Advocacy Toolkit

Faith-based Work & LGBTQ+ Rights: 
How to Have Fairness for All 

Introduction 

We invite you to join the Association for Public Justice (APJ) in our national effort to protect religious freedom for all faiths while protecting the civil rights of the LGBTQ+ community. 

 

APJ is a Christian activist association strongly committed to a biblical understanding of marriage and sexuality. We are also convinced that the Great Commandment (Mark 12:30-31) and Golden Rule (Luke 6:21) point to a principled pluralist way of calling our government to uphold public justice so that the image of God is honored in everyone. Like our sister organization The Center for Public Justice (CPJ), we believe religious people and organizations and the LGBTQ+ community need not be at odds with one another in our country. The best way to protect religion is to protect the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination. The best way to secure nondiscrimination protection is to make sure that religion is not inadvertently harmed. 

 

To this end, we support Fairness for All (FFA) legislation as a solution to address the deep differences concerning religious freedom and LGBTQ+ civil rights in our society. FFA will protect the rights and beliefs of all, without restricting the core convictions of some people or organizations at the expense of others. It acknowledges the pluralistic nature of our society, ensuring basic civil rights for LGBTQ+ people while at the same time protecting religious rights and other constitutional freedoms. Fairness for All is a balanced and lasting answer so that all citizens, regardless of religious beliefs or sexual orientation, can live side-by-side as good neighbors.

 

While APJ believes that FFA is the ideal solution, we recognize that the most practical step we can take right now is to amend the Equality Act (H.R.5) which passed the House of Representatives in February this year. The Equality Act as it now stands has the good intention of securing basic civil rights for LGBTQ+ people. However, it also unnecessarily undermines the rights and freedoms of religious people and organizations. 

 

To better protect both the rights of faith-based work and of the LGBTQ+ community, we developed this toolkit to assist YOU in advocacy. The first two sections of the guide will explain the Fairness for All approach and why the Equality Act must be amended. The third section includes practical advice and resources for you to craft a compelling story, rally your community, and contact your senators in support of amending the Equality Act. Lastly, the fourth section provides additional information about the issue and our allies in this national effort.  

 

 We are happy to assist you at any point in this process. Please do not hesitate to contact us at (202) 503-9337 or contact@apjustice.org should you have any questions. Feel free to forward this to anyone who may want to add their voice to these efforts.

 

Section I: Fairness for All 

Fairness for All is legislation that would ensure that LGBTQ+ Americans cannot be denied access to employment, housing, financial credit, social service programs funded by federal money, service in business establishments, or jury duty service simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. But it would also ensure that churches and religious organizations that define marriage or gender differently than the United States government will not be found to be engaging in discriminatory actions simply because of their religious beliefs.

 

Fairness for All resolves tensions between religious freedom and LGBTQ+ rights in a balanced, sustainable way. The bill reflects four years of work and debate involving a broad coalition of LGBTQ+ and religious leaders. We call on Congress to come together in a bipartisan way, despite polarization, and pass Fairness for All amendments to the Equality Act so that our nation will protect LGBTQ+ Americans’ civil rights while preserving religious Americans’ constitutional freedoms.

How does FFA protect LGBTQ+ rights?

  • Protects LGBTQ+ employees from employment discrimination

  • Protects LGBTQ+ renters and homebuyers from housing discrimination

  • Protects LGBTQ+ customers from discrimination in “public accommodations,” e.g., hotels, restaurants, and stores

  • Grants LGBTQ+ patients equal access to health care providers

  • Grants LGBTQ+ persons equal access to services funded by the federal government, such as homeless shelters

  • Protects LGBTQ+ persons from discrimination by banks and other financial service providers, ensuring equal credit opportunities

  • Protects LGBTQ+ persons from discrimination in jury service, ensuring equal ability to participate in a basic aspect of citizenship.

How does FFA protect faith-based organizations?  

