February 26, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Letter to Editor: United Methodist Church’s LGBTQ Exclusion

Dear Editor,

We are writing in reaction to the United Methodist Church’s decision to exclude LGBTQ individuals and their allies from full participation in the United Methodist Church. As an organization that supports a culture of fair treatment, inclusion, and equal access to opportunities, we believe that every human being deserves respect and dignity.

This is not an issue that is specific to the United Methodist Church, but rather an issue that has torn apart families, friends, and communities across the United States and the globe.

Both United Methodist congregations in Santa Monica are diverse and inclusive and open to all. The decision made by the UMC General Conference not only harms LGBTQ individuals of that faith, but demeans all people. A person’s sexual orientation or gender identity is not a basis for judging their worthiness to be a good marriage partner or to be ordained.

We stand together against this intolerance. We stand together in support of LGBTQ ministers, parishioners, laity, and community members. We send a message of solidarity and support to every individual who has had their heart broken by the rejection of their faith community. We support those whose families or friends have rejected them on “religious” grounds. We stand together for what is right.

LGBTQ individuals do not choose their orientation or gender identities. We choose how we treat others and we choose to stand together for a better future for all.

John Maceri, Chair
Human Relations Council, Santa Monica Bay Area

Sarah Mae Harper and James Witker, Co-Chairs
Faith in Action Commission
Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica (UUCCSM)

Jacki Weber, President, Board of Trustees
Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica (UUCCSM)

Rev. Joanne Berlin, Facilitator
The Committee for Racial Justice

Rev. Joseph Hepburn, Board Co-Chair
The Church in Ocean Park

Rev. Eric Shafer, Senior Pastor
Mt. Olive Lutheran Church

Rev. Patricia Farris, Senior Minister
First United Methodist Church of Santa Monica

 

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