Philadelphia Episcopal Bishop Endorses LGBT Anti-Discrimination Laws
Bishop Clifton Daniel III of Philadelphia’s Diocese of Pennsylvania and other bishops representing the four other state dioceses of the Episcopal Church have signed a statement endorsing HB 300. The legislation would make it illegal to discriminate against LGBT people in housing, workplace and public accommodations. The statement reads as follows:
The Episcopal Church has struggled faithfully for more than three decades to reform its own discriminatory policies and practices toward LGBT people. … In that struggle we have come to understand what was already obvious to some of our fellow citizens all along: that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are gifts to our families, our friends and our communities. We are richer for their presence, and it is past time for us to acknowledge that we share a common humanity and therefore must be equal in the eyes of the law.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “the statement notes that the bill also upholds the right of religious organizations to decide whom to hire and which rituals to perform.”
This isn’t the first move the Episcopal Church has made to support its LGBT congregants. It has ordained openly gay and lesbian bishops and clergy, and has issued liturgical blessings of same-sex relationships.
The other signers include Bishop Dorsey McConnell of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Robert Gepert of the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania and Sean Rowe, from both the dioceses of Northwestern Pennsylvania and Bethlehem.