priests live a renewed priestly ministry in communities of faith that welcome all and exclude no one. Roman Catholic Women Priests, who stand in apostolic succession, serve in a renewed priestly ministry in a community of equals. Those of us who are divorced and remarried, who are LGBTQ, and who have struggled with the Catholic faith, have found spiritual shelter in their worshipping communities. Here, we can fully participate in the Word of Jesus and the sacraments. They are living the Gospel message of radical inclusion. Pope Francis, you have inspired the world with your message of a merciful Church, and we now implore you to live up to your message. Use the power of your office to open wide the doors to dialogue and lift all excommunications and ecclesiastical punishments against Roman Catholic Women Priests and their supporters. We are the Church. Listen to our cry for justice.
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  • Dear Candidates for President, Senate, and Governors: Will You Advance a Moral Agenda?
    Our moral traditions have a firm foundation upon which to stand against the divide-and-conquer strategies of extremists. We believe in a moral agenda that stands against systemic racism, classism, poverty, xenophobia, and any attempt to promote hate towards any members of the human family. We claim a higher ground in partisan debate by returning public discourse to our deepest moral and constitutional values. Please add your name to call on our 2016 presidential candidates, senate candidates, and governors to advance a moral agenda.
    13,310 of 15,000 Signatures
    Created by Repairers of the Breach PPC: NCMR
  • Stop Anti-LGBTQ Laws: Discrimination is not a Religious Value
    2016 has been a startling year for legislative attempts to restrict justice, dignity, and equality for LGBTQ people. More than 175 anti-LGBTQ bills have been filed in 32 states. Of the record 175+ anti-LGBTQ bills filed, 45 of those bills directly target transgender people. Already in 2016, legislatures in South Dakota, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, and North Carolina have considered and, in some cases, passed anti-transgender bills. Too often these anti-LGBTQ efforts are perpetrated in the name of religion. These bills and their proponents perpetuate false narratives about transgender people and vilify transgender women, in particular, as threatening safety in women's restrooms. This dishonest rhetoric perpetuates hostility and violence toward transgender and gender non-conforming people seeking to access public accommodations. Some of this anti-LGBTQ legislation, like the recently passed bill in North Carolina, override local ordinances protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination—preventing local municipalities from outlawing discrimination against LGBTQ people. *When you sign this petition, you'll be invited to the Religious Institute’s network of more than 15,000 people of faith.
    4,083 of 5,000 Signatures
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  • Stand with Catholic Church Workers!
    In recent years, many Catholic workers have been unjustly terminated or deprived of fair contract renewals. These firings have typically targeted those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT), those who are in relationships not recognized by the Church, those who support women’s equality in Church and society, and those who have made decisions about family life in the sacredness of their conscience. These unjust terminations are not only spiritually, emotionally, and financially devastating for the individual, but they also impact students, parishioners, family members, colleagues, and others, often diminishing their level of trust and respect for the Church.
    1,016 of 2,000 Signatures
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  • Dear Presidential Candidates: #WeMakeAmericaGreat
    As people of faith and moral courage, we believe all people are part of one family, and that we need to act together to build a world that respects everyone’s dignity. We reject the messages of candidates whose platforms, language, and campaigning exclude, discriminate against, and perpetuate violence towards members of our communities because of their citizenship status, gender, race, or sexuality. Many 2016 presidential candidates have chosen to build their campaigns on fear. Their use of xenophobic, racist and derogatory language has activated nationalist and white-supremacist groups throughout the country, inspiring further hate speech and violent hate crimes against immigrants and people of color. More so-called “moderate” presidential hopefuls have failed to stand up against these dangerous ideas. Some have defended the racist term “anchor babies” to describe infants born to undocumented parents, recommended we track immigrants like FedEx packages, and suggested we send air-strike drones to the U.S.-Mexico border. Our Values As people of faith and moral courage, we are called to welcome the sojourner and love our neighbor. We are appalled by the ugly, divisive, and cowardly tactics from candidates running for the most powerful office in our country. The United States was founded on the moral principles of liberty and justice for which civil rights leaders have struggled to make a reality for generations. We can’t move backwards to policies that resurface segregation. Instead we must move forward, with moral principles that value the diversity of all people and make America great. This includes immigrants, both new and established, and a range of identities in gender, faith, sexuality, race, and ethnicity that enrich our communities and strengthen the values we hold as people of faith and people of good conscious. Our vision of a better and more just world means calling on all political leaders to recognize the inherent value of all people, regardless of citizenship status, race, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality. Please sign this petition if you are ready to dump the divisive language and policy proposals pushed by extremist candidates, so that together, we can make America great!
