Our Welcome statement is the foundation of the RIC program. It is a public document that specifically welcomes “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual/aromantic” (LGBTQIA+) people or “people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions” into full participation within community. This statement reflects the diversity in all social categories of your community including but not limited to race, age, abilities, and ethnicity.
QUESTION: All people are welcome in our faith community. Why should we single out lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual/aromantic (LGBTQIA+) people?
Many LGBTQIA+ people have learned by experience that they are not welcome in faith communities, even in those that state, “All are welcome here!” A general statement of welcome is often heard as meaning “everybody but me,” so it can take a special effort to communicate an authentic welcome to LGBTQIA+ people. Many RIC communities find that the process of extending a welcome to LGBTQIA+ people opens them up to other people or groups who also need a particular invitation to know that “all” includes them as well.