Indiana Faith Leaders Tell Congress to Pass The Equality Act

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Dear Senators,

Our faith teaches us that all people are created with sacred dignity and worth and that we must respect and love others in our words, and as importantly, through our actions and laws. In a nation that does not protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination, it is impossible for us to live into these universal truths that transcend our faith traditions.

Now is the time to update our federal laws to ensure LGBTQ+ Americans are no longer at risk of being fired from a job, refused a place to live, denied service in a place of business, or withheld critical medical care because of who they are or who they love. As people of faith and as Hoosiers, we call on Congress to remedy these everyday injustices by passing the Equality Act.

Our voices and faith teachings are diverse, but we are united in the belief that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is unjust and immoral. The Equality Act ensures equal protection for all people, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity, which are inherent parts of every human being.

Not only does the Equality Act protect LGBTQ+ people, it reaffirms our fundamental right to practice our faith openly and freely. That right is enshrined in our Constitution, and we could not sign this letter earnestly if we believed the Equality Act would jeopardize our religious freedom.

When our founders wrote about the fundamental rights of “ life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” they intended for us to live in a pluralistic society; we should not use our freedom of religion to harm or discriminate against others who do not share our values.

Far too often, faith has been used as a weapon to justify discrimination. As people of faith, it may seem counterintuitive, but we must relentlessly protect those who believe differently than we do if we intend to live together as caring, loving neighbors.

To accomplish that, we must act now to update our federal laws to ensure that LGBTQ+ people wake each morning in a nation where they are protected from discrimination at work, in school, in public places and within our health care system—as others who already have that assurance.

As people of faith, we urge Congress to support the Equality Act.

