Moderator Writes an Open Letter to the LGBTQ Community
“I am writing today as the spiritual leader of Canada’s largest Protestant denomination, The United Church of Canada. I am also writing as an openly gay man, married to another United Church minister. This introduction may come as a surprise, seeing that so often it is religious leaders who condemn homosexuality, quoting scripture to justify their prejudice,” writes the Right Rev. Gary Paterson.
The letter, which was issued in advance of the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17, emphasizes “that not all Christians think the same way; that the hatred, condemnation, and judgment inflicted upon LGBTQ people by some within the Christian church is wrong and does not reflect the sum total of all Christian understanding of gender identity and sexual orientation.”
The letter goes on to say, “I believe that we are all made in the image of God, wholly good and wholly loved by the Creator. This is why I feel such sadness when I see religious leaders and organizations failing to recognize that reality in every member of the LGBTQ community.”
Paterson explains that although he hasn’t wanted his three-year term of office to be primarily defined by the fact that he is the first openly gay person to be elected Moderator, he has grown increasingly disturbed by the hatred, discrimination, and judgment levelled against the LGBTQ community around the world, particularly by some in the Christian church. That is why he chose to write this open letter to mark the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia.