• Tell The Obama Administration: Stop Angela From Being Deported
    Angela’s home is in Philadelphia, where she has raised her 2 children, Arturo, age 11, and Mariana, age 8. She is an active leader in her church and the immigrant rights movement. The US has been her home for 12 years, and now Angela and her family need our support to stay together. SANCTUARY On November 18, 2014, Angela took the prophetic and bold step to enter into Sanctuary at West Kensington Ministry Church, a member congregation of New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia. Angela explains that, “I have taken this decision for my own life, my family, and the entire immigrant community. I have lived in fear for over 10 years and I can’t continue living this way.” OUR VALUES We are called to stand in solidarity with Angela’s leadership. As people of faith, we cannot witness the inhumanity of deportation and stay silent. All families are sacred and each individual deserves justice, dignity, and hospitality, regardless of their immigration status. TAKE ACTION By signing this petition, you are taking action to stand in solidarity with Angela Navarro and all people suffering because of the US’ inhumane mass deportation system. Please sign and share Angela’s petition asking: 1) Department of Homeland Security Secretary Johnson to stop Angela’s deportation 2) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to stop Angela’s deportation 3) President Obama that he must immediately end all deportations and create humane immigration policies that reflect our faith values of justice, dignity, and hospitality for all. ------- SANTUARIO Angela, nacida en Honduras, ha vivido 12 años en los Estados Unidos. Su hogar es en Philadelphia, donde ha criado a sus niños, Arturo de 11 años de edad, y Mariana, de 8. Es una líder en su iglesia y en el Movimiento Nuevo Santuario. Es una empleada ejemplar, y su patrón apoya su liderazgo en el movimiento por los derechos de los inmigrantes. Angela es parte de nuestra comunidad: la amenaza de deportarla es una amenaza contra todos nosotros. Con sus palabras, “He tomado esta decisión por mi propia vida, por mi familia y por toda la comunidad inmigrante. He vivido con miedo por más de 10 años y no puedo seguir viviendo así.” El 18 de Noviembre de 2014, Angela ha dado un paso audaz y profético, entrando al Santuario en la Iglesia del Ministerio de West Kensington, una congregación miembro del Movimiento Nuevo Santuario de Philadelphia. NUESTROS VALORES Seamos solidarios con el liderazgo de Angela: como gente de fe, no podemos presenciar la inhumanidad de la deportación y permanecer en silencio. Todas las familias son sagradas, y todo individuo merece justicia, dignidad, y hospitalidad, cualquiera sea su situación migratoria. ACTUA HOY MISMO Al firmar esta petición estás demostrando su solidaridad con Angela Navarro y todos los que sufren por culpa del inhumano sistema de deportaciones en masa de los Estados Unidos. Por favor, firme y comparta la petición de Angela. Al firmar usted está pidiendo que: 1. El Secretario del Departmento de Seguridad Interna (Homeland Security) Jeh Johnson, pare la deportación de Angela: 2. Que ICE (Aplicación de Leyes de Inmigracion y Aduanas) ordene anular la deportación de Angela. 3. Que el Presidente Obama termine inmediatamente con todas las deportaciones y cree una politica humana de inmigración, que refleje nuestra fe y nuestros valores de justicia, dignidad y hospitalidad para todos.
