As a leader of a religious community in this city of Hamilton, I wish to add my voice to the great number of civic leaders who have voiced their concern over the violent homophobic protests at the recent pride celebrations in our city. I also remain concerned about the alt-right rallies that have continued outside our city hall for the past several months.
I am aware that the presence of hate groups in these public spaces is a source of trauma for members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. I wish to express my solidarity with them and acknowledge that when any of our neighbours are persecuted because of their race, gender, sexuality, religion, or any other reason, our entire community suffers. Our church stands against hate. We stand with those who are the targets of hate and with all allies who work for justice.
As followers of Jesus we seek to follow his way of neighbour-love.
I appreciate that the presence of the Pride and Trans flags in our city makes an aspirational statement for the safety and inclusion of all people. I acknowledge with sadness that we are not there yet. I do, however, know that I am able to stand with people of many religious perspectives, and of none, who will continue to work together to make our city a place where our aspirations for inclusion and neighbourliness have become a reality. I call on all my fellow religious leaders in this city to join me in this commitment.
Peace, David +
(The Venerable Dr.) David Anderson is the rector of the Church of Saint John the Evangelist in downtown Hamilton and the Archdeacon of Hamilton-Haldimand in the Anglican Diocese of Niagara.
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We acknowledge with gratitude and respect that our parish is located on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples. We are located in the Lower Chedoke Watershed.