  • Protects the Religious Freedom Restoration Act

  • Protects religious organizations from denial of tax-exempt status for beliefs about marriage and sexuality

  • Protects the right of churches, religious schools, and other religious organizations to employ only people who fully adhere to their religious beliefs and standards

  • Protects employees by requiring secular employers to reasonably accommodate religious needs, e.g., Sabbath worship

  • Protects employees from being fired for non-abusive religious speech

  • Protects the right of religious institutions and schools to enforce religious standards in noncommercial housing

  • Protects key religious properties like churches from being regulated by the government as places of public accommodation

  • Protects religiously affiliated hospitals from having to perform abortions

  • Protects the right of religious schools to have religious honor codes while receiving public funding

  • Protects religious schools from losing accreditation based on religious standards

  • Protects the ability of potential parents to partner with religious adoption and foster care providers who share their religious standards

  • Protects the right of patrons and employees to personal privacy in restrooms, showers, and similar facilities.

how-will-this-affect-me-3.jpg
 

Section II: Amending The Equality Act

What is the Equality Act? 

The Equality Act would provide explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service. 

 

The Equality Act would amend existing civil rights law—including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Jury Selection and Services Act, and several laws regarding employment with the federal government—to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics. The legislation also amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination in public spaces and services and federally funded programs on the basis of sex.

 

In February this year, the House of Representatives passed the Equality Act on a 224 to 206 vote. A similar bill S.393 has been introduced in the Senate and referred to the Judiciary Committee, who held a hearing on the bill on March 17, 2021.  Check here for the latest updates on S.393. 

Why should we amend the Equality Act? 

The Equality Act has the very good intention of securing the basic civil rights of LGBTQ+ people throughout our nation. However, as written, the Equality Act would achieve this important goal while grievously--and unnecessarily-- undermining the rights and freedoms of many citizens. 

How does the Equality Act undermine religious freedom? 

Core elements of the bill will severely damage faith-based organizations. The Act as written would shrink the protective scope of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), the premier statutory protection for religious freedom signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The proposed changes to RFRA would deny legal appeals to religious individuals and organizations when charged with discrimination.

 

An unamended Equality Act will also apparently reclassify houses of worship as public accommodations, subjecting them to requirements that may violate their core religious beliefs. Faith-based adoption and foster care providers committed to traditional marriage will be excluded from federal funding and may lose their ability to serve--at a time when we need more providers, not fewer. Many homeless or domestic violence shelters, even the privately funded, may be compelled to close their doors, because of the bill’s requirements. Religious colleges and universities with beliefs and values concerning human sexuality that differ from the unamended Equality Act will lose the freedom to hire staff and faculty consistent with those beliefs and their students will lose access to government aid. 

 

These and other detrimental consequences—restrictions on institutional and religious freedom, the constriction of the freedom to serve of many religious people and organizations—are avoidable and must be avoided.

 

Section III: How to Make a Difference? 

The very first action step is articulating why you care about a policy.

God’s call to citizenship manifests in many ways, and one important way is advocacy. Through advocacy, we can do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God in the public square. It is also one way in which we can love our neighbors well and participate in God’s work of redeeming every area of life. It is possible to create a community that better upholds the dignity of LGTBQ+ individuals and the freedom of religious people and institutions to contribute to the common good in ways that are consistent with their deeply held convictions. However, advancing a more just community that promotes fairness for all requires action. 

 

The most effective action involves contacting your state legislature or members of Congress. The more people — friends, colleagues, and community members — who join you, the more effective the action will be. Therefore, we suggest an advocacy process that involves three steps: 1) reflecting on your own story and motivations; 2) engaging friends, allies, and community; 3) taking action. 

 

The very first action step of advocacy is articulating why you care about a policy. 

Tell Your Story 

Your experience matters. Policies on religious freedom and LGBTQ+ rights impact our decisions in the civil sphere, and your story can communicate that. Think about: 

  • Why is this topic important to you? 

  • What challenges did you, your organization, or someone you love face? 

  • What are some specific ways that the Equality Act as written might impact you or and organization you care about?