    6,140 of 7,000 Signatures
    Created by Nicole Kligerman
  • OREGON LABOR AND IMMIGRANT RIGHTS LEADER FACES CHARGES FOR 15 YEAR OLD DEPORTATION
    In September 2014 immigration agents came to the house of labor leader and Oregon immigrant rights organizer Francisco Aguirre house looking to take him into custody to deport him. When he did not open the door and asked for a warrant, they left. For the next two months, Francisco took Sanctuary in a local Portland church, while his family, advocates, and faith leaders organized a campaign to stop his deportation. But a two months into the sanctuary fight, immigration decided to seek a felony charge for “re-entry” into the United States for Francisco, in collaboration with the U.S. Marshall’s office. ICE is pursuing Francisco despite his many contributions to Oregon, where he is raising 3 children and where he has lived for almost 20 years. Francisco has been a long-time organizer at VOZ Worker’s Rights and Education Project, where he works with low-income workers and helps them fight for fair labor rights. He has helped claim stolen wages for workers, has been involved in improving health and safety labor standards, and is a musician who signs for social justice-related causes. Francisco is also one of the pioneers of advocating for the rights of day laborers across the country working closely with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. Since his story became public, ICE has declared Francisco a “criminal alien” who is “considered a public safety threat and a priority for removal” in relation to two prior and isolated convictions. Twenty years ago Francisco pled ‘no contest’ to a drug-related charge, and was deported. The charge itself is questionable, and Francisco maintains his innocence. As he has explained, the only reason took a plea was due to encouragement by his public defender without knowing that ICE would take this as an admission of guilt and use it to deport him. Under today’s law, this would be considered misrepresentation and potentially grounds to re-open the case. Francisco came into ICE’s radar when last July Francisco was pulled over and charged with a DUI. Once in court, because there was no one harmed in the incident, and because this was his first driving offense, Francisco was given the chance to enroll in a Diversion program. Those who know Francisco well, know his dedication for social justice and his passion to advocate for the improvement of his community. Contrary to ICE’s claims, his community and his family do NOT believe that these convictions make that Francisco is a “public safety threat.” Please sign the petition to support Francisco and help stop his deportation.
    3,155 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by WJ Mark Knutson
  • RSVP: VOICE-Buffalo Public Meeting
    As people of faith we believe that we should be an undivided community. On August 28, 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial, along with 250,000 religious and labor leaders calling for an end to racism, segregation and poverty, and to call for guaranteed civil and economic liberties for all. On November 6th join us at 7 PM Elim Christian Fellowship (70 Chalmers Ave., Buffalo 14214) as we bring our community together with our public officials for the 2014 VOICE Buffalo Public Meeting! You may have already heard, but if not, we have had some major breakthroughs recently and this year’s public meeting is one you can’t miss! The Sheriff’s office, Erie County Legislature and County Executive have committed to work together with VOICE-Buffalo and the community to reinstate the Local Conditional Release Program in early 2015. The Sheriff’s office, members of the Erie County Legislature and the County Executive will be joining us on November 6th to discuss the benefit of the Local Conditional Release Program and to share their commitment to its reinstatement. We are also in dialogue with the Sheriff’s office about creating a Restorative Justice program at the Alden Correctional Facility to bring trained community leaders to work with youth through restorative conferences and peace circles. We will also highlight the work and commitment of the congregations who are becoming ‘Peace Hubs’ by training facilitators in peace circles, restorative practices and community organizing. Please RSVP to join us on November 6th at 7pm, to build a bridge over the river of injustice.
    23 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Shaketa Redden
  • Grant Arturo Hernández Garcia's Stay of Deportation
    Arturo Hernández, married for 21 years, has two daughters, a 19-year-old in the DACA process and an 13-year-old U.S. citizen. He and his family have lived in Colorado for 19 years. Arturo is a small business owner and started his company as a subcontractor in the construction industry in 2008. He provides employment for an average of 8 or 9 people annually. Since leaving Sanctuary he has organized and advocated for better policies and educated thousands of citizens on the realities of our immigration system. Arturo has worked hard for himself and his family and has helped to employ others. ICE detained Arturo on April 26th, 2017, at his workplace despite a letter from ICE indicating he would not be deported. Community won his release and Senator Bennet introduced a private bill that gave Arturo a stay of deportation until March 15, 2019. Join us in asking immigration to extend his stay another year as his family's court case continues. The Metro Denver Sanctuary Coalition welcomed Arturo into sanctuary October 19th at First Unitarian