Well, the wind is blowing like crazy but so is the Spirit ... what an extraordinary opportunity to be part of the "Clergy Call for Equality" here on Capitol Hill this week! This morning's press conference included an amazing diversity of faithful voices ... you can find all the remarks online here ... but I have to say what a personal thrill and honor it was for me to finally meet Peggy Campolo whose work and witness I have admired for EVER!
(If you've never read the transcript of her dialogue with her husband, Tony Campolo, entitled "Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?" you MUST click here ... immediately ... and after reading it ask youself if these two faithful people can come to different conclusions about the scriptures they both hold as holy and stay MARRIED why can't we find room to come to different conclusions about the scriptures we all hold as holy and still stay in COMMUNION with each other?)
But I digress ... back to this morning in Washington ... here are some photos and the gist of my remarks from the press conference. More photos and reporsts to come as the week progresses.
welcoming everybody to
today's press conference
.Here's what I had to say: It is a privilege to stand here today in solidarity with other faith leaders and with a majority of Americans who believe the federal government should act to end workplace discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender workers. It is an honor to represent the Episcopal Church which stands as one of the over 210 law enforcement, civil rights, civic and religious organizations supporting the passage of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. And I thank you for this opportunity to witness to the core values I hold dearest as an Episcopal priest and as an American citizen.
My son Jamie is currently serving on active duty in Iraq. One of the core American values he was raised to embrace -- and he understands himself to be defending -- is our pledge to be a nation of "liberty and justice for all." I believe these important pieces of legislation will help move us AS a nation toward that long dreamed of goal – that dream of liberty and justice my son and so many other brave Americans in harm's way have sworn to preserve and protect.
We are not yet that nation when the liberty to walk safely on the streets of America protected from bias motivated violence is not yet available to ALL Americans: passing the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act will bring us one step closer to "liberty for all."
We are not yet that nation when in thirty-three states a hardworking American can be subject to the injustice of losing their job solely because of their sexual orientation or gender identity; passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act will bring us another step closer to "justice for all."
One of the primary tenets of all religious faiths is to love your neighbor as yourself and as a Christian I follow a Lord who called us to minister unto the needs of "the least of these" as we live out our call to do justice and to love mercy in His Name. These are the Traditional Christian Values I claim as an advocate for these critical pieces of legislation today.
Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, “Justice deferred is justice denied.” Extending hate crimes protection to include sexual orientation or gender identity is the right thing to do and now is the time to do it. Ending workplace discrimination is the right thing to do and now is the time to do it. Thank you.