“Pastor Laurie’s message is out of step with what the majority of people of faith across this country believe,” said Dr. Sharon Groves, director of HRC’s Religion & Faith Program. “In greater numbers than ever before, people of faith are feeling compelled to speak up and organise for equality – because of their faith. It is time for him to listen to the religious voices that recognise supporting all LGBT people as a faith value.”
“Mr. Laurie represents the worst our nation’s communities of faith have to offer when it comes to fairness, justice, and equality. His hurtful, out-of-the-mainstream rhetoric stands at direct odds with the mission the Commander-in-Chief and the Secretary of Defense have laid out: that this nation’s military will be an institution that respects the dignity and honours the service of our gay and lesbian service members, veterans, and their families,” said OutServe-SLDN executive director Allyson Robinson, an ordained Baptist minister. “On behalf of our 6,000 members and their families, representing over 67,000 LGBT members of the armed forces, we call upon the Department of Defense to rescind their invitation to Pastor Laurie and invite in his place a faith leader who can speak with integrity and respect to the needs and concerns of all of our nation’s courageous service members,” she said.
Pastor Laurie and his Church’s implication that being gay is a choice is not only inaccurate; it’s also a dangerous assertion. The nation’s leading medical organizations are in lockstep agreement that efforts to change one’s sexual orientation can have harmful consequences. Full statements from the medical groups are available on HRC’s website.
Laurie will be participating in a prayer breakfast at the Pentagon Thursday morning. He will then lead the official observation of the National Day of Prayer from an event on Capitol Hill.
The petition can be viewed online here: www.change.org