Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Integrity teams with Oregon United for Marriage for Victory

Sponsors of Measure IP-52, an initiative that would have permitted Oregon business owners to refuse service to same-sex couples for religious reasons, recently announced they will NOT pursue this harmful ballot initiative. Pressure had been building in Oregon as many business leaders and people of faith have lined up against this discriminating measure

As the diocesan organizer for Oregon’s chapter of Integrity, I have been supporting congregations throughout the diocese.  I have worked with local churches in presenting the Coming Out As A Person of Faith Exhibit and video.  I have had conversations on Why Marriage Matters at Sunday Forums, and have lead Faithful Conversation workshops where we discussed ways to talk with family and friends about a ballot measure that was not about religious freedom but about discriminating against someone because of who they are and who they love.

I was relieved when the initiative was dropped.   A participant in my workshop last weekend expressed my thoughts exactly.  "Our journey is not complete until we discuss the issue of acceptance of and for all.  It is time we support love in all sectors of our lives, religious and otherwise, thus ensuring discrimination does not become a reality in Oregon."

Aubrey Thonvold, Faith Director with Oregon United for Marriage says, "Episcopalians all across Oregon have been leaders in the holy work of winning the freedom to marry and defeating the hurtful discrimination measure.  Our voice as people of faith is critical in making sure God's love is extended to all through welcome, justice, and freedom."

Charlene McCreight is the Integrity Diocesan Organizer for Oregon.

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