North Carolina Faith Leaders Urge Lawmakers to Support LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Protections

Sign the Pledge Jump to Signers

Dear Lawmakers,

As faith leaders, we believe we must do everything in our power to make North Carolina a safe place to live, work, and raise a family for all people, including members of the LGBTQ+ community. That is why we call on our state and federal elected leaders to pass comprehensive nondiscrimination protections, and to update existing laws to protect LGBTQ+ North Carolinians from discrimination in employment, housing, public spaces, health care, education, credit, insurance, jury service, and more.

LGBTQ+ people are our friends, neighbors, and family members. We are all God’s children. We all deserve to go about our daily lives without the fear of discrimination. Yet, right now, North Carolina’s lack of comprehensive protections leaves LGBTQ+ people in our state vulnerable to discrimination. For LGBTQ+ people of color who are additionally subjected to racism, the impacts of discrimination are often multiplied.

These protections are more important than ever as North Carolinians grapple with the far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fear of discrimination in healthcare settings may prevent LGBTQ+ people from seeking testing or treatment for COVID-19. And as thousands of North Carolinians struggle to pay rent or mortgages because of the sudden recession, laws prohibiting anti-LGBTQ+ housing discrimination are critical.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 is not all that we as North Carolinians are managing. We are still dealing with the consequences of 2016’s anti-transgender “bathroom bill,” HB-2, and the bungled attempt at a solution, HB-142, which have made North Carolina the most notorious name in anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination. While HB 142 sunsets in late 2020 and municipal leaders are free again to pass local ordinances, we know this is not a solution for so many North Carolinians. We need federal protections against discrimination, without religious exemptions.

We recognize the harm caused to all of North Carolina by this anti-LGBTQ+ reputation and 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. Our economy and our values are diminished when discrimination is the law of the land.

Across our diversity of faith traditions and backgrounds, we share the fundamental belief that we are all called to treat others with the respect and dignity we desire for ourselves. We encourage our fellow faith leaders, 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.

