Michigan Faith Leaders Call for LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Protections

In January 2021 Inclusive Justice, a statewide coalition of faith and community leaders advocating for LGBTQ equality, announced that 200 religious leaders, from Detroit to Marquette, added their names to a statement calling on Michigan’s elected officials to pass comprehensive federal and statewide LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections.

Statement: Michigan Faith Leaders Against Discrimination

As faith leaders, we believe we must do everything in our power to make sure that Michigan is a safe place to live, work, and raise a family for all people, including members of the LGBTQ community. That’s why we are calling on our elected leaders to pass comprehensive nondiscrimination protections, updating our state’s existing laws to protect LGBTQ Michiganders from discrimination in employment, housing, and public spaces.

LGBTQ people are our friends, neighbors, family and coworkers. We are all God’s children and we all deserve to go about our daily lives without the fear of discrimination. But right now, Michigan’s lack of comprehensive protections leave LGBTQ people in our state vulnerable to discrimination. We recognize the harm caused to our community by this lack of protections ensuring that no one is fired from a job, denied housing, or refused service simply because of who they are or who they love.

Despite our diversity of faith traditions and backgrounds, we share the fundamental belief that we are all called to treat others with the respect we desire for ourselves. We encourage our fellow clergy, our elected officials, and indeed all people of faith to join us in this public commitment to equality, respect and justice for all by supporting full LGBTQ protections.

Voices of Michigan Faith Leaders

Bishop Perry

“I am honored to see my name alongside faith leaders I admire from every corner of the state, because it is well past time for Michigan to be a place where everyone can thrive, no matter who they are. This letter is a commitment from all of us to keep pushing forward for LGBTQ freedom and dignity, and change is possible in 2021.”
– The Rt. Rev. Dr. Bonnie A. Perry, Bishop of Michigan in the Episcopal Church

Rev. Roland Stringfellow

“Religious support of nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people demonstrates that religious and civil liberties are not contradictory forces. The lack of protections causes harm to our LGBTQ neighbors. Legislators must have the moral imperative to protect and uphold the sacred dignity and worth of all Michiganders.”
– Rev. Dr. Roland Stringfellow, chair of Inclusive Justice

Rabbi Moskowitz

“I am joining a chorus of diverse faith voices united by the fundamental belief that all human beings are created b’tzelem Elohim, in the Divine image. That is why we must treat all God’s children with the same respect that we desire for ourselves.”
– Rabbi Michael L. Moskowitz, Temple Shir Shalom

Rev. Dr. Walter Cheeks

“I’m proud to join more than 170 faith leaders across Michigan in signing onto a new letter calling for LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination protections. We need to be sending a unified message to our elected officials that no one should face mistreatment because of who they are.”
– Rev. Dr. Walter Cheeks, Pastor of New St. Peters Missionary Baptist Church

All Signers: Michigan Faith Leaders Against Discrimination

Rev. Jennifer Adams
Holland

Rabbi Sara Adler
Ann Arbor

Hattie Alexander-Key
Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit • Detroit

Rabbi Alana Alpert
Detroit

Mair Alsgaard
St Johns Episcopal Midland • Midland

Rev. Neal Anderson
UU Church of Greater Lansing • Lansing

Rev. Lindsey Anderson
Love Rising Lutheran Church • Detroit

Dr. Krista Anderson
Holland

Margo Atwell
First Congregational Church UCC • Muskegon

Rev. Rachel Bahr
Plymouth UCC Grand Rapids • Grand Rapids

Dr. Norma Bailey
UU Fellowship of Central Michigan • Mount Pleasant

Rev. Dr. Diane Baker
Bethel United Church of Christ • Clarkston

Rev. Brad Bartelmay
First United Methodist Church • Holland

John Baumgartner
Edgewood United Church • East Lansing

Rev. Mandy Beal
Bloomfield Hills

Joshua Berg
Northwest Unitarian Universalist • Southfield

Rev. Nicolas Berlanga
Ann Arbor First UMC • Ann Arbor

Deacon Ethan Best
Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit • Wyandotte

