MARCHA 2016: Call to Action, Open Table at the Intersection

As the youth of M.A.R.C.H.A., we understand our call and responsibility to do good, to do no harm and build the Beloved Community[1].  Amidst our theological differences, we call M.A.R.C.H.A. 2016 to start conversations and to take actions against systemic oppression; and acknowledge the intersectionality in which we live and struggle daily.

WHEREAS:    M.A.R.C.H.A. has asserted throughout its ministry a commitment to advocate for the dignity of the people of Hispanic/Latino/a communities within and outside of the Church.

WHEREAS:    M.A.R.C.H.A. has acted intentionally to provide accompaniment and training opportunities to its members to respond to the needs of our people. M.A.R.C.H.A.  creates spaces for reflection on the pastoral care of Hispanic/Latinos/as by promoting respect for human rights and a commitment to peace, justice, freedom and equality.[2]

WHEREAS:    M.A.R.C.H.A. 2012 initiated discussions facilitated by Dr. Miguel De La Torre, Professor at ILIFF School of Theology, about human sexuality, which led to M.A.R.C.H.A. joining the Love Your Neighbor Coalition.

WHEREAS:    As a people, we affirm that human diversity manifests itself in our various cultures, being a community consisting of many traditions, multiple ways to speak the same language, multiple shades of skin color, but all daughters and sons of the great Hispanic/Latino/a family, one community, one people. We are many things.

WHEREAS:    “We understand intersectionality as an analysis that claims systems and/or social constructs [associated with] race, social class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality and age, among others, as characteristics that make up the social order.”[3]

WHEREAS:    The tragedy that took place in the PULSE night club in Orlando, FL claimed the lives of more than 30 Hispanic/Latino/a brothers and sisters, children of our land, the blood of our blood.  This makes it more evident that the daily struggle of our people against systemic oppression does not have a single discourse, or a single narrative, instead it manifests itself in the intersections of oppressions.

WHEREAS:    As a people we refuse to remain silent and allow the historical narrative of what happened in Orlando, to be whitewashed in our history; thus becoming a tragedy described as an anti-American attack, denying the reality that this was a direct attack against our Hispanic/Latino/a brothers and sisters, who are also a part of the LGBTIQA+[4] community – the majority of which were migrants from Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Central America.

WHEREAS:    In the words of Bishop Galvan,

We are shocked and horrified at the behavior of this young man who showed such wanton disregard for the sanctity of human life. The fact that he selected a place where the gay community congregates raises serious questions and concerns for the safety of our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community across the nation. The fact that most of the victims were Hispanic/Latino leads us to serious self-reflection at the perceptions and prejudices in the Latino community toward the gay community.

MARCHA condemns all acts of discrimination, hate, or violence, either in words or actions, against any person or group of persons because of their race, culture, beliefs, or sexual orientation; acts that deny the image of God with whom all human beings are created. As Christians we commit ourselves to proclaim the Good News of the gospel: that Jesus came so that ALL persons experience life in its fullness.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10[5]

WHEREAS:    Human sexuality is a part of the identity of human beings, as is ethnicity, language and culture. We recognize the need to have honest and respectful dialogue about this topic from the Hispanic/Latino/a perspective.


BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, As a caucus that represents the cause of Hispanic/Latino/a Americans in the United States and Puerto Rico, we affirm, on this 4th day of August, 2016:

  1. That as part of the Hispanic/Latino/a community we are called to repent of our sins as we recognize that we have not loved our neighbor as Christ has loved us.
  2. That we urge M.A.R.C.H.A. to recognize that the same dehumanizing hate and ignorance that labels immigrants as “illegal”, is the same hate that stole the lives of 49 victims and the perpetrator, who are all children of God, and contributes to the blood shed of many more.
  3. Following the leadership of Bishop Galvan, we request M.A.R.C.H.A. to publicly reaffirm that as a caucus we are opposed to all kinds of dehumanizing speech, hatred, and systemic oppression addressed to any human being or creation of God.
  4. That we urge the Education Team for Advocacy in M.A.R.C.H.A. to prepare, for the coming 2017 assembly, a training for all its members directed to the development of intersectional ministries that advocate for justice and against systemic oppression.
  5. That we ask the Education Team for Advocacy fin MARCHA to create bilingual resources in leading the diverse intersectionalities.
  6. That we urge M.A.R.C.H.A to begin dialogues in regard to human sexuality, mujerista struggle, police brutality, state sanctioned violence,  institutional violence, colonialism, gentrification, mass incarceration climate change, etc., within the complexity that represents hispanic/latinos/as.
  7. That, taking into account the present reality of our church and the establishment of a special commission to study the issue of human sexuality, we urge M.A.R.C.H.A to hold a monitored and facilitated dialogue on human sexuality from the Hispanic/Latino perspective in the 2017 assembly. As part of the dialogue, we will make space for our Latina/o Methodists siblings which identify within the LGBTIQA+ spectrum to be heard, welcomed, protected, respected and valued as children of our Latin American land and of our beloved United Methodist Church and Iglesia Metodista de Puerto Rico.


Presented by: MARCHA Youth/Young Adults,

and approved by the Assembly on August 7, 2016

with one amendment.

Verdanza Hotel, San Juan Puerto Rico


[1] Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. popularized the notion of the “Beloved Community.” King envisioned the Beloved Community as a society based on justice, equal opportunity, and love of one’s fellow human beings.

[2] MARCHA. Sobre Nosotros. (, 2016.

[3] Adapted. Patricia Hill Collins.  Black Feminist Thought. (New York, Routledge Classics, 2009), P. 320.

[4] Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Asexual, Plus

[5] Bishop Elias Galvan. MARCHA Statement on the Orlando Massacre. 6/13/2016.

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