    1,548 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Rev. Noel Andersen
  • Say No to Hate! Sign a letter of support to Metropolitan Community Church of Our Redeemer in Georgia
    Metropolitan Community Church of Our Redeemer was desecrated by a spray painted hate message that quoted Leviticus 18:22 and threatened the church with burning. “We are clear this is not just vandalism; this is life-threatening hatred. When people who cite chapter and verse to send others to hell, they are usually prepared to personally send you there,” said Global Moderator Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson. “It is sad that we have to remind people that hate is not a Christian value.” “As an African American woman, I know that hate is hate. Whether it is the shooting of the Charleston nine, burning of churches, or spray painted threats on church doors, the intent is to silence us with fear for our lives,” said the Rev. Elder Darlene Garner, MCC Director of the Office of Emerging Ministries. “We will not be silent! Silence will not protect us. It will only embolden those who use guns, torches, and spray paint because they have not opened themselves to the power of love.” Send your love by adding your name, and if you can go the extra mile, make a donation for the repairs and the security system at: http://www.gofundme.com/mccofourredeemer
    477 of 500 Signatures
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  • Tell Congress Religious Liberty Doesn't Mean LGBT Discrimination
    The religious liberty upon which our nation was founded has allowed our country’s diverse religious landscape to flourish. Recently, however, what we have seen promoted as defending religious liberty too often reflects one particular religious perspective that does not at all respect that diversity of faith and belief, or the intent of our Founders. We believe that the First Amendment Defense Act does not respect the spirit of religious liberty—nor does it reflect fundamental values of treating all people with fairness and equality—and we therefore strongly oppose this legislation. Further, though people of faith are not a monolith and all are not in agreement on whether their faith sanctions LGBT relationships, we cannot in good conscience support legislation that favors one religious viewpoint over another and in the process discriminates against LGBT people, single mothers and unmarried couples. The religious freedom of individuals and organizations, including clergy and houses of worship, who object to same-sex marriage are already protected by the First Amendment and federal law—and we, as clergy and faith leaders, continue to stand by the right of others to hold beliefs that may differ from our own while recognizing that for many of us, supporting LGBT individuals and families is a principle of our faith. Rather than protecting the First Amendment, this legislation actually undermines true religious liberty. The religious liberty on which our nation was founded guarantees us the freedom to hold any belief we choose and the right to act on our religious beliefs — but it does not allow us to harm or discriminate against others or to infringe on the religious beliefs of others. By opening the door to unprecedented taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBT people, single mothers and unmarried couples, this legislation does nothing to protect our rights as people of diverse faith traditions and it has the potential to do considerable harm in the name of religion. For example, were this bill to become law it would: • allow an organization to accept federal funds to run a homeless shelter or drug treatment program but then turn away from that program LGBT people or anyone who has a sexual relationship outside of marriage; • allow hospitals to refuse dying patients visitation from their spouse or designated support person; and • permit a government employee to deny services they have a duty to provide, including Veterans or Social Security benefits to a surviving member of a same-sex couple. We are also troubled that this bill is so broad it could even prevent the federal government from enforcing longstanding laws designed to combat discrimination and promote equality. For example, it would let commercial landlords violate fair housing laws by refusing housing to a single mother based on the landlord’s religious beliefs and allow businesses to violate family medical leave laws by refusing to let a gay or lesbian employee care for a sick spouse. As people of deep faith committed to a country that supports diverse, robust, and healthy religious expression and in the spirit of equality and justice, we urge you to oppose the First Amendment Defense Act.
    3,788 of 4,000 Signatures
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  • We support the appeal to replace Archbishop Cordileone
    In a letter published in the San Francisco Chronicle April 16, 2015, Catholics appealed to Pope Francis to replace the archbishop with a leader true to Catholic values. In response to the ad, the archbishops’s reply was "The greatest misrepresentation of all is that the signers presume to speak for the Catholic Community of San Francisco...They do not.” We want Pope Francis to know that YES THEY DO speak for us! "Archbishop Cordileone has fostered an atmosphere of division and intolerance." say leaders. "He has forced Archdiocesan high school teachers to accept a mean-spirited morality code that violates individual consciences, as well as California labor laws He supports a pastor at Star of the Sea parish who marginalizes women’s participation in the church by banning girls from altar service, contrary to your desire to expand women’s roles in the Catholic Church. He has isolated himself from our community, and brushes aside advice from his priests. The Archdiocese of San Francisco is threatened and cannot survive, let alone thrive and grow, under Archbishop Cordileone’s supervision." Full text of the letter is available at: http://bit.ly/1b1ZLhm The story has been covered at: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/Prominent-Catholics-call-on-pope-to-oust-S-F-6202539.php Get involved by following the campaign on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theyspeakforme?fref=nf
    1,146 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Jim FitzGerald, Call To Action
  • Discrimination and fear don't belong in our schools - Sign Now!
    San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has proposed that teachers and staff at Bay Area high schools within the Archdiocese accept “morality clauses” that condemn homosexuality as contrary to “natural law,” contraception as “intrinsically evil,” ordination of female priests as impossible, and use of assisted reproductive technology as a “grave evil.” Every staff member is expected to “conduct their lives so as to not visibly contradict, undermine or deny these truths.” The Archbishop is also attempting to reclassify all Catholic school employees, including teachers, administrative staff, custodial and food service staff, as “ministers,” a move that could eliminate anti-discrimination and other workplace protections for those staff members. Students need a safe space free of judgment and fear. Not only is the move completely out of step with modern Catholic teachings and beliefs, but we could lose some of our best teachers and staff.
    7,247 of 8,000 Signatures
    Created by Jim FitzGerald, Call To Action