Roberta Betts
St. Joseph

Rayna Bick
Grand Blanc

Rebecca Bierma
Holland

Rabbi Amy Bigman
Congregation Shaarey Zedek • East Lansing

Randy Block
Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church • Royal Oak

Rev. Matthew Bode
Zion Lutheran Church • Ferndale

Rev. Jeremy Bork
Westminster • Grand Rapids

Rev. Adrain Bowie
Breath Of Life Spiritual Center MCC • Saginaw

Harold E. Bragg
Coloma

Rev. Julie Brock
Community UU’s in Brighton • Detroit

Sr Susan Brooks
St. David’s/Southfield • Lathrup Village

Sehoy Brown
Grand Haven

Rev. Sarah Van Zetten Bruins
Grand Rapids

Vicki Buckner
Breath of Life MCC • White Lake

Leonetta Bugleisi
UUChurch of Farmington • Sterling Heights

Wayne Burling
First Congregational UCC, Ypsilanti • Plymouth

Rabbi Nadav Caine
Beth Israel Congregation • Ann Arbor

Rev. Dr. Katherine Carlson
All Saints Episcopal Church • East Lansing

Rev. Elizabeth Carroll
Holland

Rev. Dr. Walter Cheeks
New St Peters MB Church • Detroit

Emmy Lou Cholak
Beth Shalom and UU Grand Trav. • Traverse City

Rev. Alex Clark
Emmanuel Lutheran Church • Ypsilanti

Jill Conrad

Rev. Julie Cowie
South Haven

Rev. Deborah Cox
Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit • Waterford

Rabbi Yoni Dahlen
Congregation Shaarey Zedek • Southfield

Rev. Dr. William Danaher
Christ Church Cranbrook • Bloomfield Hills

Rev. Nathan Dannison
Kalamazoo

Mary De Ridder
FUMC • Holland

Rabbi Nate DeGroot
Detroit

Deacon Karen Dillaman
MCC Detroit • Gross Pointe Woods

Rev. Tania Dozeman
Holland

Barbara Eglinton
UU of Farmington Hills • Farmington Hills

Miriam Epskamp
UU Community Church of SWMI • KALAMAZOO

Rabbi Jeffrey Falick
Birmingham Temple Cong. for Humanistic Judaism • Royal Oak

Rev. Ruth Fitzgerald
Grand Rapids

Natalie Fitzpatrick
Rochester

Ann-Patrice Foley
Unitarian Universalist of Farmington, Michigan • Westland

Rev. Tom Fox
Sycamore Creek Church, Lansing • Haslett

Deacon Michelle Fox-Phillips
MCCD • Warren

Rev. Andrew Frantz
UU Fellowship of Central Michigan • Mount Pleasant

Kim French
The LightHouse “Church Without Walls” • Mt. Morris

Rev. Sara Freudenburg
Trinity • Ann Arbor

Rev. Elizabeth Friedman
Lord of Light Lutheran Church/Lutheran Campus Ministry • Ann Arbor

Rev. Dan Furman
Hudsonville

Nancy Gilpin
Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship • Stevensville

W Clark Gilpin
Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship • Stevensville

Rabbi Moshe Givental

Rev. Susan Greenwood
Coloma

Rev Dr Lorraine Grinnell
Salem United Church of Christ • Jackson

Rev. Dr. Andrew Guffey
St. Mary’s In-The-Hills Episcopal Church • Lake Orion

Pastor Roger Harms
Dexter

Rev. Dr. Cathy Harrington
UU Congregation of Grand Traverse • Traverse City

Rev. James Harrison
St. John’s • Midland

Rev. Cassandra Hartley
First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor • ANN ARBOR

Rev. Laurie Hartzell
Grand Rapids

Beverly Hawkes
Saugatuck

Rev. Ruth Hawley-Lowry
Zeeland

Dr. MaryAnn Hergenrother
First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor • Ann Arbor

