Licensed Local Group Sample Letter to Your Local Catholic Bishop

Dear Bishop__________ (your local bishop)

(See the USCCB website @ http://www.usccb.org/bishops.htm for the name, spelling and address of your bishop)

We are a licensed local group affiliate of Soulforce, Inc.* Our group resides within your diocese. We are writing to you concerning the recent Vatican document, "Same-sex Unions ‘Harmful to Society,’" and the USCCB’s recent release, "Statement on Vatican Text."

We are deeply disturbed by these two documents and the USCCB’s recent announcement that it intends to support the Constitutional Amendment that would deny equal rights to our citizens who happen to be GLBTQ’s (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning).

The Catholic Church has often been in the forefront in the fight for justice for all God’s children. It deeply hurts us to watch as the Church leads a fight to discriminate against GLBTQs.

Surely, we could never imagine the USCCB trying to deny divorced people the 1,000+ rights and protections granted as benefits to those who are remarried under civil law. Our Church has no business advocating and promoting the denial of CIVIL rights.

This November, as in the last four years, many of our Soulforce supporters will be vigilling outside of the USCCB meeting. We ask you to meet with members of our local group, hopefully before the meeting in November, to discuss with us these very important issues. However, we understand that the time is short, and if that is not possible, we would ask that you meet with us some time shortly after the USCCB is over.

We are enclosing a recent letter sent to Bishop Gregory from Rev. Mel White, Executive Director of Soulforce, Inc., and the Soulforce, Inc. Catholic Denominational Team that more fully addresses these issues. We look forward to hearing from you.

We pray for and with you,

(Signed by local group leaders)

*Soulforce is a national interfaith movement committed to ending spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.

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