On loving your neighbor as yourself, a statement from Pastor Rudy Rasmus

Pastor Rudy Rasmus of St. John's Methodist Church in downtown Houston. In addition to his pastoral duties, Rasmus is an author and a global humanitarian, and the latest to speak out against discrimination in Texas. Read his prepared statement below to learn more about why Pastor Rudy Rasmus supports nondiscrimination protections for gay and transgender Texans. 

As a Pastor and faith community leader, I have dedicated my ministry to emulating Jesus by loving without conditions.  Over the last 20 plus years, my wife and I have been Senior Pastors at St. John’s, and a large, diverse set of people have come through the doors, including gay and transgender people.  Being gay or transgender does not preclude a person from receiving God’s unconditional love. Unfortunately, that is not always preached from the pulpit, which means some members of the congregation have been in a place of shame and hopelessness.  Because of this, our church makes sure that every individual or family that we encounter is treated with dignity and respect, regardless of identity or orientation.  I support nondiscrimination policies because these protections seek to ensure every member of our great state receives the same amount of dignity and respect. 
Supporting nondiscrimination protections for all Texans, including gay and transgender Texans, supports Jesus’ mandate to treat others like we would want to be treated. As a pastor, I’m here to tell you the only thing nondiscrimination laws provide are basic protections like equality in employment, restaurants, apartments - for everyone. Loving your neighbor as yourself in today’s world certainly includes guaranteeing that a Texan can’t lose your job for being who they are or loving who they love. Loving your neighbor as yourself means you can’t be refused service at a restaurant because of the group you’re with. Loving your neighbor as yourself means you can’t be denied housing because of who you are. This is the type of treatment nondiscrimination policies address. We are all God’s children. We all deserve protection from discrimination.

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