The following is from a letter sent to our Michigan congregations. It speaks to the overwhelming tide of similar bills making their way into state legislation. We urge you to prepare a letter-writing campaign, a sermon, or an action if your state is similarly challenged. We can help. Contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We recently read about baby Bay, a 6 day old child denied a doctor’s medical treatment—because Bay’s mothers were lesbians. Despite the Hippocratic Oath, and the American Medical Association’s injunction to treat all patients regardless of sexual orientation, baby Bay’s doctor could refuse treatment under something called the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA). An epidemic of refusals to treat, serve or do any business with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender based on people’s religion is happening in Michigan and in 21 states around the country. This legislation is a direct attack on our friends, families, loved ones, and children.
The Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act is back, this time in the state senate. In Michigan, there are at present no legal protections for LGBTQ people, while religious freedom is constitutionally protected by the First Amendment. We love and respect religious freedom, and we’re grateful for the First Amendment--but true religious freedom accommodates our differences with mutual respect—it does not privilege certain people overs others. RFRA legislation is simply another form of discrimination.
Jesus was clear that the summary of the law was to love God, and to love your neighbor as yourself! If you and your ministry would like talking points and a guide to action, to plan writing a letter campaign after service, Integrity offers these resources to you and your congregation. We intend to send an Integrity representative to our congregations in Michigan very soon and lend support to our communities there. If you are able to make a donation towards this work we would be grateful: we are member, not Church, supported.
Vivian Taylor, Executive Director