Equality for all is urged

Equality for all is urged

While we certainly appreciate the cause of men coming together to better themselves in who they are and how they act, the Mahoning Valley Pride Center, an organization and location dedicated to giving all in our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community a safe place to meet and have activities, prays that the May 8 Rally in the Valley does not adopt all of the tenants of the Promise Keepers. We deeply disagree and are offended that they support and encourage Exodus, an organization that says homosexuality is not born in us and that we can be “deprogrammed” or “pray away” our sexual orientation.

We pray that our welcoming churches in the Mahoning Valley attend this rally and give witness that God welcomes homosexuals as much as any other man, woman or child, because we are any other man, woman or child. We appreciate the Unitarian Church of Youngstown, First Federated Church in North Jackson, All Saints Community Church in Cortland, and Unity Church Centre in Girard for having welcoming congregations that realize that being gay does not mean you cannot have a relationship with God.

Religion has been used to persecute people for too long, to let it be part of today’s culture of rallying together to become stronger and better people. We pray that in this rally to become more accountable for men’s actions and words, that acceptance is also preached to love one another as Jesus has loved them.

We pray that we can count on the Men in this Valley to break with Promise Keepers involvement with Exodus Ministries and make a stand that we are all equal in God’s eyes already. No person’s sin, if you believe homosexuality is one, is greater than anyone else’s, and homosexuality should not be condemned by any church or religious organization.

Terry Esarco, Youngstown