Faith leaders support the Pennsylvania Values Act as a moral issue. They are from diverse backgrounds and are united in affirming all human beings in our communities, regardless of who they are or who they love.

An Open Letter from Pennsylvania Faith Leaders

Dear Members of the General Assembly,

As clergy and faith leaders from across our Commonwealth, we ardently support comprehensive LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination protections. We affirm the essential dignity and worth of each person, including our LGBT neighbors and friends. We call on you to adopt this legislation to help end the cruelty of discrimination that affects LGBT people throughout Pennsylvania.

Our faith practices teach us to seek inclusion, peace, and compassion. When LGBT Pennsylvanians are safeguarded against discrimination, our entire communities are strengthened with respect and mutual regard.

As faith leaders we are called to take a stand for those who face discrimination in repudiating acts of prejudice. Updating our nondiscrimination laws extends basic civil rights to those who too often live in fear of harm. We ask encourage our fellow clergy and indeed all people of faith to join us in this public commitment to equality, respect, and justice for all.

With a shared foundation of benevolence and understanding, we believe that it is a moral imperative to ensure all Pennsylvanians can live with dignity in their communities and be treated equally in their workplaces.

Our Commonwealth has a responsibility to our most vulnerable members. We are speaking out so that Pennsylvanians are protected in our communities regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability. We cannot stand idly by while certain Pennsylvanians are discriminated against based on who they are or who they love. To allow any person to be targeted or made unsafe is a severe violation of the fundamental principle that we are all reflections of our Creator.

Legal discrimination fuels a culture of hatred and violence. Inaction on this legislation can no longer stand. We are sending our light to those Pennsylvanians who have lived in fear and experienced the reality of discrimination.

Elie Wiesel once said, “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.”

As people of faith and Pennsylvanians, we ask you to support comprehensive LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination legislation. This is not only a decision of policy – this is a decision of moral responsibility.

Signed,

Rev. Matthew Lenahan
Pastor, Zion Lutheran Church
Akron, PA

Rev. Dr. Gary D. Weaver
Lead Pastor, Camp Hill United Methodist Church
Camp Hill, PA

Rev. Titus Clarke
Interim Pastor, ELCA
Carlisle, PA

Rev. Dr. Christopher D. Rodkey
Pastor, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ
Dallastown, PA

Rev. Mary B. Schmotzer
Pastor, Shiloh United Church of Christ
Danville, PA

Rev. Nicole Wachter
Pastor, Zion Lutheran Church
Dauphin, PA

Rev. Dr. Galen E. Russell III
Lead Pastor, Christ Church United Church of Christ
Elizabethtown, PA

Rev. Amy Shorner-Johnson
Assistant Chaplin, Elizabethtown College
Elizabethtown, PA

Rev. Dr. Herbert Sprouse
Rector, Prince of Peace Episcopal Church
Gettysburg, PA

Rev. Sharron Blezard
Assistant to the Bishop, Lower Susquehanna Synod ELCA
Harrisburg, PA

Rabbi Peter Kessler
Rabbi, Temple Ohev Sholom
Harrisburg, PA

Rt. Rev. Audrey C. Scanlan
Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania
Harrisburg, PA

Rev. Allison Spooner
Pastor, Faith Immanuel Presbyterian Church and Hope Presbyterian Church
Harrisburg, PA

Rev. Dr. Amy D. Welin
Dean, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Cathedral
Harrisburg, PA

Ken Woerthwein
Member, Harrisburg Friends Meeting
Harrisburg, PA

Rev. Clifford Johnston
Rector, Chapel of the Good Shepherd (Episcopal)
Hawk Run, PA

Rev. Tedd Cogar
Pastor, Zion Lutheran Church
Indiana, PA

Rev. John F. Hartman
Rector, Grace Episcopal Church
Kingston, PA

Sister Dottie Almoney
Deacon, St. Peter’s Lutheran
Lancaster, PA

Jeremy Graeff
Lead Organizer, Ember Faith Community
Lancaster, PA

Chaplain Gabrielle Kennedy
Pastor, Ember Faith Community
Chaplain, Lancaster General Health

Lancaster, PA

Rev. Kathryn Kuhn
Senior Pastor, Church of the Apostles United Church of Christ
Lancaster, PA

Rev. Jason M. Schwartzman
Pastor, Grace United Methodist Church
Lemoyne, PA

Rev. D. Marie Tribble
Senior Pastor, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Lemoyne, PA

Rev. Matthew Best
Pastor, St. Stephen Lutheran Church
New Kingstown, PA

Rev. Rebecca S. Myers
Pastor, Church of the Nativity and St. Stephen
Newport, PA

Rev. Rebecca Blake
Pastor, Beacon Church
Philadelphia, PA

Rabbi Eli Freedman
Rabbi, Congregation Rodeph Shalom
Philadelphia, PA

Rev. Randall Bush
Pastor, East Liberty Presbyterian Church
Pittsburgh, PA

Rev. Dr. Stephen Ohnsman
Pastor, Calvary United Church of Christ
Reading, PA

Rev. Dr. Catherine Thayer
Director, Emerging Paths Center for Spirituality
Saylorsburg, PA

Rev. Timothy Seitz-Brown
Pastor, ELCA and Member, Lower Susquehanna Synod Council
Spring Grove, PA

Rev. John Deegan, OSA
Director of the Peace and Justice Center, Villanova University – Province of St. Thomas
Villanova, PA

Rev. Scott O. Miller
Pastor, New Hope Charge
Wapwallopen, PA

Rev. Robert G. Wallace
Retired Pastor, United Methodist Church
Williamsport, PA

Rev. Joel Folkemer
Lead Pastor, Union Evangelical Lutheran Church
York, PA

Vicar Carla Christopher-Waid
Vicar, Union Evangelical Lutheran Church
York, PA

Rev. Laura Haupt
Pastor, Luther Memorial Lutheran Church
York, PA

Rev. Darcy M. Reis
Pastor, St. James Lutheran Church
York, PA

SIGN THE PENNSYLVANIA VALUES CLERGY LETTER

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Faith leaders signing this letter are doing so as individuals and not necessarily on behalf of their religious institutions, congregations, or affiliated organizations