Signed,

Reverend Jacob Pierce, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
Rev. Dr. Stephen Stacks, Greenwood Forest Baptist Church
Pastor Jill Alventosa-Brown, United Methodist
Jennifer Jarrell, QC Family Tree
Sister Bonnie Clark, Everywhere
Reverend Jennifer Shimota Krushas, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary
Pastor Kimberly Dunbar, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd
Pastor Mary Lautensleger, A Mighty Fortress Lutheran
Pastor Emily Hartner, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
Pastor Sarah Woodard, St. Titus’ Episcopal Church
Pastor Diane Faires Beadle, St. Paul’s Christian Church
Reverend Jennifer Copeland, North Carolina Council of Churches
Rev Dr. Nancy Petty, Pullen Memorial Baptist Church
Reverend Leigh Wisner, Forest Hills Presbyterian Church
Pastor Danielle DeNise, St John’s, Salisbury
Vicar Jonathan Pucik, Galloway Memorial Episcopal Church (Elkin)
Pastor J.P. Bolick, Clarks Chapel
Pastor Ben Sloan, Central United Methodist Church
Pastor Cade Barefoot, Dilworth UMC
Bishop Anne Hodges-Copple, Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina
Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, North Carolina Conference, United Methodist Church
Deacon Linda Zastovnik, Online
Director of Missional Engagement and Connectional Ministries Caroline Wood, Salem UMC, Bostic, NC
Elder Jessica Dayson, Myers Park UMC
Elder Valerie Rosenquist, Charlotte First UMC
Elder Lisa Hartzog Hannah, UMC
Elder Kelly Carpenter, United Methodist
Pastor Gayle Tabor, Church on Tap
Pastor Jolin McElroy, First Christian Church in Charlotte
Rev. Dawn Flynn, New Life MCC
Rev. Mary Frances Comer, Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church
Rev. William Everett, First UMC Waynesville NC
Rev. Susan Lindblade, Open Table UMC
Rev. Vance Haywood, St. John’s Metropolitan Community Church
Rev. Dr. Michelle Chappell, Dilworth UMC
Rev. Dr. Joan Saniuk, MCC Sacred Journey
Pastor Linda Linfors, At Stephen UMC
Bishop Charlene Kammerer (Retired), First United Methodist Church, Waynesville NC
Chaplain Kelley Wheat-Rivers, Kelley, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Wilmington
Deacon Kim Ingram, First UMC
Deacon Beverly Parker-Reece, United Methodist Church
Deaconess Mary Longstreth, United Methodist Church
Dr. Doug Wingeier, Central United Methodist, Asheville
Elder Nina Wynn, United Methodist
Elder Sarah Belles, Inclusion Community
Pastor Steve Daugherty, Crosspointe Church in Cary
Pastor Eric Hill, Multi location
Pastor Doug Lain, Wrightsville United Methodist
Pastor Paul Anna, Taylorsville Presbyterian Church
Pastor David Roberts, Watershed
Pastor Leonard Morton, Unifour Christian Fellowship Church
Pastor Jeremy Morris, Hendersonville First United Methodist
Pastor Andrew Shipley, Missiongathering Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Retired Elder Arthur Holland, Central UMC Shelby, NC
Retired Elder Duke Ison, Centenary UMC
Rev Rob Lee, Unifour Church
Rev Rebecca Lile, FUMC waynesville
Rev Kevin Matthews, St. Mary’s House
Rev. Jill Isola, Northminster Presbyterian Church
Rev. Ashley Calhou, Long’s Chapel UMC
Rev. Jay Leach, Unitarian Universalist Community of Charlotte
Rev. Karen Kaser-Odor, UMC
Rev. Melissa McQueen-Simmons, Wholy Ground Spiritual Center
Rev. Caitlin Lai, North Kannapolis United Methodist Church
Rev. Melissa Guthrie Loy, First Christian Church Greensboro
Amy Cantrell, Beloved Asheville
Ray McKinnon, Watershed
Carter Ellis, Green Street UMC
Sarah Howell-Miller, Green Street Church
Michelle Mathis, Olive Branch Ministry
Lowe Lowe, Olive Branch Ministry
Helen Ryde, Haywood Street Congregation
Pastor Charles Smith, Warren Chapel UMC, Blounts Creek, NC
Rev Kevin Baker-Rooks, SouthPark Christian Church
Rev Jan Thornton-Irvine, United Church of Chapel Hill
Bishop Samuel Rodman, Episcopal
Pastor Christopher Harbin, Wingate UMC
Rev Glencie Rhedrick, First Baptist Church West
Bishop Ray Chamberlain (Retired), Green st UMC
Cantor Jacqueline Marx, Pluralistic Jewish Seminary
Deacon Linda Dixon, Unity Fellowship Church Charlotte
Father Daniel Robayo, The Diocese of North Carolina
Rev Eric Reece, United Methodist Church
Rev Ryan Pulley, Soul Evolution Collaborative
Rev. Joan Grant, St John’s Episcopal Church, Asheville
Cassandra Jones, The City Nation
Budd Kirby, St. Martin’s Episcopal
Carl Kenney, Liberation Station
Brother Charlie Alexander, Trinity UM Church
Pastor Susan Parker, Winston Salem
Rev. Dr. Susan Parker, Various
Rev. Dr. Rick Miller, Ward Street UMC
Reverend Kathy Waldrep, United Church of Christ
Sister Terry Hooper-Anderson, Friendship Missionary Baptist Church
Sister Kate Kovach, The Source
Sr. Bishop Jacquelyn Holland, Unity Fellowship Church Movement
Minister Troy Reece, ULC
Rev. Adele Henderson, Elevatio.
Rev. Dr. Amy Rio, Green St UMC
Rev. Dr. Terrence Threadwell, Storehouse at Canton
Gayle Tabor, Church on Tap
Minister William Mann, THE WAY OF CHRIST HOLINESS CHURCH, CLAYTON, NC
Pastor Tom Cash, Jesus People
Rev Laura Wittman, The Mills Church
Rev. Dr. Romie Palladino, UCC
Mr. Derek Henson, At John’s Baptist Church
Rev Susan Warren,
Rev Harry Grace, Retired
Director of Youth Ministries Vicki Meigs-Kahlenberg, Saint Francis UMC
Rev Paully Adams, St. John’s MCC
Rev Jay Kennett, Hillsborough United Church of Christ
Rev. Janyce Jones, Unity Fellowship Church
Pastor Schquinta Barnette-Thompson, A Place Called Hope
Presiding Frank Massey, NC Fellowship of Friends
Rev. Bruce Handy, Marshville UMC
Rev. Karen Kaser-Odor,
Rev. Linda Veltheim, Christs church of the foothills
Sister Bonnie Clark, Unity Church of Winston-Salem
Friend Martin Doherty, Charlotte Friends Mtg.
Rev. Richard Vreeland, Winterville Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
A. Alia MacStay, Chilson Hills Church
Melissa Mummert, UU Church of Catawba Valley
Linda Whitlow, Chapel Hoisery mill
Rev. Art Smoker, First Presbyterian Church. Burnsville
Reverend Carl Johnson, New Bern
Rev Bob Renjilian,
Rabbi Salem Pearce,
Rev. Dr. Renee DuBose, Metropolitan Community Church (MCC)
Rev Karen Ziegler,
Rev. Vance Haywood, St. John’s MCC
Rev. Susan Steinberg,
Rev Ginny Wilder,
Donna Fair, Christian-Protestant
Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara,
Rev Kristin Vaughn,
Rev. Jay Hilbinger, First Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Emily Lemoine, First Lutheran Church
Rev. Dr. Maria Hanlin,
Rev. Brent Bissette,
Rev Jarrett McLaughin, University Presbyterian Church
Rabbi Fred Guttman,
Rabbi Andy Koren, Temple Emanuel
Rev. Rodney Debs, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greenville, NC
Rev. Douglas Long, Umstead ParK UCC
Rev. Denise Kilgo-Martin,
Rev. Dale Walker,
Rev. Tami Forte Logan,
Rev. Alan Sherouse,
Rev. Julie Wilson,
Rev. Dr. Kelly Roberts,
Rev. Dr. Doug Wingeier,
Mr. David Roberts, Watershed
Melba Evans, Wedgewood Community Church