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Faith Leaders Send Open Letter to Michigan Legislature Supporting LGBTQ Students

Contact: L. Michael Gipson, MS                                                                                                                                                                                                FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Organization: Equality Michigan

Telephone: 313-537-7000 ext. 105

Email: mgipson@equalitymi.org

Faith Leaders Send Open Letter to Michigan Legislature

Supporting LGBTQ Students

In a collective expression of support for LGBTQ students, over 100 leaders from various faith traditions have come together to affirm that Michigan’s children deserve equal protection and treatment in their schools under the law.

April 26, 2016 – Detroit, MI – Today 103 Michigan faith leaders across multiple denominations have signed an open letter to Michigan lawmakers affirming their support for the safety and well-being of all students. The letter was written in response to the recent threats of legislative backlash following the Michigan State Board of Education Statement and Guidance on Safe and Supportive Learning Environments for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Students guidance released for public comment on March 14th of this year, since extended to May 11, 2016 (http://everyvoicecountsmi.org/).

 

State Senator Tom Casperson, among a small number of conservative state lawmakers, have announced plans to issue various measures, including a possible “bathroom inspection” bill targeting transgender students, in direct response to the guidance. From Atlanta and Three Rivers to Bad Axe and Detroit, leaders of many faith walks throughout Michigan have responded with a firm “no” to any such legislative proposals, siding with LGBTQ students and those children’s parents and allies.

“As a priest in the Episcopal Church and as someone with a personal stake in seeking justice and equality for LGBTQ people—especially, in this case, transgender students—I wholeheartedly endorse adopting policies in our schools to respect the dignity of LGBTQ students and to ensure their physical and emotional safety,” says the Rev. Dan Scheid of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Flint, MI.

“Inclusive Justice understands extending hospitality to strangers and those on society’s margins is a value we share,” according to Reverend Beth Rakestraw, Board Co-chair of Inclusive Justice. “Not doing harm to others is also a value important among all faiths. These proposed legislative measures would harm many of our youth who are, or are even perceived to be, transgender or gender non-conforming and would do absolutely nothing to protect any Michigan student. Every human being deserves the right to take care of the very basic human need to relieve one’s self in dignity and safety.”

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To read the open letter, please visit: https://www.equalitymi.org/media-center/news/open-letter-over-100-mi-faith-leaders-address-mi-lawmakers

Equality Michigan
19641 West 7 Mile Road
Detroit MI 48219 United States