Rev. Robert A Higle
Plymouth Congregational Church of Greater Lansing • Lansing

Rev. Ken Hitch
St John’s Episcopal Church • Midland

Rev. Jacqueline Holdsworth
Chelsea

Rev. Jeffrey Hubers

Barb Iovan
Livonia

Rev. Dr. Wes Jamison
Grand Rapids

Corinna Johnson
Bethel United Church of Christ • White Lake Charter Township

Rev. Dr. Jay Johnson
All Saints Episcopal Church • Saugatuck

Linda Karle-Nelson
Christ the King, Detroit • Farmington Hills

Sandra Karolak
UUCF • Beverly Hills

Rev. Jerry Kerr
UU Congregation of Flint • Flint

Rabbi Joe Klein
Rochester

Elizabeth Knight
UU Farmington • West Bloomfield

Dr. Joseph Kuilema
Grand Rapids

Bethany La Fleur
Berrien Unitarian Universalist Fellowship • Saint Joseph

Pastor Liz Larrivee
Ypsilanti First Congregational UCC • Ypsilanti

Katharine Lion
St. Joseph

Rev. Rachel Lonberg
Kalamazoo

Rabbi Asher Lopatin
Kehillat Etz Chayim • Huntington Woods

Rev. Vicky Lovell
Zion Lutheran Church • Ann Arbor

Rev. Gy Ludvig-McCartney
Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Southwest Michigan • Portage

Deacon Christopher Mann
Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit • Ferndale

Rev. Andrea Martin
Holy Faith Church • Saline

Rev. Dr. Pastor Selma Massey
WHOSOEVER Ministry, Inc • Detroit

Deacon Paul Mattson
Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit • Farmington

Eleanore Maurer
Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship • Lanse

Rev. Steph Maxson
Flint

Vicki McGaffigan
Bay de Noc Unitarian Universalist • Escanaba

Audrey McMullen
Petoskey

Rev. Dr. Donna McNiel
Canterbury MSU • East Lansing

Rev. Dr. Scott Miller
Drayton Presbyterian Church • Berkley

Rabbi Jason Miller
Adat Shalom Synagogue • West Bloomfield

Rev. Manish Mishra-Marzetti
First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor • Ann Arbor

Paul Mitchell
Houghton

Rich Mitterling
West Benton Church • Charlotte

Rev. Carolyn Mobley-Bowie
Breath of Life Spiritual Center MCC • Saginaw

Dr. Christine Modey
St. Clare of Assisi Episcopal Church • Ann Arbor

Rev. Dr. Sid Mohn
Baroda

Jim Moir
Northwest UU Church • Dearborn Heights

Peter Moore
Greenfield Presbyterian • Royal Oak

Rabbi Michael Moskowitz
Temple Shir Shalom • West Bloomfield

Rev. Mike Mulberry
St. John’s UCC, Jackson • Sawyer

Dr. Linda Naranjo-Huebl
Grand Rapids

Thomas Nelson
Christ the King • Farmington Hills

Rev. Dr. Julie Nemecek
Plymouth Congregational • Kentwood

Rev. Kim Newport
First Congregational, UCC Romeo • Romeo

DK Nilan
UUCF • Farmington

Rabbi Ora Nitkin-Kaner
Ann Arbor Reconstructionist Congregation •

Kim Nowack
UU Congregation of Petoskey • Petoskey

Cynthia Omans
Community of Christ • Waterford

Rev. Louise Ott
Congregational Church of Birmingham, UCC • Lathrup Village

Rev. Roger Pancost
United Church of Christ, Midland, Michgian • Midland

Dr. Joan Parker
First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor • Jackson

