PASTORAL LETTER TO THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCHES IN ALASKA
Whenever a human community faces a difficult decision we, as a United Methodist faith community, can look to our Social Principles for guidance. The citizens of Anchorage are facing one of these decisions in the April election. A grassroots group collected signatures to have this initiative placed on the ballot. The “One Anchorage Initiative” asks Anchorage voters “shall the current Municipal Code sections providing legal protections against discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, age, physical disability, and mental disability be amended to include protections on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender identity?”
This is what our United Methodist Social Principles say about this issue under the section, Equal Rights Regardless of Sexual Orientation.
Certain basic human rights and civil liberties are due all persons. We are committed to supporting those rights and liberties for all persons, regardless of sexual orientation. We see a clear issue of simple justice in protecting the
rightful claims where people have shared material resources, pensions, guardian relationships, mutual powers of attorney, and other such lawful claims typically
attendant to contractual relationships that involve shared contributions, responsibilities, and liabilities, and equal protection before the law. Moreover, we support efforts to stop violence and other forms of coercion against all persons, regardless of sexual orientation.
Regardless of our personal views our church is clear that discrimination is unacceptable as people of faith.
Grace and peace,