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One More Milestone: 150+ Faith Leaders Call for Updating #JaxHRO September 6, 2016

Today our campaign to pass a fully-inclusive Jacksonville Human Rights Ordinance is celebrating another incredible milestone.

We’re proud to officially announce that more than 150 faith leaders have joined the Jacksonville Spiritual Leaders for Equality coalition. The coalition includes faith leaders of from diverse backgrounds and traditions who stand united with one goal: passing LGBT non-discrimination protections because of, not in spite of, their faith.

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All 150+ have signed a faith-focused pledge to support updating the #JaxHRO to protect LGBT community members and visitors from discrimination in employment, housing or public services based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The pledge reads, in part:

“As leaders representing a wide variety of spiritual expression in northeast Florida, we strongly support the full civil rights, including protections from discrimination in the areas of housing, employment, and public accommodations based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. We see such support as being very consistent with our spiritual belief.”

The support of faith leaders is very important to our campaign. Extremist opponents of this ordinance like to peddle the idea that non-discrimination protections are somehow at odds with people of faith. Having 150+ faith leaders standing in unequivocal opposition to this line of thinking quickly shuts it down.

In fact, many members of the coalition said their support for LGBT non-discrimination protections is driven by the core teachings of their faith. Reverend William C. Hamilton of St. John’s Lutheran Church says he supports the #JaxHRO because his faith teaches that all people should be treated with compassion.

“Many faith communities share a common tenet of compassion, justice and caring for those who society have placed on the margins. The expansion of Jacksonville’s Human Rights Ordinance 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.”

Reverend Regina Jackson, Restoration of Truth Ministries, echoed this sentiment.

“I believe every faith has the tenet of love. It is love that calls our community of faith leaders to unite against discrimination. I am grateful to stand with other faith leaders for fairness.”

Our coalition of Spiritual Leaders for Equality is always accepting new members. If you would like to use your voice to serve our movement to pass the #JaxHRO, click here to sign our faith pledge.

To view a complete list of coalition members, click here. And if you would like to read more stories from our coalition members, click here.