The Dean of Washington's National Cathedral, Rev. Gary Hall, came out in no uncertain terms this weekend to denounce LGTB discrimination in his Sunday sermon.
"We must now have the courage to take the final step and call homophobia and heterosexism what they are. They are sin. Homophobia is a sin.Heterosexism is a sin. Shaming people for whom they love is a sin," said Dean Hall. He continued, "Only when all our churches say that clearly and boldly and courageously will our LGBT youth be free to grow up in a culture that totally embraces them fully as they are."
He criticized the role that some churches have in advancing oppression of LGTB youth, saying, "It’s more than tragic—in fact it’s shameful--that faith communities, especially Christian ones, continue to be complicit in putting our children at risk and abetting the attitudes that oppress them, thereby encouraging the aggressors who would subject our children to pain, humiliation, and violence."
His remarks were given as part of a weekend which honored LGTB young people at National Cathedral and commemorated the 15th anniversary of the tragic death of Matthew Shepard, a young man murdered in an anti-gay hate crime. The Sunday Forum discussion included Judy Shepard, Matt Shepard's mother; Jane Clementi, the mother of Tyler Clementi, a young man who died of suicide after being cyber bullied; and LGBT youth advocate Joshua Deese of the Trevor Project.
Hall announced earlier this year that National Cathedral would begin celebrating same-sex marriages.
"It is not only just OK to be gay, straight, bisexual, or transgendered. It is good to be that way, because that is the way God has made you," he said.