Faith Leaders of Iowa for the Equality Act

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Dear Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst,

As clergy and faith leaders across Iowa, we believe all people are inherently equal and should be treated with respect and dignity. That is why we believe we must do everything in our power to make sure that Iowa is a safe place to live, work, and raise a family for all people, including members of the LGBTQ community.

We are calling upon our congressional leaders to pass comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for all states across the nation, which will fortify our existing laws to protect LGBTQ Iowans from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. LGBTQ people are our friends, neighbors, family, and coworkers. Without comprehensive federal protections, LGBTQ people in our state remain vulnerable when they travel or cross state lines.

We recognize the harm caused to many in our community by this lack of protections and want to ensure that no one is fired from a job, denied housing, or refused service simply because of who they are or who they love. We share the fundamental belief that we are all called to treat others with the respect we desire for ourselves. We refuse to let opponents of equality erroneously paint communities of faith as opponents of progress, or equality itself.

The truth is that recent polling shows that strong majorities of all major American religious groups support nondiscrimination laws that protect LGBTQ people. Our faith traditions teach us that we must love others as much as we love ourselves. This shared principle of faith is what compels us to speak out and demand that we afford the same protections to LGBTQ Americans as we do everyone else.

As clergy and faith leaders, we call upon you, Senator Chuck Grassley and Senator Joni Ernst, to support the Equality Act ensuring equal protections that every person deserves.