Society of Denver. We continue to act on our commitment to welcome and accompany our immigrant neighbors into our community because we are called upon to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Arturo is our neighbor, and his threat of deportation is a threat to our entire community. We do not accept anyone's right to tear apart loving families in our community. We chose to bring Arturo into sanctuary two years ago because it was just, and believed the injustice of our immigration policy is an offense against our community and our faith. Because of the significant suffering his deportation would cause his daughters, his wife and the families of his employees, we ask that his deportation be stopped immediately and that he be granted a stay of removal so he can stay with his family. We urge you to Sign and Share this petition asking Director Lynch to grant Arturo a stay of removal. Such action would not only be in line with the teaching of our faith traditions, but true to the values of our communities and nation. Please read the letter to Jeffrey Lynch, Deputy Field Office Director of the Denver ICE office below, sign your name, and press submit to add your name to Arturo’s petition requesting a stay of removal on his deportation! Help us keep up the momentum by sharing widely and asking your friends to do the same! Dear Mr. Lynch, I am writing to ask that you stop the deportation of Arturo Armando Hernandez Garcia A#087-952-389 and grant him a stay of removal so he can remain with his family. Arturo Hernández, married for 18 years, has two daughters, a 17-year-old in the DACA process and a 11-year-old U.S. citizen. He and his family have lived in Colorado for 17 years. Arturo is a small business owner and started his company as a subcontractor in the construction industry in 2008. He provides employment for an average of 8 or 9 people annually. In 2010, Arturo was arrested by the local police of the City of Lonetree, while working construction, where he was verbally assaulted and wrongly accused of threatening an American with a knife. He was arrested, and when he arrived at the jail, he was placed on an immigration "hold." He was detained by immigration without having been found guilty of the charges and having his day in court. He later proved his innocence in court, so in late 2010 they withdrew the criminal charges and he was acquitted. Although the courts found him innocent, deportation proceedings with ICE continued and on April 26th, 2017 he was detained at his workplace despite a letter from ICE indicating he would not be deported. Arturo has viable legal options to remain in the US, including an application his in-laws submitted in 2005 that is still pending and whose priority date is currently being challenges in court. Because of the significant suffering of his daughters, wife and the families of his employees, we ask that his deportation be stopped immediately and that he be granted a stay of removal so he can stay with his family while he awaits the court's decision.
    5,887 of 6,000 Signatures
    Created by Jennifer Piper
  • Tell The Obama Administration: Stop Francisco From Being Deported
    As a church in Arizona, we witness the suffering of our neighbors fearing deportation and feel the damage when families are broken apart EVERY DAY. Francisco came to our church after the threat of deportation had been looming over his family's life for 8 months. A husband and father of 5, Francisco is considered a low priority for deportation by ICE—he has no criminal history and has proven himself to be a stable and valued member of our community, working full-time and paying his taxes faithfully. But every time he left his home he ran the risk of never returning. Since the promises of action and reform have been broken by Congress and the Obama Administration, we are compelled by our faith to stand in the gap of justice for our undocumented neighbors in need. This is why we welcomed Francisco into Sanctuary at St. Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church. CHOOSING LOVE A family is formed around love, and Francisco and Sarai have done a marvelous job of creating and growing that love in their family. As people of faith we believe that we should do all we can to assist families in the challenging work of "love-development." The biggest obstacle to that love is fear. Fear should never stand in a central place in any family. Whenever we work to remove some of the causes of fear, we are doing God's work here on earth. Whenever we take away barriers that stand between families and the possibilities that lie in front of them, we show heaven to each other. There are enough obstacles in this life without us creating more through laws that unfairly divide families and stand in the way of the love they are nurturing. CAN WE HELP? Absolutely! Through administrative closure or “prosecutorial discretion,” government officials have the power to stop deportations. You can shine the light of justice on Francisco's case by helping those officials see the importance of his place and presence in his family and community. With your voice and actions we can lead the Department of Homeland Security on a better path, by stopping Francisco’s deportation and showing support of deferred action for all. TAKE ACTION We ask that you join us in asking Secretary Jeh Johnson to close Francisco's deportation order and encourage President Obama to take action and expand deferred action for all 11 million undocumented people who are part of our congregations and communities. Sign and share the petition today.
