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On Tuesday, May 14th interfaith leaders and people of all faiths, denominations, and sects gathered to prayer in preparation to deliver 5000 signatures to members of congress ahead of the Equality Act vote. 

Faith for Equality
Faith Leaders Believe in the Equality Act

I am Rev. Michael Crumpler, LGBTQ and Intercultural Programs Manager at the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Unitarian Universalists believe in the inherent worth and dignity of everyone, regardless of age, race, class, gender, sexuality, physical ability, nationality, or immigration status.

Sadly, I was not always a Unitarian Universalist. I grew up in a faith tradition hostile to my queer existence. My evangelical Christian roots taught me that the way I moved and the way I loved was antithetical to the God who loved me and moved inside of me.

As a result, I learned to lie. I learned to hide. I learned to pretend...in the name of God, that I was no different than anyone else...for fear that I would be fired from my job, dismissed from my church, banished from my spiritual family...because of how I loved and whom I loved.

In the name of God, I lived a lie so I would not be discharged from the Air Force.

In the name of God, I lived a lie so that I would not be expelled from my Christian college.

These were lies I learned in church. A church that taught me that God hated my same gender love and despised my black queer body.

This lie is the reason we leaders of many faiths are here today. This religious lie is why we as faith leaders are calling on congress to pass the Equality Act. Because the same religion that taught me to lie about my sexuality, to hide my sexuality, and pretend to be all that I am not...is the same religion used to justify discrimination against LGBTQ people.

As people of faith we are gathered here today to dispel the lie that God does not love the queer community.

As people of faith we are gathered here today,

For the homeless gay teen forced to lie about his sexuality...lest the shelter denies his entry in the name of a god hostile to homosexuality.

As people of faith we are gathered here today,

For the trans co-ed who delays transition for fear they will be expelled from school in the the name of a god hostile to trans experience.

As people of faith we are gathered here today,

For the lesbian who refuses to marry her lover for fear that she will be fired from her job in the name of a god hostile to her same gender love.

As people of faith we are gathered here today to expel the lie that God is hostile to equality.

As people of faith we are all here to dispel the lie that faith is antithetical to love in all its forms, and to preach the truth that people of all gender identities and gender expressions deserve federal protections against sex discrimination at schools, in community centers, and in homeless shelters that take federal dollars.

As a queer Unitarian Universalist Christian minister, I am here to dispel the lie that God is hostile to my existence and preach the truth of the Equality Act...that people of all genders, sexualities, races, classes, or national origins....deserve access to employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service.

As people of faith gathered here today, we believe not in a God who loves in spite of our queer genders and sexualities. But we believe in a God who loves us because of our queer genders and sexualities. We believe in a God who is zealous for our lives, liberties, and our pursuits of happiness.

As people of faith, we call on congress to pass the Equality Act.

 

May the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable....

You can watch the UU Equality Act Vigil statement here
 

About the Author

  • Rev. Michael J. Crumpler began as LGBTQ and Intercultural Programs Manager at the UUA in early 2017. Shortly thereafter, he was ordained to Reverend in the United Church of Christ. Michael lives in Harlem and is very active in social justice ministry at the historic Judson Memorial Church of New...

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For more information contact lgbtq@uua.org.