Happy Pride to all the Plain Rainbows out there from Detroit!
This has been an especially special Pride Month with the launch of our podcast "Plain Rainbows: LGBTQ Amish & Anabaptist Stories" with my co-host Mary Byler!
This is the first time that LGBTQ Amish & Anabaptist issues have been discussed publicly, over 50 years since Stonewall so obviously overdue.
There have been gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the Anabaptist diaspora since its inception but until now we have been shunned and silenced, oppressed and persecuted.
Today we formally announce the birth of the Amish & Anabaptist LGBTQ rights movement. We hereby declare our collective solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Mennonite and Plain communities and announce to the world: we are here and Plain and queer.
We condemn the Old Order Amish Church and others in Anabaptist communities who continue to violate our human rights, silence us and separate families.
We condemn the ongoing physical, emotional, and sexual abuse perpetrated daily in Amish and Anabaptist communities in America and around the world, unchecked.
We call upon all the victims of abuse to directly contact law enforcement and bypass the Church.
We call upon all Amish, Mennonite and Plain ministries to marry same-sex couples if requested to do so and to find a spiritual path to loving acceptance of us.
The Amish church-state today mirrors the Catholic church it once opposed. Instead of a beacon of freedom the Amish Church is a business and multi-million dollar tourism industry.
The truth is the Old Order Amish could not be further from our forefathers' spiritual principles and ideals.
As more and more of us leave the church to obtain our freedom, we individually hold a personal responsibility to those we have left behind in a fear-based, fundamentalist, spiritually barren environment held hostage by bishops and ministries playing God.
Today we announce the #PlainRainbows movement to celebrate the authenticity of LGBTQ Amish and Anabaptist worldwide and our mission to uplift and support each other collectively against homophobia, hate, prejudice and ignorance.
Thank you for your support and thank you to all of our beautiful guests for stepping forward in our hour of need.
-Rev. James Schwartz
Need a summer read? I have recieved several queries (from Plain Rainbows) about my book of poetry, photos, essays & a short story &quo...