The Inclusive Faith Coalition of Arlington sent the following letter to Grapevine-Colleyville ISD’s recent actions targeting LGBT students:
We, the LGBTQ+ clergy and congregations of the Inclusive Faith Coalition, write to express our deep sadness and frustration at Grapevine-Colleyville ISD’s decision to further erode the dignity and rights of its LGBTQ+ students. The recently passed district policy states that teachers will not be required to address students by their preferred pronouns; prohibits transgender students from using restrooms and playing on sports teams that reflect their gender identity; and prohibits teachers and staff from teaching or even mentioning sexual orientation and gender identity until children turn 6e to note. These new policies also include the censorship of books that teach students about LGBTQ+ identities as well as the history of racism, discrimination and inequality in this country.
Adopting these guidelines is dangerous and irresponsible. Such policies cause untold harm to children who will not be able to live as themselves, nor believe that their schools will be safe spaces for them to learn, grow and thrive. This action threatens their very existence at a crucial time in their lives when they are discovering their place in the world, building self-esteem, and exploring ways to express pride in who they are becoming. As a result of these policies, vulnerable children will be subject to increased bullying, humiliation and physical, emotional and psychological suffering.
These policies are nothing less than persecution. As religious leaders in our Texas communities, we affirm that many of these children and their families are deeply committed to their religious faith. It is because of their faith that they affirm the beautiful diversity of their children, believing that every human being is created in the image of God and worthy of dignity – including, among other things, the dignity of being called by the nouns and pronouns they have chosen for themselves. , and have the fundamental right to use the bathroom that honors those choices.
Because of our religious faith, the congregations we lead do everything in our power to protect and support these students and their families – both those who attend our congregations and those who do not. We cannot sit idly by and watch the needless suffering of any of God’s children. We ask that you reconsider your decision to implement these destructive policies.
grace and peace,
the clergy of the Arlington Inclusive Religious Coalition and surrounding towns
Cantor Sheri Allen
Center for Religious Action of Reform Judaism,
Reverend Ken Ehrke
Embrace the United Church of Christ, Richland Hills
Reverend Dr Katie Hays
Galileo Christian Church (Disciples of Christ),
Rev. Allison Liles
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Hurst
Reverend Kevin Johnson
St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, Arlington
Pastor Curtis Smith
Trinity Metropolitan Community Church, Grapevine
Reverend Kate McGee
Westminster Presbyterian Church, Arlington
Reverend Jeremy Skaggs
Christian Church reception table
(Disciples of Christ), Arlington
Reverend Jeremy Pope
Hospice Chaplain, Fort Worth