Monday, July 18, 2016

Via Faith in America

Faith In America Supporters,

I want to update you with the work Faith In America accomplished this last week.

California’s SB 1146:

In the last two years, over 70+ Christian Universities and Colleges have submitted for Title IX exemptions. These Title IX exemption requests are in direct response to the Department of Education’s inclusion of transgender students in 2014. This new bill would require three things:

1. Schools must disclose their request for a Title IX exemption to prospective and current students, faculty members, and employees.

2. All schools requesting the Title IX exemption are required to submit all the documents to the Student Aid Commission which will in turn list the schools on their website.

3.  LGBT students at any of these Christian schools would be eligible to file a civil suit for discrimination.

For NBC, I wrote on why these Christian institutions cannot claim their right to discriminate while also attempting to maintain federal funding.

“These schools should have to be transparent with their students and constituency,” I wrote. “If these institutions feel comfortable requesting a right to discriminate then they should also feel comfortable defending their decision publicly. Just as the schools have their legal right to discriminate so should the students have the right to private legal action when discriminated against. This may lead to Christian institutions losing federal funding. That’s a good thing. No private institution should be able to receive government assistance while breaking its nondiscrimination laws.”

You should also read this stunning essay from a Bisexual student on his experience navigating intimate partner violence and his schools Title IX exemption.

GOP’s Platform & Gov. Mike Pence VP Pick:

The GOP continues to push a violate anti-LGBT agenda. First, noted anti-LGBT Tony Perkins influenced the GOP to include conversion therapy in their platform. This adoption of this outdated and explicitly condemned practice should be seen as an act of violence towards LGBT people, especially LGBT youth.

Faith In America told ABC News the following: "The addition of conversion therapy in the GOP’s platform shows they’re far from finished fighting against the LGBT community," Faith in America executive director Eliel Cruz said in a statement. "Conversion therapy has been denounced by all leading medical organizations. The practice stems from a religious-based archaic understanding of sexuality that believes homosexuality is a choice and is sinful."

Next, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump selected Governor Mike Pence as his Vice President running mate. This selection proves what many LGBT advocates have been saying for a while: Donald Trump is just as dangerous for LGBT people as any of the other Republican candidates.

In the Advocate, Faith In America was quoted condemning the decision:

“Governor Mike Pence has an atrocious anti-LGBT record,” said Eliel Cruz, executive director for Faith in America, which fights religious-based bigotry. “His bigoted anti-LGBT law cost the state millions of dollars while allowing businesses to discriminate against LGBT citizens. In choosing him as a VP, Trump is proving what we’ve known all along: He’s no friend to the LGBT community.”

United Methodist Church LGBT Clergy Inclusion:

For some good news! The United Methodist Church made history in electing the first openly gay bishop. Reverend Karen Oliveto was elected by the Western Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church last Friday evening. This nomination goes in direct conflict with the decision made at the General Conference of the world Church in which the United Methodists voted against allowing openly LGBT clergy to serve.

Faith In America praised the election in LGBTQ Nation:

"The United Methodist Church is the second largest Protestant denomination in the United States. Last night, they became the largest Protestant denomination with an openly gay Bishop. In electing Rev. Karen Oliveto, the Western Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church performed civil disobedience against the world church. This is historic. It’s also an act of spiritual protest against a homophobic policy that denies openly LGBT clergy from ministry. This election shows the UMC is changing and that the Holy Spirit is moving the church towards justice."

That’s some Holy Trouble!

Eliel Cruz
Executive Director

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