Dear Mayor Adams,
On behalf of the Equality New York’s Faith-Based LGBTQI Committee, we are writing to express our opposition to the appointment of Ex-Councilmember, Fernando Cabrera, as a faith representative in any Faith Based Initiative that you may be organizing under your administration.
Mr. Cabrera has a long history of statements that are homophobic and demonstrate his lack of regard for gay people. He has objected to same sex marriage that would allow us to base our unions in love and religion. He has also supported the hateful and harmful anti-gay bill of Uganda that has become the template for other hate bills in Africa.
“Mr. Cabrera’s position on religion can only be used as a weapon against us.” Dr. Wilhelmina Perry (She/Her) Founder Emeritus, LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent, Advisory Council, Equality NY
Appointing Fernando Cabrera to a faith-based position would be detrimental to the LGBTQI community and all oppressed groups that have been severely ostracized by non-affirming religious communities. Mr. Cabrera’s history of homophobic and transphobic comments and his actions against LGBTQI rights does not speak to the foundation of Christian belief, which, at the core, is about loving all of our neighbors. If you, Mr. Mayor, want to make “your” city better, please consider appointing someone who will unite and not further divide the many communities that need healing.
“As an ordained clergy person and someone who has experienced the horrors produced by this kind of vitriol first-hand from faith leaders, this appointment would not only diminish the value of our queer siblings in this city but would also reflect a message that you support the beliefs and actions of Mr. Cabrera.”
Rev. Robert Daniel Arnáu (they/he) MCC Ordained Clergy, Certified Spiritual Director, MCC Spiritual Community Leader – Wounds to Wisdom Spiritual Direction
Homophobia, Transphobia and all forms of hate are intentional disregards to personhood. Hate is a seed, a weed that grows at the root of the soul and spreads like blooms in the spring. Any person who harbors that seed and intentionally nourishes it can’t be trusted as an advocate of the people or any public office. This person surely is not a representative of God, but an agent of the enemy. A friend to darkness. This person is not suitable nor should they represent the citizens or NYC or any community.
Fernando Cabrera has stood on several platforms proudly voicing his disdain for the LGBTQ+ community. That alone can have far-reaching consequences.
Dr. Renair Amin (She/They) LGBTQ Faith-Based Trauma Advocate
When a government official selects someone who is the antithesis to what that particular office is to represent, it is more than just a setback. It is disrespectful. The Trevor Project reported that “each episode of LGBT victimization, such as physical or verbal harassment or abuse, increases the likelihood of self-harming behavior by 2.5 times on average.” We hesitate to think of how many people were harmed by his words and/or actions. To put Fernando Cabrera in charge of handling the Office of Community Mental Health knowing that he has a bias against the LGBTQ+ community can cause a greater trauma and harm to a collective that has already been mishandled and mistreated.
“NYC elected Mayor Adams to uplift ALL of us, including the LGBTQIA+ community. And by uplift, we mean support, and by support, we mean to affirm the full humanity of our community, made unequivocally in the image of God. Appointing Fernando Cabrera, an avowed homophobic hate-mongerer, to an office that’s intended to promote love and inclusion, is unconscionable. We will not stand for it. “
Rev. Joya Colon-Berezin (She/Her) Minister of Christian Education & The Scarsdale Congregational Church
“HONOR GOD by honoring the DIVERSITY of those who are made in the IMAGE of God, HUMANKIND!”
Rev. Peter Simmons-Scie, M.Div. (He/Him) The Community Church of New York City
With your most current appointment of another anti-LGBTQI individual, Erick Salgado, to be assistant commissioner of outreach at the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, we are extremely concerned. We are asking you, Mayor Adams, that we will not accept an anti-LGBTQI individuals anywhere in government here in NYC.
LGBTQI Faith Based Leaders for Equality New York