 

These are important details. Consider your story, and identify the key principles and facts that you want to share with friends, neighbors, and leaders, and policymakers in your community. Taking the time to consider and pray through your story, and craft how you want to share your story is important and helpful as you begin your advocacy journey. One storyteller describes her experience writing down her story this way: “It was helpful for me to put the experience into words. Memories get fuzzy. Sometimes I feel like I focus on the rough edges in my experience and don't always recognize God's narrative over my story." 

Developing your story

Step 1 

Choose one specific part of your experience that illustrates the importance of balancing religious freedom concerns with LGBTQ+ rights. 

Step 2

Brainstorm.  What values do you want to communicate?  What challenges do you anticipate?  What difficult choices might you or your organization face?  What was the outcome of making that choice?  What details can you share or emphasize in your story to make it most effective? When you tell your story, include these evocative details into all parts of your story. 

Step 3

Write it down. 

Step 4

Share your story with friends, family, and us: 

Adapted from Ganz, “Public Narrative”

Rally your friends and allies 

Assess your community and lay the groundwork. 

 

Pray and consider: Who do I know who cares about this topic? Who are the other people and groups championing for equal protection of religious freedom and LGBTQ+ rights in your community? 

When you identify other people and groups who might support amending the Equality Act, get in touch and request to meet. Face-to-face meetings between two people are typically most effective in forming intentional relationships. It is important to acknowledge that people who support amending the Equality Act come from a wide range of perspectives. Sometimes it is hard to discern whether to work with another advocate or group if you disagree on other areas. Face-to-face meetings can help your discernment process, especially as you discuss what motivates each of you to care about this topic. 

 

Take Action 

There are many ways to contact policymakers. To get to know a policymaker — and have the policymaker get to know you — you might have to utilize multiple methods. 

Send an email to your senators 

Sample Email One: Support Fairness for All

Dear Senator [insert name]: 

I am a constituent and a [blank] of the Association for Public Justice (APJ). APJ promotes public justice for Americans from all backgrounds and traditions. We celebrate our nation’s rich diversity and work to retain the rights and freedoms of all our citizens and civic associations, regardless of religious belief or sexual identity.  

[Or…] I am a constituent and a [board member, donor, beneficiary, alumni] of a faith-based nonprofit that provides [state the service(s) provided, not the name of the nonprofit].

I favor federal legislation securing civil rights protections nationwide for LGBTQ+ people. The Fairness For All Act (H.R.1440) provides these protections for LGBTQ+ people while also securing the equal treatment of religious people and organizations. Unfortunately, the Equality Act (H.R.5) unnecessarily undermines the rights and freedoms of many of our citizens; it diverges sharply from the balances between religious freedom and LGBTQ+ rights struck by similar state laws. 

I therefore urge you to consider the Fairness For All Act to ensure the protection and equal treatment of the LGBTQ+ population and of religious people and organizations. Faith-based organizations of all kinds, and the individuals they serve, are all vital parts of our country. Participating in these organizations is a constitutionally protected exercise of religion. And their distinctively religious impulse is essential as they serve their communities and form their members to serve the common good. 

The Equality Act reclassifies houses of worship as public accommodations. This subjects them to requirements that may violate their core religious beliefs. More generally, the Equality Act erodes the religious freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. It also removes the protections of the bipartisan Religious Freedom Restoration Act and denies the right to present a defense in court of any person or organization charged with illegal discrimination while living out their religious beliefs.

[You could add a paragraph about the specific harms the faith-based nonprofit you are affiliated with will be harmed, and the detriment it would be to their ability to serve.]

The Fairness For All Act:

  • Protects LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in employment, housing, and financial services.

  • Protects LGBTQ+ customers from discrimination in “public accommodations,” e.g., hotels, restaurants, and stores.

  • Ensures LGBTQ+ people are granted equal opportunity to participate in citizenship such as jury service.

  • Preserves the protections of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

  • Protects the right of churches, religious schools, and other religious organizations to employ only people who fully adhere to their religious beliefs and standards.

  • Protects key religious properties like churches from being regulated by the government as places of public accommodation.

