Religious Leaders: All LGBTQ+ Students Loved, Supported
We, the faith leaders serving Roaring Fork Valley, representing over 600 members, lend our unwavering support to the Roaring Fork School District in all efforts to support gender expansive/gender nonconforming students. As a community, we are called to protect the most vulnerable among us. Students in our schools, especially those who identify as gender non-conforming, deserve to be supported and affirmed. The creation and implementation of the awareness toolkit is a positive step in ensuring that every student is safe in their classroom.
Together, across nine faith communities, we affirm the inherent dignity of all people, including our beloved LGBTQ+ students. We vehemently oppose any effort to undermine equity and inclusion in our schools and community. Research proves that when adults convey a consistent message of belonging, bullying dramatically decreases. Deciding that only some students deserve to be understood and supported is undermining the safety of all students. We commend the courageous leaders of the school district who have worked to ensure that all students affirm themselves and find their belonging.
After two years of the pandemic and its negative impacts on all children and families, we must be vigilant to take care and support the mental health of all our young people. The fact that 59% of LGBTQ+ students have thought about suicide is chilling. The Roaring Fork School District has begun this process and we offer both our endorsement and our participation. To members of the LGBTQ+ community, you are loved, you belong and we support you.
Rev. Rebecca Dunagan
Roaring Fork United Methodist Churches
Premier UMC Glenwood Springs, Carbondale Community UMC,
UMC Basalt Community
Minister, Aspen Chapel
Reverend Kimberlee Law
Garfield County Episcopal Church
Reverend Aaron Norris
Unitarian Universalist minister serving the Unitarian Universalist community of Deux Rivières
Reverend Jerry Herships
Aspen Community Church
Stephanie Moffitt, chaplain