Valley clergy group condemns statements that reject gays
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 9, 2004 12:00 AM
Valley clergy in favor of gay rights on Tuesday denounced statements that use "religion to sanction the condemnation and rejection" of people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered.
At a Tuesday news conference, members of No Longer Silent: Clergy for Justice said they wanted to reach leaders of all denominations but particularly Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, who in the past month has challenged the group and the priests who signed a pro-gay document, the Phoenix Declaration, in 2003.
The group, responding to Olmsted's actions, capped off Tuesday's conference by nailing the Phoenix Declaration to a door, as Martin Luther did with his 95 Theses in 1517 to kick off the Protestant Reformation.
"We refuse to let prejudice, in the form of religious fundamentalism and society's bigotry, plant seeds of exclusion and violence," the group said in a statement read by the Rev. Jeff Proctor-Murphy, pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church in Phoenix.