June 24, 2020

“ELCA social teaching supports human rights for all people, regardless of their sex (biological), gender, or sexuality. This stance is rooted in respect and welcome for all people as created in the image of God and evident in the ELCA’s longstanding commitment to protecting civil and human rights” (Faith, Sexism, and Justice: A Call to Action, 2019).

As National Pride Month is celebrated across this country, I rejoice in the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that employment discrimination on the basis of a worker’s sexual orientation or gender identity is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The court’s decision is an important recognition of equal protection under the law for LGBTQIA+ people and for all.

LGBTQIA+ people are not faceless or nameless. They are our children, parents, siblings and colleagues. They work hard and pay taxes. They serve in our congregations and communities. Our life together is enriched. They are us. The U.S. Supreme Court ruling brings us a step closer to realizing our founding conviction, “We the people of the United States.”

St. Paul writes, “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26). The June 15 decision brings the civic body a step closer to the cherished American value of equal rights for all. There is more work to be done to guarantee equal rights for LGBTQIA+ people beyond the workplace — in housing, medical care and military service. We are committed to this work as we celebrate, during Pride Month and all year round, the gifts of our LGBTQIA+ siblings.

In Christ’s peace,

Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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