Fernando Z. López: "While many of us still carry the trauma of the bigotry and harm we experienced in the name faith, 65% of all LGBTQ people embrace their personal connection to faith."
Far too many young people hear from their faith leaders that their mere existence is a sin, moral failure and that eternal damnation awaits them. I was one of those young people. Even more disgusting is the treatment that some of our young people experience from their parents.
Citing their religious beliefs, some parents kick their children out of their homes, rendering their own children homeless, or they subject their children to mental and physical torture in so-called “Conversion Therapy Camps,” which are still legal in 35 states.
While many of us still carry the trauma of the bigotry and harm we experienced in the name faith, 65% of all LGBTQ people embrace their personal connection to faith.
This week was hard for many who have worked with determination for so long to help the United Methodist Church join the many other open and affirming congregations and faith institutions around the world in their full embrace of the LGBTQ community. We stand in solidarity with those who continue to fight for their place within their own families and faith.
San Diego has a long history of intersectional interfaith organizing. With around 100 LGBTQ open and affirming congregations in the region, faith leaders have literally been at the forefront of the social justice movement and the fight for LGBTQ equality.
Here at Pride we honor our faith leaders doing that work.
At our annual Light up the Cathedral event in partnership with St. Paul's Cathedral, we have had over 50 interfaith leaders bless and then lead our Parade so as to combat the notion that religion is only a weapon to be used against us.
Furthermore, we re-launched our interfaith organizing committee called DevOUT to help educate and mobilize our LGBTQ supportive faith communities.
Religious freedom is an LGBTQ issue, and together we can flip the narrative. Religious freedom is a right that should uplift us, not oppress us, and engaging in that work to make that so is part of our Legacy of Liberation.
With Love, Hope, and Faith,
Fernando Z. López
San Diego Pride