As the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality continues its push toward an expansion of the Human Rights Ordinance, one component to the group’s strategy is marshalling the support of faith leaders. On Tuesday, the JCE brought together more than 50 of them to discuss updating the HRO to include sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression as legally protected categories.
Many of those faith leaders in attendance, claims the JCE, added their names to a “growing list of clergy” members who support a fully inclusive HRO.
“It’s not a question of whether it’s right or wrong to be gay,” Rabbi Joshua Lief said. “It’s a question of whether or not it’s right to discriminate.”
R.L. Gundy of Mount Sinai Baptist Church stated that the AME Bishop and the community of black pastors support the Ordinance. “We’re with you. We want this passed so people can be treated like human beings,” Gundy said.
The first of three “community conversations” on the HRO will be held Tuesday evening. Expect a lively turnout, with aggressive messaging on both sides of the issue.