Press Release, July 17, 2003
For Immediate Release
Contact: Laura Montgomery Rutt
Cell 717-278-0592 email:Laura@soulforce.org
On Monday, July 14, 2003, televangelist Pat Robertson launched a campaign to encourage his audience to pray for the early retirement of several Supreme Court justices. This “prayer offensive” is in response to the recent decision by the United States Supreme Court overturning both the Texas sodomy law in Lawrence v Texas and the 1986 Supreme Court decision in the Bowers v Hardwick case that upheld Georgia sodomy laws.
Soulforce, a national interfaith movement committed to ending spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) people issued the following statement:
“Asking people to pray for the retirement of Supreme Court justices after the Court overturned the Texas sodomy law, Pat Robertson is, in fact, fueling anti-gay religious bigotry that leads to discrimination, prejudice and spiritual violence.
In the Lawrence v. Texas ruling, the Supreme Court justices awarded to all people what was rightfully theirs to begin with, as the government never belonged in anyone’s bedroom in the first place.
Obviously, Pat Robertson and other religious right conservatives feel they need the US Supreme Court to be able to implement their interpretation of Biblical law in the United States, despite the fact that the laws of the United States are based on the Constitution – not the Bible.
The “miracle” Pat Robertson seeks is, in essence, hoping his God will interfere to undermine equality for people that do not agree with him. And now, Pat Robertson’s anti-gay bias and prejudice not only extends to gays and lesbians, but to Supreme Court justices as well.
We believe this “prayer offensive” is Pat Robertson’s way to continue to fuel anti-gay bigotry disguised as religion. GLBT people and allies should be concerned about conservatives’ attempts to undermine equality and fuel anti-gay bigotry, whatever form it takes.
We believe that the best way to counter this anti-gay bigotry is to take an ACTIVE role to ensure equality for all people, such as getting involved in local Soulforce or PFLAG groups, calling congress people about legislation, contacting elected officials to hold them accountable for their stand on equality, donating to organizations and churches that support GLBT rights, and refusing to be complicit in one’s own oppression.
And despite what Pat Robertson believes, we know that God loves GLBT people just the way we are and that equality for all people will someday be realized.”
For more information, see www.soulforce.org. For media interviews, call 717-278-0592.
Laura Montgomery Rutt
Director of Communications
Soulforce is a national interfaith movement committed to ending spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. Soulforce employs the nonviolent principles of Gandhi and King to the liberation of sexual and gender minorities.