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  • Writer's pictureArizona House Democrats

Caucus responds to Monday's offensive sermon on House floor condemning non-Christians and LGTBQ+ Americans

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 2, 2024                                                                                                                             


PHOENIX – On Monday, during a time reserved for a welcoming opening prayer on the House floor, Representative Lupe Diaz instead preached a five-minute sermon that condemned the LGBTQ+ community, President Biden, the United States as an "unrighteous nation," and non-Christians as sinners worthy of eternal damnation. This manufactured rage was a response to International Transgender Day of Visibility coinciding this year with Easter.

 

International Transgender Day of Visibility has occurred annually on March 31 around the world since 2009. This year, the day of awareness and acceptance coincided with Easter Sunday, a religious holiday that follows a full moon and occurs on shifting Sundays each year between March 22 and April 25. Next year Easter will be on April 20, while Transgender Day of Visibility will remain on March 31.

 

"Eternal life is not available just to everybody, it is available just to those that acknowledge Jesus Christ," Diaz preached, while people of various faiths looked on, before ending with, "This eternal life is not for everybody, only to those who cry out to you, repent of their sins and then come to you. They will have eternal life. The others will be judged to eternal condemnation."


Representative Lorena Austin, Arizona’s first non-binary legislator, delivered a powerful and inspiring counterpoint to the intolerance and exclusion that opened Monday’s session. 

 

Today, LGBTQ Committee Co-Chairs Patty Contreras and Oscar De Los Santos spoke out on using House opening prayers to score culture war political points and to target vulnerable communities and non-Christians.

 

“Monday’s sermon was a coordinated and cynical display of religious intolerance, which used a coincidence in the calendar to attack LGBTQ+ Arizonans, and anyone who doesn’t fall in line with one member’s view of Christianity,” said Contreras. “For one member to use this time of welcoming to condemn to Hell anyone he doesn’t agree with was deeply offensive to me, and to tens of millions of Americans. Fortunately, Representative Diaz doesn’t get to decide who is, and is not, worthy of salvation.” 

 

De Los Santos added, “I am proud to be a member of a welcoming and inclusive caucus that looks out for and has the back of our most vulnerable communities. I stood and respectfully listened as my colleague damned me to Hell, but it is outrageous to hear such intolerance, divisiveness and disrespect directed at so many Arizonans inside the People’s House, with Republican members standing in support. This was a shameful moment.”

 

 





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