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Faith leaders support the LGBT nondiscrimination protections 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 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.


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

Kevin W. Barron
Lay Pastor, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
Altoona, PA

Rev. David Tatgenhorst
Pastor, St. Luke United Methodist Church
Bryn Mawr, 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. Susan K. Ericsson
Lead Pastor, St. Luke Lutheran Church
Devon, PA

Dawn Star Sarahs-Borchelt
Director of Lifespan Faith Development, Main Line Unitarian Church
Devon, PA

Rev. Matthew Staniz
Pastor, St. Luke Lutheran Church
Devon, 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

Rt. Rev. Sean W. Rowe
Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania
Erie, PA

Rev. Drew Himes
Pastor, Church of the Cross-Presbyterian Church (USA)
Fairview, PA

Rev. Elizabeth Yale
Priest in Charge, St. John’s Episcopal Church
Franklin, 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. Sandra L. Strauss
Director of Advocacy & Ecumenical Outreach, Pennsylvania Council of Churches
Harrisburg, PA

Rev. Canon Chris Streeter
Canon for Mission Development & Innovation, Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania
Harrisburg, PA

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

Ken Woerthwein
Member, Harrisburg Friends Meeting
Harrisburg, PA

Rev. Dr. Dolores E. Littleton
Pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church
Havertown, PA

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

Rev. Anjel Scarborough
Rector, All Saints Episcopal Church
Hershey, 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 Church
Lancaster, PA

Rev. Andrea Brown
Lead Pastor, Grandview United Methodist Church
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. Andrew Fitch
Pastor, Mt. Zion Lutheran Church
Lewisberry, PA

Rev. John T. Harwood
Priest, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
Lewistown, PA

Deacon Beth Barkhau
Director of Faith Engagement, Reformation Lutheran Church
Media, PA

Rev. Alina S. Gayeuski
Pastor, Reformation Lutheran Church
Media, 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. Carol Carlson
Priest, Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross
North East, PA

Rev. Rebecca Blake
Pastor, Beacon Church
Philadelphia, PA

Rabbi Eli Freedman
Rabbi, Congregation Rodeph Shalom
Philadelphia, PA

Rev. Dr. Kipp Gilmore-Clough
Acting Senior Pastor, Chestnut Hill United Church (Methodist + UCC Church)
Philadelphia, PA

Rev. Jay C. Mitchell
Pastor, Christ Ascension Lutheran Church
Philadelphia, PA

Rev. Danny Phelps
Pastor, Bethany Lutheran Church
Philadelphia, PA

Rev. John R. Pritchard, Jr.
Pastor, Calvary United Methodist Church
Philadelphia, PA

Rev. David Reppert
Pastor, Emanuel United Church of Christ
Philadelphia, PA

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

Rev. Dr. Martin J. Rafanan
Pastor, St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Applebachsville
Quakertown, PA
Pastor, Christ Church of the UCC
Trumbauersville, PA

Rev. David A. Heckler
Pittsburgh Lutheran United Ministry
Pittsburgh, PA

Deaconess Deborah Graf
Director of Faith Formation, Trinity Lutheran Church
Reading, PA

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

Rev. Lee R. Gable
Pastor, New Centerville Lutheran Parish
Rockwood, PA

Deacon Allison Wilcox
Deacon, Grace Lutheran Church
Royersford, PA

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

Rev. Megan Huesgen
Pastor, Immanuel United Church of Christ
Shillington, PA

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

Deacon Alicia Anderson
Campus Minister, Lutheran Campus Ministry at Penn State
State College, PA

Rev. Jeffrey A. Packard
Rector, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
State College, PA

Rev. Bruce Burkness
Pastor, St. Agnes Episcopal Church and Good Shepard Lutheran Church
St. Marys, PA

Rev. Carolann Hopcke
Pastor, Christ’s Lutheran Church
Trumbauersville, 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. Matthew R. Scott
Vicar, Trinity Memorial Episcopal Church
Warren, PA

Rev. Paul Lubold
Pastor, Rider Lutheran Church
West Sunbury, PA

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

Rev. Grant Ambrose
Rector, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
York, 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

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

About Pennsylvania Values

Pennsylvania Values is the largest-ever public support campaign for LGBT nondiscrimination protections in our commonwealth’s history. Pennsylvania Values is powered by the Pennsylvania Youth Congress, PA’s first and only statewide LGBT youth organization and PA’s only Pennsylvania-based statewide LGBT policy advocacy organization. The time is now for LGBT nondiscrimination legislation to advance through the General Assembly! 

© Pennsylvania Youth Congress 2024