Faith leaders: All LGBTQ+ students loved, supported |

Faith leaders: All LGBTQ+ students loved, supported

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

We, the faith leaders serving Roaring Fork Valley, representing over 600 members, extend our unwavering support to the Roaring Fork School District for all efforts to support gender expansive/nonconforming students. As a community, we are called to protect the vulnerable among us. Students in our schools, particularly those who identify as gender-nonconforming, deserve to be supported and affirmed. The creation and implementation of the awareness toolkit is a positive step toward ensuring that every student is safe in their classroom. 

Together, across nine faith communities, we affirm the inherent dignity of all persons, including our beloved LGBTQ+ students. We vehemently oppose any effort to undermine equity and inclusion in our schools and community. Research proves when adults convey a consistent message of belonging, bullying decreases dramatically. To decide that only certain students are worthy of understanding and support, is to undermine the safety of all students. We commend the school district’s brave leaders who have worked to ensure that all students are affirmed and find belonging. 

After two years of a pandemic and its negative impacts on all children and families, we must be vigilant to pay attention to 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 started this process and we offer both our approval and participation. To those in the LGBTQ+ community, you are loved, you belong and we support you. 

Rev. Rebecca Dunagan 
Roaring Fork United Methodist Churches 
First UMC Glenwood Springs, Carbondale Community UMC, 
Basalt Community UMC

Nicholas Vesey
Minister, Aspen Chapel

Rev. Kimberlee Law
The Episcopal Church in Garfield County

Rev. Aaron Norris
Unitarian Universalist Minister Serving the Two Rivers Unitarian Universalist Community

Rev. Jerry Herships
Aspen Community Church 

Stephanie Moffitt, Chaplain