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31 Goshen Clergy Pen Letter to Support Non-Discrimination July 31, 2015

goshenfb23In a letter sent to the Goshen City Council, and shared with local media, 31 Christian clergy from Goshen asked the City Council there to support non-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Hoosiers. The pastors supporting civil rights come from the Church of the Brethren, Lutheran, Mennonite, Presbyterian, and United Church of Christ faith communities.

The City Council in Goshen is currently considering an update local Civil Rights Ordinance that would include LGBT people in existing local protections. 

Their letter read, in part: 

“…there is a divisive debate in much of the Christian church about sexual ethics and biblical morality.  Those of us who have signed this letter are not of one mind on these issues. However, we stand united for the proposition that no person should suffer housing, vocational, access to public conveniences and accommodations, or educational discrimination due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Describing the ordinance, which is expected to be heard by the council on August 4th, the 31 signers said: 

“…this ordinance puts before the council a straight-forward question: Shall we exclude some of the most vulnerable from our city’s protections against job, housing, and educational discrimination? In our Christian tradition, we understand that how our society protects and cares for “the least among us” is pivotal to how God judges us (Matthew 25:31-46)”

Below is a full list of the names of all 31 signers, who signed on behalf of themselves and not necessarily their congregations: 

David Araujo
Deron B. Bergstresser
Kay Bontrager-Singer
Jane Stoltzfus Buller
Amy Kulesza DeBeck
Julia Gingrich
Alan L. Griffin
Gwen Gustafson-Zook
Dawn Yoder Harms
Linda Sue Hewitt
John Hickey
Merle Hostetler
Jessica King
Marty Lehman
Eric Martin
Brenda Hostetler Meyer
Keith Graber Miller
David Moser
Rachel Nolt
Steve Norton
Brenda Sawatzky Paetkau
Marilyn Rudy-Froese
Dan Schrock
Karl Shelly
Jeremy Shue
Tim Stair
Adam Tice
Phil Waite
Bev Weaver
Daniel Yoder
Mary Lehman Yoder

We are very grateful to these faith leaders for speaking up — and for all of the people of faith who so regularly speak up in support of fairness and freedom for all.