Faith In America today praises former First Lady Laura Bush's recent announcement that she supports same-sex marriage and the impact she now can have on ending the harm caused by religion-based bigotry.
"While we obviously hope people like Laura Bush could have the political courage to speak their hearts while in office, we nevertheless are thankful that the former First Lady has stated publicly how it is simply wrong to deny people the freedom to marry based solely on their same-sex sexual orientation," said Brent Childers, executive director of the organization.
"This week we have seen the anti-gay religious establishment's 'it's a choice' argument exposed as an evil charade; an innocent eight-year-old Massachusetts boy being abused by the Catholic Church because his parents are gay; and the National Association of Evangelicals attempting to inject its bigotry and hostility toward gays into the nation's immigration law reform.
"For years, so-called religious organizations have joined forces with so-called conservative political factions to promote the notion that gay and lesbian Americans are immoral and therefore undeserving and unworthy of the same rights and privileges others enjoy. Many of these forces were closely aligned with the Bush administration and we're sure Laura Bush is famiiar with many of them."
Childers said denying someone basic constitutional rights is bad enough, but the emotional and psychological pain from hearing such condemnation from certain religious and political leaders can be devastating to gay individuals, especially gay youth.
"Treating gay Americans with such bigotry and hostility and using religion to justify and promote it truly is one of the great moral failures of our time," Childers said.
"We hope former First Lady Laura Bush now will join us in speaking out against religion-based bigotry toward gay and lesbian Americans and the immense harm it causes. We encourage her to speak to those anti-gay religious individuals and organizations and tell them the harm must end."
Faith In America is a North Carolina-based 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2005 whose mission is to educate the public about the harm caused to gay Americans when certain church teaching is misused to justify and promote hostile attitudes and actions toward gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans.