Speaking out about issues of justice and inclusion for LGBTQ+ is critically important. It’s a way to take the beliefs of your community out of the pews and into the public arena and to promote dialogue. It also disrupts the ongoing misperception that people of faith do not support LGBTQ equality. One great way to do this is by writing an op-ed to a newspaper—either locally or a national publication (although local ones are, of course, easier to get into). This adds your voice to community conversations and allows you to share your values. It also helps get the word out that your congregation is justice-oriented and welcoming.
There are many issues that deserve public attention. You can applaud progress, like the passage of a non-discrimination policy at a local, county, or state level, an LGBTQ sensitive program at a hospital, or any other positive development. You can also speak out against that which threatens the well-being of LGBTQ people, like the high levels of violence faced by transgender women of color, efforts to legalize discrimination or roll back non-discrimination laws, or the censoring of LGBTQ themed books from a library. Be sure to include ideas for how the community can take action to address these issues and move forward in a more just way.
Here are some great resources to help you get started:
- The Op-Ed Project is a group that seeks to expand the number of voices speaking out about critical public issues of our day. They have a great Tips & Tricks resource that answers all kinds of questions. This is a great place to get started.
- Auburn Seminary published a video of their webinar, How to Write and Publish Your Op-Ed for Justice. This gives you in-depth information from a very knowledgeable source.
- The Jewish Social Justice Roundtable has this list of 9 reasons why you should just write that op-ed to get you motivated.
Check with your local newspaper; their websites often include tips and guidelines for submitting successful op-eds. Good luck! And be sure to send us a copy of your op-ed when it gets published!
To read the 52 Ways to Increase Your Welcome series, please click here.