  • Allows the protection of religious standards in religiously-affiliated institutions

For all these reasons, I ask you to consider the Fairness For All Act, which was designed to expand federal civil rights laws to protect LGBTQ+ persons while guaranteeing religious freedom for faith-based organizations. It is the ideal solution for protecting the rights of all people; I strongly encourage you to consider Fairness For All in place of the Equality Act.

Thank you for your consideration and your service to our country. 

Respectfully,
[Your name]
[Your contact information]
 

Sample Email Two: Amend the Equality Act

Dear Senator [insert name]: 

 

I am a constituent and a [blank] of the Association for Public Justice (APJ). APJ promotes public justice for Americans from all backgrounds and traditions. We celebrate our nation’s rich diversity and work to retain the rights and freedoms of all our citizens and civic associations, regardless of religious belief or sexual identity.  

 

[Or…] I am a constituent and a [board member, donor, beneficiary, alumni] of a faith-based nonprofit that provides [state the service(s) provided, not the name of the nonprofit].

 

I favor federal legislation securing civil rights protections nationwide for LGBTQ+ people.  Unfortunately, the Equality Act (H.R.5) as written fails to achieve this critical goal while unnecessarily undermining the rights and freedoms of many of our citizens. Significantly, the Equality Act diverges sharply from the balances between religious freedom and LGBTQ+ rights struck by similar state laws. In fact, no state law protecting LGBTQ+ rights has curtailed religious freedom to the extent outlined in the current bill. 

 

The Senate must amend the Act to ensure that both religious people and organizations and the LGBTQ+ population are protected and treated fairly. Faith-based organizations of all kinds, and the individuals they serve, are all vital parts of our country. Participating in these organizations is a constitutionally protected exercise of religion. And their distinctively religious impulse is essential as they serve their communities and form their members to serve the common good. 

 

Yet, the Equality Act currently reclassifies houses of worship as public accommodations.  This subjects them to requirements that may violate their core religious beliefs. More generally, the Equality Act currently erodes the religious freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. It also removes the protections of the bipartisan Religious Freedom Restoration Act and denies the right to present a defense in court of any person or organization charged with illegal discrimination while living out their religious beliefs.

 

[You could add a paragraph about the specific harms the faith-based nonprofit you are affiliated with will be harmed, and the detriment it would be to their ability to serve.]  

 

The Equality Act, in its current form:

  • Denies houses of worship access to federal disaster aid from FEMA.

  • Denies federal funding to hundreds of synagogues, mosques, and religious schools for enhanced security against terror threats. 

  • Terminates the eligibility of students at religious schools to participate in the National School Lunch Program. 

  • Excludes faith-based adoption and foster care providers from federal funding.

  • Compels many faith-based homeless or domestic violence shelters to close their doors. 

  • Prevents religious colleges and universities from hiring staff and faculty consistent with the institution’s beliefs.

  • Excludes low-income students at religious colleges and universities from accessing needs-based government aid, including Pell grants.

 

For all these reasons, I ask you to work to amend the Equality Act before Congress sends it to the President. Please consider legislation like the Fairness for All Act, which guards LGBTQ+ rights while protecting religious freedom. The Fairness for All Act was designed to expand federal civil rights laws to protect LGBTQ+ persons while guaranteeing religious freedom for faith-based organizations. I strongly encourage you to modify the Equality Act to align with the goals and provisions of the Fairness for All Act. 

 

Thank you for your consideration and your service to our country. 

 

Respectfully,

[Your name]

[Your contact information]

Call the office of your senators

You can contact your policymaker by phone. To find their office number, review their website or the website of the governing body. You may be asked to speak with an aide, especially for federal representatives. When speaking, be polite and concise. 

Meet with your senators

Meeting with a policymaker’s office can be very impactful. Prior to requesting a meeting, consider rallying additional friends and advocates who signed the statement of principles to join you for the meeting. As noted earlier, advocacy is most effective when done by a group. Collectively identify one or two goals your group wants to accomplish and one or two good questions your group wants to pose to your policymaker. To request a meeting, identify potential dates and times that will work for the group, and request a meeting by email or through your policymaker’s website. Follow up the request with a phone call. 

