Letter to the editor: All Christians don’t share Civic League’s LGBTQ view

from the Portland Press Herald 3.14.2018

Those reading Scott Thistle’s March 9 front-page article “Bill outlawing gay ‘therapy’ clears hurdle” might draw the mistaken conclusion that all Christians in Maine share the Christian Civic League’s view of L.D. 912.
Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the Maine Council of Churches has testified to the state Legislature that seven denominations representing 414 congregations across our state oppose the practice of conversion therapy (Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Quaker, Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ), saying, in part: “Our LGBTQ brothers and sisters are beloved children of God, created in the divine image. Among us on the council’s board of directors are three members of the LGBTQ community and several parents of LGBTQ sons and daughters. In the pulpits and pews of our 414 congregations are cherished colleagues and parishioners who are LGBTQ.
“Sexual orientation and gender identity are a gift from God – not a condition that needs treatment, not a choice that needs conversion, not something broken that needs repair, not a sin that needs forgiveness …. Subjecting a child to conversion therapy is not a matter of the parents’ religious liberty; it is a matter of religious abuse and it is a violation of the child’s religious liberty. Conversion therapy is psychological and spiritual malpractice and amounts to torture.”

The Rev. Jane Field
executive director, Maine Council of Churches