Josh Parks
Holland

Tami Parks
Holland

Rev. Rich Peacock
Troy First United Methodist Church • Sterling Heights

Bishop Bonnie A. Perry
Episcopal Diocese of Michigan • Detroit

Mark Petrie
Universalist Unitarian Church of Farmington • Westland

Karen Prins
Holland

Ms. Joan Ramsay
UUCF • Northville

Kathleen Reid
Bethel United Church of Christ • White Lake Charter Township

Faith Robinson Renner
Temple Emanu’El • SOUTHFIELD

Vicki Ricca
Breath of Life MCC • White Lake

Rev. Jonathan Riedel
Newaygo

Jennifer Ringgold
United Church of Christ, Midland • Midland

Pastor Jessica Rivera-Walker
Holland

Rev. Christopher Roe
Grand Rapids

Rev. Melissa Anne Rogers
First Presbyterian Church • Ann Arbor

Rev. Dr. Bruce Roller
Grand Rapids

George Rourk
Universalist Unitarian Church of Farmington • Novi

Pastor Ed Rowe
Central United Methodist Church Detroit • Detroit

Jennifer Russell
Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church • Detroit

Rev. Jill Russsell
Holland

Patrick Sanders
SS Simon and Jude • Canton

Jacilyn Sanders
Faith Christian Community Church • Marysville

Rev. Salvatore Sapienza
Douglas

Rabbi Simone Schicker
Kalamazoo

Pastor Robert Schmidt
Zion and Our Saviour • Freeland

Rev. Sarah Schmidt-Lee
KALAMAZOO

Rev. Robert Schoenhals
Ferndale First United Methodist Church • Ferndale

Jane Schuyler
Zeeland

Rabbi Daniel Schwartz
Temple Shir Shalom • Bloomfield Township

Rev. Eric Severson
UU Fellowship of Midland, MI • Midland

Cindy Short
The LightHouse “Church Without Walls” • Mt. Morris

Kathy M Silver
New Hope UU Congregation • Dexter

Rev. Dr. Gail Simonds
Divine Peace Metropolitan Community Church • Keego Harbor

Laverne Simpson
Affirming Love Ministries • Detroit

Rabbi Arnie Sleutelberg
Congregation Beth Shalom of Traverse City, Congregation Shir Tikvah • Traverse City

Loretta Smith
Holland

Pastor Marcelle Smith
Second Baptist Church • Bay City

Roland Smith
MCCDetroit • Farmington

Rev. Dr. Timothy Spannaus
St John’s Episcopal Church • Lathrup Vlg

Rev. Lynette Sparks
Westminster Presbyterian Church • GRAND RAPIDS

Rev. Colleen Squires
Grand Rapids

Rev. LuAnne Stanley Hook
First United Methodist Church of Holland • West Olive

Rabbi Aaron Starr
Congregation Shaarey Zedek • Southfield

Barbara Stevenson
NWUU • Detroit

Rev. Linda Stoner
EnVivo Church • Grand Rapids

Rev. Dr. Roland Stringfellow
MCC Detroit • Detroit

Rev. Joseph Summers
Church of the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation • Ann Arbor

Carol Tanis
Plymouth United Church of Christ • Jenison

Candi Tomlinson
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Michigan • Mount Pleasant

Jim Toy
Ann Arbor

Rabbi Jenna Turow
MSU Hillel • East Lansing

Gloria Tweadey
UUCF • Farmington Hills

Rev. Todd Van Grouw
Holland

Rev. Paul Van Kempen
Holland

Rev. Kelly VanBrouwer

James VanderMolen
Grand Rapids

Peter VanDessel
Grand Rapids

Pastor Danielle Veenstra
South Haven

Ann Weller
Holland

Rev. Mike Wernick
Two Churches • Kentwood

Rev. Dr. David Wheeler
Rockford

Professor Mike Whitty
Birmingham

Rev. Dr. Gordon Wiersma
Holland

Rev. Eric Williams

Rev. Bethany Joy Winn
Grand Rapids

Rabbi Ari Witkin
Bloomfield Hills

Rev. Dr. Weldon Frederick Wooden
Grand Rapids

Rabbi Paul Yedwab
Temple Israel • West Bloomfield

Rabbi Jeremy Yoskowitz
Farmington Hills

Faith Leaders, Add Your Name!