    290 of 300 Signatures
    Created by Jim Wiltbank
  • Deadline Soon: Tell the EPA to cut carbon pollution now!
    All of Creation is in danger. If we let Big Coal continue polluting our air at the current rate we could witness Greenland melt, sea levels rise more than 11 inches, and persistent flooding devastate major U.S. cities by 2045. We can’t let it happen. The deadline for commenting on the EPA’s new standards to cut carbon pollution from power plants by 30% is quickly approaching – but they’ve extended the deadline because they need to hear from more of us! Please, join IPL and Groundswell by signing your name to tell the EPA you support crucial carbon standards that will cut global warming pollution by at least 30%. Lend your voice, and urge the EPA to pass new carbon standards for a brighter, safer, more sustainable future for generations to come. As people of faith, this is our opportunity to lift our voices in defense of God’s creation, but we’re only loud enough if we all join together. That’s why Interfaith Power & Light and Groundswell are partnering to speak out in support of the EPA’s new, common sense carbon standards and help protect the planet God has blessed us with.
    5,494 of 6,000 Signatures
    Created by Susan Stephenson
  • After Ferguson, We Must Change Police and Court Practices in St. Louis County
    We understand the anger in response to yet another young African-American man, Vonderrit Myers, shot by police October 7. It was two months almost to the day after Michael Brown's killing. Underneath the killings is a web of unjust laws in a patchwork of cities and towns. For example, in September the New York Times reported that municipal court fines have been Ferguson’s second-highest source of revenue. http://nyti.ms/1pJgndl The Washington Post found 71 percent of the people pulled over by Florissant police in 2013 were black. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/09/03/how-st-louis-county-missouri-profits-from-poverty/ St. Louis city and surrounding municipalities must work together to reform an archaic, unjust system of debtor's prison and institute appropriate community policing procedures that will help police/citizen relationships and help make our area a model for the nation. The new county executive was elected November 4 and we cannot imagine a more important priority than reforming policing and judicial practices across our 91 municipalities. Join us in asking our leaders to pledge action to change these policies as soon as they take office. -- Rev. Dr. Dietra Baker of Liberation Christian Church, Missouri Congregations United, St. Louis -- Laura Barrett, Gamaliel community organizing network, St. Louis
    2,187 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by Gordon Mayer
  • Tell the Obama Administration: Stop Beatriz from being deported
    Beatriz came to our church seeking sanctuary because she is facing deportation and is a mother of two U.S. Citizen children: Donato, who just turned 3 years old, and his 8-month-old sister, Iran. Beatriz is from Veracruz, Mexico and has been in deportation proceedings since 2010. She is fighting to keep her family here in Illinois, where they have created a home and are part of the community. She is also a very special case because Beatriz was a victim of aggravated criminal sexual assault in 2009 and worked with law enforcement to testify and convict her rapist—which makes her eligible for a U-Visa. However, a paperwork technicality has prevented her from getting the relief she needs, and now she is in danger of immediate deportation. Beatriz had no other options when she came to our door. Our church offered Sanctuary as an emergency action inspired by our deepest faith values. We will continue to provide Sanctuary to Beatriz and her children while we ask the Obama administration to close or put a stay on her deportation order until she can obtain legal status. CAN WE HELP? Yes. We can stand with Beatriz in her time of urgent need. Beatriz is a low-priority case, especially with two American-born children and the possibility of a U-Visa around the corner, which qualify her for ICE’s “prosecutorial discretion.” If we draw attention to her story and show she has a community that loves her, the Department of Homeland Security has the power to drop her case. OUR VALUES We are a church in the heart of a Mexican community in Chicago, and our work has always been “creating hope for those without hope, through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” To be undocumented in this country is a fearful and heartbreaking situation under our broken immigration system. And in Beatriz’s case, to be undocumented and the victim of sexual assault is an even worse trauma. Beatriz’s bravery inspired our compassion and decision to welcome her into Sanctuary. With over 52 congregations around the country supporting the Sanctuary Movement, we’re proud to join in the ranks of these faithful communities providing physical and spiritual relief to our undocumented brothers and sisters in need. TAKE ACTION We ask that you join us in asking Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and the Obama administration to close or put a stay on Beatriz’s deportation order and encourage immediate action to declare a moratorium on deportations.
    3,450 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by Jose Landaverde
  • Tell The Obama Administration: Stop Luis From Being Deported & Keep Your Promise
    We are called to welcome the stranger, but Luis Lopez Acabal is not a stranger. Luis is our neighbor. He is a husband and a father, who came as a teenager to escape death threats from gangs and violence most of us can hardly imagine. He worked hard and made a life for himself and his family. He has fought his case through the immigration courts to no avail. We want him to stay. While ICE officials assure us he is a low priority and don’t intend to seek him out, they refuse to offer him the means to remain in the country legally. THE INJUSTICE A grave injustice is happening when people come to the U.S. to escape unimaginable violence but when every day more than 1,000 people are deported, many ripped away from spouses and children, as a result of a broken misguided immigration system. Despite President Obama’s promise to keep families together, Luis’s family is at risk. This is why we welcomed Luis into Sanctuary at our church on Sept. 4th. He will remain in the protection of this sacred space with the support of the community until his deportation order is removed. LUIS’ STORY Luis emigrated from Guatemala at the age of 17, fleeing gang violence in his country, arriving only a few months too late to be eligible for DACA (deferred action for childhood arrivals). He has made a life, fallen in love, and married Mayra Canales, a permanent legal resident on the path to citizenship and mother of two U.S. citizen children, one of whom has autism. Mayra has struggled with anxiety and depression for many years. Luis has taken in Mayra’s children as his own, and Kevin (5) and Kimberly (2) consider him their father. He is the sole breadwinner for the family, allowing Mayra to act as a full time caregiver for their children. Kevin has thrived in the new family setting and some of his autism related behaviors have been diminished. Kevin’s success and the support of a loving husband and parenting partner has made a huge difference in Mayra’s battles with depression and anxiety. This deportation threatens not only Luis’ life, as he faces deportation to a country with the 5th highest homicide rate in the world, but also Mayra’s mental health and Kevin’s recent progress. There is no value to our society in taking Luis away from his wife and children. PROVIDING SANCTUARY “God is our refuge,” the Psalmist writes, and the church is called upon to reflect God to the world. We invite people of faith and moral courage around the country to stand in solidarity with Luis and our church as we offer refuge from injustice. We call upon President Obama and Secretary Jeh Johnson of Homeland Security to do justice in the face of brokenness: * Secretary Jeh Johnson and those within Immigration and Customs Enforcement, grant a stay of removal or deferred action to Luis Lopez TODAY. * President Obama, keep your promise – stop tearing apart families like Luis’ and take administrative action to grant Deferred Action for All NOW. CAN WE HELP? Yes – ask Secretary Jeh Johnson to close Luis’ deportation order and encourage President Obama to take action and expand deferred action for all 11 million undocumented people who are already part of our congregations and communities. ICE officials have been directed to use "prosecutorial discretion" in cases like Luis’. Showing Secretary Johnson that Luis and his family have a community that supports and loves him will force them to review Luis’ case. You can also follow Luis’ story and help advocate for him by liking the page and sharing our updates and calls to action. Search “Luis Lopez Acabal Sanctuary” Call Jeh Johnson, Secretary of DHS, at 202-282-8495 and leave a message in support of Luis. It is an answering machine that fills up by the end of the day, so please fill it up with support for Luis: “Hello, my name is ___. I am calling to urge Secretary to Johnson to use the discretion available to him to stop the deportation of Mr. Luis Lopez Acabal, A#088-670-167. Mr. Lopez fits the category of a low priority for deportation and should not be removed from his family and his home in the United States.” Call President Obama and Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, at 202-456-1111 leave a message urging them to take action and defer Luis' deportation. This is a live comment line that will be picked up by a real human being so please be very polite. “Hello, my name is ___. I am calling to urge Director Cecilia Munoz and President Barack Obama to act swiftly to stop the pending deportation of Mr. Luis Lopez Acabal, A#088-670-167. Mr. Lopez fits the category of a low priority for deportation and should not be removed from his family and his home in the United States. The administration, under advisement of the President and Director Munoz, should give guidance to the Department of Homeland Security to intervene in this case and act swiftly to halt the deportation of other parents like Mr. Lopez while they wait to take executive action.”
    671 of 800 Signatures
    Created by Eric Ledermann
  • Tell the NRA: A Catholic priest protecting Chicago kids is not a ‘terrorist’
    Fr. Michael Pfleger, a Catholic leader organizing against gun violence in Chicago, was viciously attacked by a local chapter of the NRA. In an effort to smear his character, the Illinois State Rifle Association compared Fr. Pfleger to ISIS. Father Pfleger is a community hero in Chicago who has fought to save the lives of children and teenagers. He has relentlessly sought to hold gun shops and gun manufacturers accountable for profiting off the bloodshed they produce. He was compared to ISIS after speaking at a rally at Chuck’s Gun Shop where he asked gun shop owners to make sure their weapons don’t get into the hands of criminals. (Chuck’s is the #1 supplier of the guns used in murders on the southside of Chicago. They sold more guns between 1996 and 2000 that ended up in the hands of criminals than any store in the country.) As people of faith, we are called to ask the National Rifle Association to distance itself from the violent, painful, and reckless words of its local affiliate. Father Pfleger should be praised for his courageous work to heal our country and prevent gun violence, not targeted with violence in the form of painful and irresponsible smears. Right now, the NRA has the opportunity to make amends and show its commitment to dialogue about gun violence prevention with community leaders who are on the frontlines and working to heal our country. If we as a nation want to protect our children from gun violence, we have to challenge the NRA’s misleading and often hateful language, which spreads fear and undermines public support for reform. This is our chance to invite the NRA to support a faith leader with a goal we all share: To protect our children and end gun violence.
    6,204 of 7,000 Signatures
    Created by Catholics United
  • Tell the Obama Administration: Save Rosa from being deported
    In Tucson we witness the disappearance of community members by Border Patrol every day. We see mothers and fathers taken from our neighborhoods, the pews in our churches, the desk next to us at work. We cannot bear to see any more families torn apart—which is why we welcomed Rosa into Sanctuary on August 7. She will stay within the safety of our church grounds until her deportation order is closed. Through the power of Sanctuary and the power of our petition, we stand in-between a deportation order and a mother in our community. As people of faith, when we witness things that are against the will of God (like a mother torn away from her children), we are called to act. Rosa has two beautiful boys, a loving husband, and has lived in Tucson since 1999. She is an active member of the community, volunteers at her church, her sons’ school, and their baseball teams. But she was ordered to be deported after a minor traffic violation. Like millions of other undocumented immigrants in the United States, Rosa's case is considered low-priority for ICE—she has no criminal history, is a caretaker for minors and has long-standing community ties. But she was in detention for 53 days and fought her immigration case through the courts to no avail. Now, Rosa lives with an order of deportation hanging over her head and is not safe to move freely in her home community of Tucson. The only way to keep Rosa’s family together is for Secretary Johnson to hear from you that her deportation must be stopped right now. CAN WE HELP? Yes. ICE officials have been directed to use "prosecutorial discretion" in cases like this, and showing Secretary Johnson that Rosa and her family have a community that supports and loves her will force them to review Rosa's case. It is critical we ACT NOW on her behalf. Rosa cannot stay in sanctuary forever, and even a stay of deportation would need to be renewed each year—we need a real solution to stop family separation and stop deportations. The House of Representatives has failed to take up immigration reform, and now the President must act to expand deferred action for all undocumented people that will provide relief from deportation and a work permit. It's why we're also telling the Obama Administration: "Stop tearing apart families like Rosa’s and take administrative action to grant Deferred Action for All.” OUR VALUES Compelled by the demands of our faith to love our neighbor as ourselves, we offer Sanctuary to our neighbor Rosa so that she can stay with her family. Our scriptures command us to care for widows and orphan – which is why we must act now to *prevent* the separation of Rosa and her children. We are joined by 17 other local congregations who are working alongside us to guarantee that Rosa is able to watch her sons – Gerardo Jr and Jose Emiliano – grow up. We want to make sure that she is there cheering them on with all the other mothers and fathers in the stands. So we ask that you join us in asking Secretary Jeh Johnson to close Rosa’s deportation order and encourage President Obama to take action and expand deferred action for all 11 million undocumented people who are already part of our congregations and communities.
    4,593 of 5,000 Signatures
    Created by Rev. Alison Harrington
  • Tell Obama: Anti-LGBT religious exemptions are wrong and immoral
    Dear Mr. President, As faith and civic leaders dedicated to affirming the sacred dignity and equal worth of every person, we are grateful for your upcoming executive order ending discrimination against LGBT people in hiring by federal contractors. We urge you not to include a religious exemption in the executive order. In keeping with the principle that our government must adhere to the highest standards of ethics and fairness in its own operations, we believe that public dollars should not be used to sanction discrimination. We recognize in others, and have ourselves heard, a faithful calling to contribute to our communities and country through public service. The imperative to seek healing and justice is one of the most widely shared values across religious traditions and our world is better because of it. In our democratic nation, we believe that public service—especially when it is directly supported by the federal government and our tax dollars—must be aligned with the Constitutional principle that all people deserve equal treatment under the law. Requiring all federal contractors to operate according to the same set of non-discriminatory hiring practices is more than fair; it is a critical safeguard that protects all parties. If contractors were allowed to selectively follow employment or other laws according to their religious beliefs, we would quickly create an untenable morass of legal disputes. Furthermore, if selective exemptions to the executive order were permitted, the people who would suffer most would be the people who always suffer most when discrimination is allowed: the individuals and communities that are already marginalized. Increasing the obstacles faced by those at the margins is precisely the opposite of what public service can and should do, and is precisely the opposite of the values we stand for as people of faith. In a nation as diverse as the United States of America, it is critical that the federal government be trusted to follow—and indeed, to role-model—equitable employment practices. We believe that our mutual commitment to the common good is best served by policies that prohibit discrimination based on factors that have no relationship whatsoever to job performance. We are better and stronger as a nation when hiring decisions are made based on professional merit rather than personal identity. An executive order that allows for religious discrimination against LGBT people contradicts the order’s fundamental purpose, as well as the belief shared by more and more Americans every day, which is that LGBT people should not be treated as second-class citizens. An exception would set a terrible precedent by denying true equality for LGBT people, while simultaneously opening a Pandora’s Box inviting other forms of discrimination. In addition to protecting current and potential employees, we believe ensuring that federal contractors do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in their hiring helps to reduce the likelihood that these contractors will discriminate against clients or other parties in the provision of services. If contractors are free to discriminate in their hiring, it is at least plausible, if not probable, to conclude that clients will experience discrimination as well. We believe that the best way to eliminate discrimination at one level is to reduce discrimination at all levels. We are a pluralistic nation—one that is among the most religiously diverse and devout in the world. Each day we continue to make progress on our journey toward “a more perfect union,” in which all God’s children are treated with fairness and dignity. Many forces help spur this progress. They include the courage of everyday people who live openly as who they truly are; the witness of faith leaders who provide a compass for religious growth; the commitment of political leaders such as yourself who help guide our nation toward a more just path; and the passage of laws and policies that ensure fair treatment for all people. In conclusion, Mr. President, we believe that the path to national unity lies in affirming the full equality and potential of every person. In the spirit of equality, fairness, and justice, we urge you to issue an executive order that ends discrimination against LGBT people in federal contracting without exceptions. http://www.groundswell-mvmt.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Signers.pdf?showEmbed=true *This emerging coalition of leaders includes diverse faith leaders from around the country, including seminary Presidents, NGOs heads, congregational clergy, theologians, denominational heads, and others.*
    2,214 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by David Elcott, PhD