A WordWe’d like to have A Word with you. In The Root’s op-ed video series, thought leaders across various disciplines give their perspectives on the important issues you should know about.

“God loves me radically. And any member of faith, any leader of faith should also love me radically.” — Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign

Growing up, Alphonso David spent a lot of time at the Lord’s house.

Whether he was attending his mother’s three and a half hour long Baptist services or his father’s 60-minute Methodist church, the president of the Human Rights Campaign said he spent hours every week in Sunday school, participating in the choir, and learning about God.

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But despite growing up in the church, David did not consider the church a “safe space.”

“I learned very early on that being gay was not accepted,” he told The Root.

It wasn’t until later on in life that David developed a relationship with God—a God who would accept him for exactly who he was. So in conjunction with the Human Rights Campaign’s Religion and Faith Director, David launched a new initiative: “Coming Home to Faith: A Search for Common Ground.”

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One of its main goals is to open the doors of religious spaces to make sure an LGBTQ person can walk in as their authentic self and understand that God is going to accept them.

“Many members of the queer community have difficulty engaging with places of worship because historically they have not been accepting of LGBTQ people,” he said. And that’s what he seeks to change.

As religious services move online due to the coronavirus pandemic, the faith tour has also gone digital.

“While we cannot currently gather together physically as a faith community, we at the Human Rights Campaign are exploring ways to convene virtually through interfaith services, video messages, and online resources,” said David. “Now more than ever, as people are searching for comfort, we must continue our work to show that being LGBTQ and being a person of faith are not mutually exclusive.”

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David shares how faith communities can support the LGBTQ community, the importance of making houses of worship open to all, and more in the video above.

Jessica Moulite is an award-winning Video Producer at The Root passionate about dismantling unjust societal power structures and all things Black culture. She's also probably watching “Living Single.”

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Love thy neighbor as you love yourself.

Love God with all your heart, all your mind, and all of your soul.

All of the law and all of the prophets, hang on these two.

~Jesus

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