Signed,

Associate Regional Minister Carolyn Reed, Mccordsville, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indiana
Vernon Adams, Indianapolis, Indianapolis Central Christian Church
Fr. Charles Allen, Indianapolis, GraceUnlimited (Episcopal/Lutheran campus ministry at Butler University)
Libby Anderson, Indianapolis, Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity
Deaconess Ann Baas, Valparaiso, Trinity Lutheran Church
Ms. Sharon Baker, Goshen, Anabaptist
Usher LaWanda R. Barbary, Indianapolis, Emmanuel Christian Fellowship COGIC And Fountain Of Word And Worship
Rabbi Meir Bargeron, Fort Wayne, Congregation Achduth Vesholom
Rev. Mary Bargiel, Indianapolis, St David’s Episcopal Church
Rev. Doug Bauder, Bloomington, St. Thomas Lutheran Church
Other Dr. Matthias Beier, Indianapolis, Fairfield Friends
Rev. Dr. Joanna Benskin, Evansville, The Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis
Howard Benson, Kennard, Howard Benson
Rev. Jeffrey Bessler, Richmond, Episcopal Church
Lay leader Kathy Black, Mishawaka, Mishawaka First UMC
Rev. Jeffrey Bower, Indianapolis, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Pastor Kevin Bowers, Lafayette, Bethany Presbyterian Church
Rev. Joe Bradley, New Albany, Park Christian Church
Elizabeth Brandt, Indianapolis, St. Luke’s United Methodist church
Rev. Patrick Burke, FISHERS, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Christa Cartwright, Fort Wayne, First Christian Church
Rev. Douglas Chamberlain, Shelbyville, Spiritualist Church of Indianapolis
John Cheney, Muncie, Anderson Church of the Brethren
Sarah Clevenger, Huntington, Seminary UMC, Roanoke, IN
Rabbi Karen Companez, South Bend, Temple Beth-El
Rev. Darren Cushman Wood, Indianapolis, North UMC
Rev. Dr. Christina Davis, Indianapolis, CTS
Father Andrew Downs, Terre Haute, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
Rabbi Karen Fanwick, West Lafayette, Temple Israel
The Rev Mark Feather, Louisville, St. Paul’s Church New Albany
Rev Melissa Fisher, Fort Wayne, Faith United Methodist
Rev. Daniel Gangler, Indianapolis, Calvary Church Brownsburg
Rev. William Gatewood, Indianapolis, Truevine missionary Baptist Church
Mrs. Eunice Gautsche, Goshen, Belmont Church
The Rev Bruce Gray, Fishers, Holy Family Episcopal Church
Dr. Leah Gunning Francis, Indianapolis, Christian Theological Seminary
Rev. Dr. Richard Hamm, Indianapolis, Central Christian Church
Rabbi Michael Harvey, Battle Ground, IU Health
Rev John Hawkins, Whiteland, Risen Lord Lutheran, Bargersville IN
David Heim, Winona Lake, Warsaw First United Methodist Church
Rev. Dr. Mary Hooten Bivens, Muncie, Spiritualist
Raymond Horton, Floyds Knobs, Edwardsville UMC
Rev. Sarah Jay, Crawfordsville, First Christian Church
Rev. Dr. Felicity Kelcourse, Indianapolis, Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis
Rabbi Justin Kerber, Carmel, Beth Shalom
Rev. Dr. Bill Kincaid, Indianapolis, Allisonville Christian Church
Pastor Tim Knauff, Valparaiso, Christ Lutheran Church
Andrea Kruszynski, Indianapolis, Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis
Mx. Grace Kujak, Fort Wayne, Grace Gathering
Brother Jesse Langdon, Columbus, Fort Wayne B’ahai Community
Rev. Dr. Amy Lindeman Allen, Brownsburg, Christian Theological Seminary
Rev., Retired Dianne Mansfield, Terre Haute, Central Christian ChurchChristian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Coordinator of Middle School Ministries Tom Markey, Indianapolis, Second Presbyterian Church
Deaconess Josephine Mayfield king, New Albany, St Paul Corydon
Rabbi Gary Mazo, Evansville, Temple Adath B’nai Israel
Linda McCrae, Indianapolis, Central Christian Church
Rev. Dr., President David Mellott, Indianapolis, Christian Theological Seminary
Chaplain Michael Mercer, Shelbyville, Community Hospice
Rev. Dr. Charles Miller, Avon, National Road Ministries
Lindsey Mintz, Indianapolis, Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council
Rev. Dr. Richard W Moman, Indianapolis, Bethel UMC
Fred Moon, Indianapolis, The Church Within
Rev. David Neuen, Plainfield, University Heights United Methodist Church
Rev. Dr., Bishop John Newbauer, Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne
Pastor Kisha Parker, Fishers, Liberation Church
Ms. Elise Pentz, Indianapolis, Trinity Episcopal
Rev. Adam Pierce, Indianapolis, Trinity Episcopal Church
Ms. Jane Pitz, South Bend, Church of Loretto
Janet Rhoades, North Manchester, Manchester Church of the Brethren
Miss Katharine Rich, Noblesville, First United Methodist
Professor Shawn Royer, Indianapolis, Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation
Ms Barb Rumple, Corydon, Corydon Presbyterian Church
Mark Russell, West Lafayette, First United Methodist Church, W. Lafayette,
Rabbi Dennis Sasso, Indianapolis, Congregation Beth-El Zedeck
Rabbi Sandy Sasso, Carmel, Women4Change
Rev. Cathy Scott, Indianapolis, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church
Rev. Beth Scriven, Brownsburg, Good Samaritan Episcopal Church
Rabbi Benjamin Sendrow, Carmel, Congregation Shaarey Tefilla
Rev. Brian Shivers, Indianapolis, Second Presbyterian Church
Rev. Brian Shivers, Indianapolis, Second Presbyterian Church
Mary Slenski, Indianapolis, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Indianapolis
Dr. William E. Smalley, Noblesville, Trinity Episcopal Church
Rev. Whitney Smith, Indianapolis, St. Thomas, Franklin, IN
Albert Snyder, Fort Wayne, Trinity Episcopal Church
The Rev. Cara Spaccarelli, Carmel, St. Christopher’s Episcopal
Ms. Paula Spart, South Bend, Islamic Society of Michiana
Rev. Diane Spleth, Indianapolis, Allisonville Christian Church
Mrs. James Stackhouse, PERU, First Presbyterian Church of Peru IN.
Alex Stone, Indianapolis, Speedway UNC
Hannah Strayhorn, Winona Lake, First Presbyterian Church of Fort Wayne
Joan Stuby, Connersville, St. Gabriel
Gale Stutz, Indianapolis, Franklin Central Christian Church
Mary Taflinger, Lawrenceburg Trinity Episcopal Church
The Rev. Chana Tetzlaff, Indianapolis, St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, Carmel, IN
Rev. Donald Treadwell, Indianapolis, Progressive Spiritualist Church
Rev Sarah Tuttle, Cromwell, Rock Church
Rev. Kristin Uffelman White, Indianapolis, Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis
Rabbi Lew Weiss, Indianapolis, Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, Beth El Zedek
Judy Weitzman, Carmel, Congregation Beth Shalom
Aaron Welcher, Indianapolis, Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council
Rev. Rev Karen Weldy, Indianapolis, Northview Church of the Brethren
Rev Julia Whitworth, Indianapolis, Trinity Episcopal Church
Ms. Claudia Wilch, Indianapolis, Methodist Church
Charles Wiles, Indianapolis, Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church
Rev. Kirsteen Wilkinson, Indianapolis, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
Rev. Mollie Williams, Indianapolis, Trinity Episcopal Church, Indianapolis
Rev. Brent Wright, Indianapolis, Community Hospital East
Fatima Yakubu-Madus, Indianapolis, Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis