Friday, November 1, 2013

An Autumn Request For Your Support

It is has been an incredible sixteen months for LGBTQ people since The Episcopal Church's last General Convention. We have a same-sexmarriage rite, canon law protecting the inclusion of transgender and non-binary people in the Church, and a strong position against bullying in our schools. In the secular world we have not only seen states like California and New Jersey get the freedom to marry; we have actually seen DOMA struck down and some of our brothers and sisters enjoy full federal marriage benefits. With all of these victories it can sometimes feel like our work is over.

The fact is, though, it isn't.

Nearly 70% of Americans still live in states without the freedom to marry, with more than half of states having constitutional amendments banning same gender marriage. LGBTQ people are still used by many politicians as a wedge issue, vilifying us to shore up their own political power. At the so-called Values Voter Summit, former Governor Mike Huckabee was perfectly happy to attack queer children simply to advance his political goals.

Gay, lesbian, bi, and transgender people still face poverty at significantly higher rates than heterosexual people. Violence against LGBTQ people is still a constant threat for many. In the New York area alone there have been five anti-gay and trans* murders in past few months.

Within the Church, despite the amazing steps forward that we have taken, there are still diocese and parishes where gay and trans* people do not feel fully understood or welcomed. There are still people within our Church who feel that they may not be allowed to follow God's call to ministry in their lives for the simply reason of who they love or their gender identity.

Outside the Church there are many people, both LGBTQ and straight allies, who can't imagine finding a home in Christianity because of their fear of homophobia and transphobia from the Church.

Integrity is continuing to do the work of the Gospel to stand up against that, to continue helping the Church move forward towards a Christ-like love and inclusion of all people. Through our Believe Out Loud workshops we are helping Episcopalians not only to love LGBTQ people and to welcome them into their congregational home, but to give Episcopalians the language to tell their own stories of celebrations and acceptance.

Our Believe Out Loud program gives parishes the opportunity to announce their love for LGBTQ people to the world, to invite the people in their neighborhoods to a loving, welcoming community

Our chapters are doing the work of addressing local challenges, working on freedom to marry campaigns, working on LGBTQ nondiscrimination campaigns, working to end anti-LGBTQ violence in their communities.

And national leaders continue to work to change Episcopal policy and practice to make the Episcopal Church a sanctuary for all the people of God.

We are in a time where we see incredible change. More than that, we see the potential for even greater change. It is up to us as followers of Christ to see how far towards the kingdom of God we can push our world. If you agree that we still have work to do, please consider supporting the Integrity as we open the Episcopal Church to all of God's beloved. You can simply visit our donation site at:

We are deeply greatful for anything you can spare to further our work.

Thank you for your support,

Vivian Taylor
Executive Director, Integrity USA

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