We thought we would let the Reverend Dr. Bruce Havens, Pastor of the Arlington Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, tell you in his own words why he joined the ‘We Are Straight Allies’ campaign:
I am a native of Florida and grew up in the years where schools were just beginning to integrate. To me it was normal, natural and “cool.” As a student at Harvard University, I learned about Martin Luther King, jr. and the principles of seeking social justice for people – no matter who they were: people of other races, nationalities, different abilities, WOMEN! and those who were from many different sexual orientations. I learned about the pain people suffer when they are discriminated against. Since then I have been ordained in the United Church of Christ which has an historic record of inclusiveness: we were the first primarily European – American denomination to ordain an African – American pastor, the first to ordain a woman and the first to ordain an openly gay man. I am proud of that history and proud to represent that here in Jacksonville. I am also a husband and a father of 2 boys and a girl and I want them to be proud of their community and its commitment to social justice and equality of opportunity for all people. Every Sunday at our church we say to people, “No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey you are welcome here!” I want that to be true for Jacksonville too. We can disagree about how we practice our faith and still be for justice and against discrimination. That is the legacy of all faiths. If the business community can stand for justice and what is right, then the faith community should surely not lag behind. That’s why I am a “Straight Ally,” for the Human Rights Ordinance.
We are allies coming out in support of our LGBTQ community and equal rights for all!