In the Rev. Cedric Harmon’s religious tradition, the prayers offered at church almost always start the same way. Worshippers acknowledge God and then give thanks for life, health, strength and safety, four blessings that every human needs.
“We thank God for those blessings and recognize how core they are,” he said.
The Rev. Harmon reminds people of those prayers when they question why the Black church should fight for LGBTQ civil rights protections. He tells them to stop feeling like gay and transgender Americans are seeking special treatment. What they want, he says, are the same basic blessings you ask for at church.
“The legislation we’re talking about would guarantee access to housing, health care, food and employment — blessings that everyone should have the ability to enjoy,” the Rev. Harmon said during an April 27 webinar titled “The Black Church and LGBTQ Rights.”
The Rev. Harmon, founder and executive director of Many Voices, which works with Black churches to help the LGBTQ community, was referring to proposals currently in front of Congress that would add sexual orientation and gender identity-based nondiscrimination protections to federal civil rights law.
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