When I read the Independent article on the passing of the non-discrimination ordinance (see “Diversity and respect,” April 15, 2010) I was saddened to see no mention of the substantial support for the ordinance by people of faith. The article mentioned pastor Russ Smith who thanked the council for uniting Christians on one issue. The article did not, however, mention that this statement could not be more wrong. Many, many people of faith, including several pastors from different denominations, spoke out for equality.
When the Independent prints a statement that Christian opinion is unanimously against equality, and takes no steps to counter this perception, they perpetuate a lie that causes immense damage to both faithful Christians who believe in a God of love, and LGBT people who have been damaged by hateful, unchristian attitudes spread in the name of the church. I know many people who have been harmed by the vile falsehood that God hates them for who they are. It would have been nice if the Independent had not assisted in perpetuating that lie.
As I look at how churches are treating faith, I see hope. More and more denominations are ordaining LGBT clergy. More and more pastors are preaching messages of love, not fear, from their pulpits. More and more churches are realizing that discrimination is incompatible with Christian values. I only wish the Independent’s coverage had reflected that fact.