JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Sept. 6, 2016 — The Jacksonville Coalition for Equality today announced another milestone in the campaign to pass a fully-inclusive Human Rights Ordinance in Jacksonville – more than 150 faith leaders have signed on in support of equal protections. The ordinance would update the the city’s existing non-discrimination laws to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations.
“It’s great to see more than 150 of our local faith leaders united behind the core belief that everyone should be treated fairly and equally under the laws of our city,” said Dan Merkan, chair, Jacksonville Coalition for Equality. “Love and respect for others is a shared value across many spiritual and religious traditions, and we’re grateful to stand with these 150+ faith leaders in support fairness and opportunity for all.”
A fully-inclusive Jacksonville Human Rights Ordinance would make it illegal to deny anyone employment, housing or public services based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Protected classes already included in the Human Rights Ordinance are race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age and disability.
“Many Faith Communities share a common tenet of compassion, justice and caring for those who society have placed on the margins,” said Reverend William C. Hamilton of St. John’s Lutheran Church, a member of the faith coalition. “The expansion of Jacksonville’s Human Rights Ordinance (HRO) to include basic rights protection for those in the LGBTQ community is a step forward to fulfillment of God’s purpose and plan for the well being of all. I am proud to stand with the ever increasing number of Faith Leaders that have joined together in strong support of the HRO expansion.”
View the full list of faith leaders that support passing a fully-inclusive HRO at jaxequality.org/faith.
“I believe every faith has the tenet of love. It is love that calls our community of faith leaders to unite against discrimination,” said Reverend Regina Jackson, Restoration of Truth Ministries. “I am grateful to stand with other faith leaders for fairness.”
Faith leaders who would like to join the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality’s Faith Coalition are encouraged to visit: jaxequality.org/faith.