By Phil Porter
Sept. 21, 2015
An Open and Affirming covenant is your congregation’s vow to work for a church and a world where everyone is wanted and valued.
The ONA Coalition’s focus on building churches and communities where LGBTQ people can live their lives in freedom and equality also means that we need to be one with the struggle for racial justice—these struggles are intimately intertwined.
As the Black Lives Matter movement continues to grow (and, not surprisingly given U.S. culture and history, meet resistance), important policy issues are emerging that could represent major steps in dismantling racist systems. Here is a list of important initiative to support when you have opportunities:
- ◼ Resist increased funding for police forces and the building of new prisons/jails and reinvest in community led solutions.
- ◼ Demilitarize the police and move toward community policing.
- ◼ Address issues of racial profiling, and advocate for independent investigations of fatal shootings or detentions by police of citizens.
- ◼ Address issues of gun violence and the easy availability of guns.
- ◼ Reduce sentencing for many nonviolent crimes from felonies to misdemeanors.
- ◼ Reform parole conditions and re-entry barriers for people exiting prisons.
- ◼ Reform mandatory sentencing laws that lead to mass incarceration of people of color.
- ◼ Work for social change to decrease the stigma towards and systemic barriers of safety and access to resources for LGBTQ people of color.
- ◼ Address inequality in schools that can lead to the “school to prison pipeline.”
- ◼ Insure living wages (increase the minimum wage).
- ◼ Continue to advocate for equitable health care for all.
- ◼ Challenge laws that criminalize poverty and barriers of access to shelter and housing.