National Religious Leadership Roundtable responds to resignation of top evangelical leader after supporting civil unions

December 12, 2008

Pedro Julio Serrano, Communications Coordinator
(Office) 646.358.1479
(Cell) 787.602.5954

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 — The National Religious Leadership Roundtable today responded to the resignation of the Rev. Richard Cizik as vice president of governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). Cizik resigned after voicing support for civil unions for same-sex couples during an interview on National Public Radio.

Statement by the Rev. Rebecca Voelkel
Institute for Welcoming Resources and Faith Work Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“To be an evangelical Christian is to be passionately articulate about the good news of Jesus Christ and to be fearless in making this known. That good news includes Jesus’ clear and clarion call for justice for all people. It is, therefore, deeply disheartening to hear that the National Association of Evangelicals — those who stand proudly in the evangelical tradition — have, yet again, turned its back on God’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children.

“Richard Cizik’s resignation because of his comments on civil unions makes it clear that, although the NAE has sought to distance itself from the homophobic and hateful tradition of much of the radical rights’ version of Christianity, there yet remains much work to do before the NAE can rightly claim Jesus’ prophetic justice for all.”


The National Religious Leadership Roundtable (NRLR), convened by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, is an interfaith network of leaders from pro-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) faith, spiritual and religious organizations. We work in partnership with other groups to promote understanding of and respect for LGBT people within society at large and in communities of faith. We promote understanding and respect within LGBT communities for a variety of faith paths and for religious liberty, and to achieve commonly held goals that promote equality, spirituality and justice.

The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.