Signed,

  1. Elder Rebecca Blair, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Iowa City, Presbytery of East Iowa
  2. Rev. Tim Button-Harrison, Church of the Brethren, Ames, District Executive, Northern Plains District
  3. Rev. Kendy Miller, United Church of Christ, Urbandale, Iowa Conference United Church of Christ
  4. Connie Ryan, Des Moines, Executive Director, lnterfaith Alliance of Iowa
  5. Rev. Jacquline Saxon, American Baptist Churches, USA, Urbandale, Mid-American Baptist Churches of Iowa and Minnesota
  6. Rev. Brigit Stevens, United Church of Christ, Des Moines, Executive Conference Minister; Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota UCC Conferences
  7. Rev. Marsha Acord, United Methodist, Mount Vernon,
  8. Rev. Alejandro Alfaro-Santiz, United Methodist, Des Moines, Trinity Las Americas UMC
  9. Rev. Katie Alley, Reformed Church in America, Pella,
  10. Minister Christine Anders, United Methodist, Des Moines,
  11. Rev. Jerry Avise-Rouse, United Methodist, Fairfield, Fairfield First United Methodist Church
  12. Rev. Mara Bailey, United Methodist, Indianola,
  13. Rev. Dr. Beverlee Bell, United Methodist, Urbandale, Walnut Hills United Methodist
  14. Pastor Bill Bernau, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Johnston, Saint James Lutheran Church
  15. Rabbi Linda Bertenthal, Reform Judaism, Davenport, Temple Emanuel
  16. Rev. Anna Blaedel, United Methodist, Iowa City, Wesley Center at the University of Iowa
  17. Rev. Rodney Bluml, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Anamosa,
  18. Pastor David Borger Germann, Non-denominational, Iowa City,
  19. Rev. Minna Bothwell, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Des Moines, Capitol Hill Lutheran Church
  20. Rev. Dr. Nicola Bowler, Episcopal, Des Moines, St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral
  21. Rev. Kenneth E. Briggs Jr., United Church of Christ, Truro, Truro United Church of Christ
  22. Rev. Candice Brown, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Des Moines,
  23. Rev. Mary Jane Button-Harrison, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Ames,
  24. Rev. Brian Carter, United Methodist, Windsor Heights,
  25. Rev. Owen Cayton, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Ankeny, Ankeny Christian Church
  26. Pastor John Chaplin, United Church of Christ, Des Moines,
  27. Rev. Dr. Gary Chapman, United Church of Christ, Burlington, Retired Pastor, Zion United Church of Christ
  28. Rev. Kathleen Clark, United Methodist, Des Moines,
  29. Rev. Le Anne Clausen de Montes, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Mason City, Iowa Faith Leadership Network/ Center for Faith and Peacemaking
  30. Rev. Mary Cole-Duvall, Episcopal, West Des Moines, St. Timothy’s Episcopal
  31. Jerry Collell, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Mediapolis, Immanuel Mediapolis
  32. Eloise Cranke, United Methodist, Des Moines, Coordinator, Methodist Federation for Social Action, Iowa Chapter
  33. Charles Crawley, Episcopal, Cedar Rapids, Inter-Religious Council of Linn County
  34. Rev. Leslie Dalstra, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Fort Madison, First Christian Church
  35. Rev. Jean Davis, Episcopal, Des Moines,
  36. Rev. Katie Dawson, United Methodist, Des Moines,
  37. Rev. Dr. William Daylong, United Methodist, Cedar Rapids, Iowa United Methodist Church
  38. Rev. Cristen Decious, United Methodist, Urbandale, Walnut Hills United Methodist
  39. Rev. Patricia Decker, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Cedar Rapids,
  40. Rev. Maureen Doherty, Episcopal, Albuquerque, St. Luke’s
  41. Pastor Ryan Downing, United Church of Christ, Muscatine, Faith United Church of Christ
  42. Rev. Elizabeth Duff Popplewell, Episcopal, Cedar Falls, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
  43. Rev. Rhea Jean Evanson, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Marion,
  44. Rev. Emily Ewing, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Des Moines, Trinity las Americas United Methodist Church
  45. Rev. Dr. John Fairweather, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Des Moines,
  46. Judy Frantz, Episcopal, Marion, President, Daughters of the King Organization
  47. Rev. Kathryn Franzenburg, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Cedar Rapids,
  48. Rev. Dr. Fred Gee, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Des Moines,
  49. Rev. David Glenn-Burns, United Methodist, Cedar Falls, ThreeHouse Collaborative Campus Ministry
  50. Rev. Lisa Grace, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Altoona,
  51. Rev. Debra Griffin, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Des Moines, Downtown Disciples
  52. Sr. Elaine Hagedorn, Roman Catholic, Des Moines,
  53. Sr. Jeanie Hagedorn, Roman Catholic, Des Moines, CHMs
  54. Rev. Jennifer Hall, Metropolitan Community Churches, Des Moines,
  55. Rev. Suzanne Hall Stout, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Urbandale, New Beginnings Christian Church
  56. Rev. Dr. Jennifer Harvey, American Baptist Churches, USA, Des Moines,
  57. Pastor Willa Heaberlin, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Pleasantville, Woodburn Christian Church
  58. Rev. Craig Henderson, United Church of Christ, Denver, Saint Paul United Church of Christ
  59. Rev. Rich Hendricks, Metropolitan Community Churches, Davenport, Metro Community Church QC
  60. Rev. Deb Hill-Davis, Unity, Ames, Unity Church of Ames
  61. Rev. Rebecca Hinds, Unitarian Universalist, Cedar Rapids, Peoples Church
  62. Rabbi Esther Hugenholtz, Reform and Conservative Judaism, Coralville, Agudas Achim Congregation
  63. Rev. Paul Johnson, United Church of Christ, Des Moines,
  64. Rev. Kirsten Klepfer, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Grinnell, First Presbyterian Church, Grinnell
  65. Robin Kline, Intentional Eucharistic Community, Des Moines, Des Moines Intentional Eucharistic Community
  66. Pastor Steven Knudson, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Cedar Rapids, First Lutheran Church
  67. Chaplain Kay Kopatich, Roman Catholic, Des Moines,
  68. Rev. Carmen Lampe Zeitler, American Baptist Churches, USA, Des Moines,
  69. Gina MacRae, Des Moines,
  70. Rev. Jessica Margrave Schirm, United Church of Christ, Grinnell,
  71. Rev. Sophie Mathonnet-Vanderwell, Reformed Church in America, Pella, Second Reformed Church
  72. Rev. Sean McRoberts, United Methodist, Iowa City,
  73. Rev. Alison Nicoll, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Ankeny, Ankeny Christian Church
  74. Rev. Nate Nims, United Methodist, Des Moines, Grace United Methodist
  75. Rev. Michael Omundson, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Altoona, Ira United Church
  76. Rev. Jessica Paulsen, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Corning, First Presbyterian Church of Corning
  77. Rev. Dr. Ruth Ratliff, Episcopal, Cedar Falls, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
  78. Rev. Julia Rendon, United Church of Christ, Indianola, Crossroads United Church of Christ
  79. Rev. Craig Robertson, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Des Moines, Capitol Hill Christian Church (DOC)
  80. Rev. Melody Rockwell, Episcopal, Cedar Rapids,
  81. Rev. Ryan Russell, United Methodist, Urbandale, Walnut Hills United Methodist Church
  82. Rev. Medea Saunders, United Methodist, Indianola, Center Chapel UMC
  83. Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw, Unitarian Universalist, West Des Moines, First Unitarian Church Des Moines
  84. Rev. David Shogren, United Methodist, Johnston,
  85. Rev. David Sickelka, United Church of Christ, Urbandale, Urbandale United Church of Christ
  86. Kati Sircy, Intentional Eucharistic Community, Des Moines,
  87. Rev. Jeanie Smith, Episcopal, West Des Moines, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church
  88. Rev. Gary Sneller, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Cedar Rapids,
  89. Pastor Patricia Stalter, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Woodward,
  90. Rev. Loren Strait, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Des Moines,
  91. Rev. Gayle V. Strickler, Jr., United Church of Christ, Grinnell,
  92. Pastor LeAnn Stubbs, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Des Moines, Plymouth Church
  93. Rev. Carol Sundberg, United Methodist, Cedar Rapids,
  94. Rabbi Todd Thalblum, Reform Judaism, Cedar Rapids, Temple Judah
  95. Pastor Rachel Thorson Mithelman, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Des Moines,
  96. Pastor Heather Wachendorf, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Des Moines,
  97. Rev. Meg Wagner, Episcopal, Iowa City, Beloved Community Initiative
  98. Rev. Kate West, United Church of Christ, Council Bluffs, St. John’s United Church of Christ
  99. Rev. Paris White, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Lisbon,
  100. Pastor Nathan Willard, United Church of Christ, Ankeny, Ankeny United Church of Christ
  101. Rev. Dr. Ritva Williams, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Cedar Rapids, St Stephen’s Lutheran Church
  102. Chaplain Ken Winter, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Davenport,
  103. Rev. Paul Witmer, United Church of Christ, Des Moines, Women at the Well, UMC
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