We’ve just welcomed Open and Affirming church #1300! That means exactly 26 percent of UCC congregations are Open and Affirming. We’re the largest and fastest-growing LGBT-affirming church movement in the world! But 26 percent is not 100 percent. Let’s work together to build an Open and Affirming movement that reaches every congregation in the UCC! Let’s work together until not 26 percent, but 100 percent of the United Church of Christ can offer an authentic and confident welcome to their LGBT neighbors!
Why is this important? While the LGBT movement is making rapid progress, the journey isn’t over. Yes, we now enjoy the right to marry in all 50 states. But the opposition is working in at least 30 of those states to allow public officials and private business owners to refuse services to same-sex couples on the basis of religious belief. Yes, in 22 states we’re protected from discrimination in housing and employment, but in 28 states it’s still legal to refuse someone a place to live, or a job, or even a seat in a restaurant because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
LGBT youth still face the threat of bullying in public and charter schools. LGBT seniors still face abuse and neglect in retirement communities and nursing homes. LGBT asylum-seekers are still seeking safety in America after fleeing countries where the price of coming out of the closet is imprisonment–or worse. And the suicide rate among our transgender neighbors is the highest for any group in this country.
So now’s the time to step up to the plate. We celebrated our right to marry in June: let’s build on that momentum until every LGBT teenager, every LGBT senior, every LGBT American is safe! Let’s build on that momentum until every UCC congregation is Open and Affirming! We can’t reach these goals without your financial support. Remember that the Coalition is a self-supporting non-profit organization: 75 percent of our budget depends on your tax-deductible gifts.
Please download this PDF file and share with the members of your church. If you contribute today, and if you convince five others to contribute, we’ll reach our fundraising goal and begin 2016 with the confidence we’ll have the resources to inspire and serve every congregation in the United Church of Christ.