Open Letter from Concerned Clergy of Olympia in Support of LGBTQ+ and Pride
The Concerned Clergy of Olympia (CCO) is a cohort of progressive clergy committed to social justice and collaboration between and through our religious traditions. CCO is itself a community of LGBTQ faith leaders and willing allies, and it is from this orientation that we offer a message of affirmation for the month of Pride and are unanimous in our deep love and concern for the LGBTQ+ community, and for all persons who continue to struggle for full recognition, safety, and rights.
This month of Pride finds our country in a chapter that is rife with gun violence, political polarization, and an alarming proliferation of legislative action against trans and gay youth. These legislative agendas and laws seek to shame, exclude, and even prosecute young people simply for expressing themselves in a way that is most authentic to them. Anti-trans legislation causes harm, increases rates of suicide and suicide ideation, and heightens rates of depression and emotional distress. Even within some of our faith traditions there are divisions related to the full welcome of people who are queer, bi, gay, trans, non-binary, and intersex.
We support the beloved wholeness of LGBTQ+ persons and the respectful representation of history and culture within our faith communities, schools, public spaces, and our systems of medical and mental care for all people according to what is most supportive for them. We are committed to a societal vision of inclusion, welcome, and safety for all people and extend this commitment to our community as an invitation to show up and stand up for our fellow LGBTQ residents.