Asian Clergy & Religious Leaders Respond to “Fairness for All Americans” Act

The love of God, Shiva, Allah, and the Buddha has no exceptions. Anti-discrimination laws should not either

NQAPIA MEDIA RELEASE
For Immediate Release: December 9, 2019
For More Information: Roberta Sklar 917-704-6358, robertasklar@yahoo.com

On Friday, December 6, Republican lawmakers introduced the ‘Fairness for All Americans’ Act into Congress. 

Glenn D. Magpantay, Executive Director of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), said that “The bill represents support for anti-discrimination protections against LGBT Americans.  It also represents a remarkable advance from voices of religious organizations that have come to share the view that discrimination against any American in the workplace, in housing, in public spaces is wrong and that we all deserve the same protections under the law.  We are gratified to see this step forward.” 

“However, while the bill bans some forms of anti-LGBTQ discrimination it contains carve outs for religious exemptions that could allow discrimination in the name of religious beliefs.” he continued. 

NQAPIA launched an unprecedented LGBT religious acceptance campaign this year to promote healing and reconciliation in the Asian American community. NQAPIA and religious leaders stand together in response to the bill:

“We are delighted that God’s grace of enlightenment has come upon the backers of this bill.  That they join us in recognizing that we are all God’s children and deserve to be protected and receive the same dignity and respect that we all enjoy under the law. Too many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Asian Americans have suffered discrimination for simply being who they are. God, Shiva, Allah, the Buddha, and Jesus teaches us that we must strive for justice.

But the love of God, Shiva, Allah, and the Buddha does not have exceptions. Likewise, anti-discrimination laws should not either.  While the bill is a commendable recognition, the more comprehensive LGBTQ Equality Act, which has already passed the U.S. House of Representatives with a bipartisan majority, would ensure clear and equal protections from discrimination for LGBTQ people throughout daily life while expanding protections for communities of color, people of faith, and women.

We look forward to a continuing dialogue to address these continuing issues and bring equal protections to all of our people” 

On behalf of Clergy 

Rev. Jeanelle N. Ablola, Pine United Methodist Church, San Francisco, CA
Rev. Israel I. Alvaran, Reconciling Ministries Network, Oakland, CA
Rev. Paul Cho, First United Methodist Church of Tucson, AZ
Rev. Dr. Theresa Cho, St. John’s Presbyterian Church, San Francisco, CA
Rev. Danilo Cortez, Estuary Space, Los Angeles, CA
Rev. Dr. Kevin Doi, American Baptist, Diamond Bar, CA
Rev. Vicki Flippin, Pastor, First & Summerfield United Methodist Church, New Haven, CT
Rev. Dr. Ken Fong, Senior Pastor (retired), Evergreen Baptist Church of LA, Rosemead, CA
Rev. Nestor S. Gerente, Wayside United Methodist Church, Lomita, CA
Rev. John Iwohara, Gardena Buddhist Church, CA
Rev. Jessica Kawamura, Wahiawa United Methodist Church, Wahiawa HI
Rev. Joann Haejong Lee, Associate Pastor, Calvary Presbyterian Church, San Francisco, CA
Rev. May Lee, Pastor, Grace Alive Fellowship, New York, NY
Rev. Irene Pak Lee, Associate Pastor, Stone Church of Willow Glen, San Jose, CA
Rev. Elizabeth Tay McVicker, First United Methodist Church, Salt Lake City, UT
Rev. Roger Morimoto, Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Palo Alto CA
Rev. Tuhina Verma Rasche, University AME Zion, Palo Alto, CA
Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto, CA
Rev. Charles Ryu, Pastor, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Middletown, NY
Rev. Daniel Seunghyun Cho, Pastor of HA:N Church UMC, Westchester NY
Rev. Yusei Van, Great River Tendai Sangha, Washington DC
Rev. Winnie Varghese, Trinity Church Wall Street, New York, NY

Laity 

Dr. Raja Gopal Bhattar, Hindu Officiant and Leadership Consultant, Chicago, IL
Rev. Laura Mariko Cheifetz, Assistant Dean, Vanderbilt Divinity School, Nashville, TN
Administrator Elaine Kaneshiro, Christ Church of Chicago, IL
Dr. Grace Y. Kao, Center Director, Claremont School of Theology, CA
Donald L. Hayashi, Sulphur Grove United Methodist Church, Huber Heights, OH
Minster Ophelia Hu Kinney, HopeGateWay and Reconciling Ministries Network, Portland, ME
Dr. Liz Lin, Executive Director, Progressive Asian American Christians, Ann Arbor, MI
Karen & Glenn Murakami, Faith United Methodist Church, Torrance, CA
Sarah Ngu, Community Director, Forefront Brooklyn Church, NY
Serena Poon, Director of Family, Progressive Asian American Christians, San Jose, CA
Oneida Chi, Member, Network on Religion & Justice, San Francisco, CA
Aya Yabe, the Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew laity, New York, NY
Rev. Thomas Yang, Progressive Asian American Christians, Seattle, WA
Glenn D. Magpantay, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance Executive Director

 

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