 

Section IV: Resources

What has been done already?

The &Campaign Senate Letter 

Dear U.S. Senators,

 

We are writing to express our support and appreciation for the efforts to more fully provide the LGBT community with civil and human rights protections. For far too long, this community has endured mistreatment in American society, including within parts of the church. We regret and lament our collective misdeeds and omissions in that regard. While we maintain the historic Christian sexual ethic, we want to clearly state our support for federal protections for LGBT persons in employment, housing, and the like. We’re committed to embracing and advocating for those safeguards.

 

Unfortunately, the collaborative process and substance of the Equality Act fall well beneath the standard necessary to cultivate a healthy pluralistic society. While we support certain provisions, the legislation, on the whole, is not the product of a thoughtful and healthy civic dialogue or a transparent policy-making process. It was not discussed in detail with a diverse set of faith leaders who’ll bear the brunt of its excesses and who worked hard to elect you and President Joe Biden. It’s a danger not just to Christian institutions, but those belonging to our Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist, and Muslim neighbors as well. We can defend the rights of the LGBT community without threatening religious communities.

 

The Equality Act is a reflection of our broken system, not an example of the civic spirit and good faith measures necessary to heal it. It would remove many of the basic rights that allow religious organizations to operate according to the tenets of their faith. It would allow LGBT rights to be used as a sword against faith institutions rather than a shield to protect the vulnerable. In addition to failing to offer religious protections to religious institutions, the Equality Act would likely:

 

  • Revoke federal security, disaster relief, and school lunch money from thousands of religious schools.

  • End federal partnerships with thousands of faith-based programs that serve the most vulnerable.

  • Revoke the Pell Grant and federal loan eligibility for tens of thousands of students that attend hundreds of religious colleges.

  • Convert houses of worship and other religious properties into public accommodations, enmeshing them in constant litigation.

 

The Fairness for All Act is a much more thoughtful and just way to protect our LGBT neighbors. It’s a product of the faith community and the LGBT community coming together and challenging themselves to find ways to co-exist and to promote tolerance. It’s proof that religious liberty and LGBT rights are not mutually exclusive. We should, and can, have both. Black and Brown Christians worked too hard for the Civil Rights Act to have it revised in ways that would take away basic right sand funding from our communities. The Equality Act needlessly pits the concerns of diverse communities against each other. 

 

We, therefore, call upon you to support the Fairness for All Act and allow for a full debate and vote on the legislation. 

 

Sincerely,

[For a full list of signers, please visit https://www.andcampaign.org/2020.] 

APJ%20AND%20joint%20logo_edited.jpg
 
 

Frequently Asked Questions

How is Fairness for All different from the Equality Act? 

The Equality Act and The Fairness For All Act share a common goal of establishing anti-discrimination laws for LGBTQ+ people. However, The Equality Act does this at the expense of many religious freedom rights, while The Fairness for All Act offers protection to both the LGBTQ+ community and the religious community in order to uphold the constitutional rights of all Americans. 

 

What defines a religious organization in The Fairness for All Act?

In the FFA Act, and in US law generally, organizations that typically have rights to follow the tenets of their respective faiths include houses of worship, denominational headquarters, seminaries, religious colleges and schools, and a wide variety of faith-based organizations that provide services, such adoption and foster care, shelter for the homeless, addiction treatment, and health care. FFA does not treat these identically. For example, a faith-based service organization that receives federal funds would retain its religiously shaped practices but in the federally funded service follow the expanded nondiscrimination requirements. Federally supported faith-based adoption and foster care agencies would be able to follow their religiously based convictions about marriage and family in their placement and certification decisions, as affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in its recent Fulton decision, but the government would ensure that everyone eligible would find a welcoming service provider. Facilities that are open to the general public—public accommodations—would follow the LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination rules, with the exception of some specifically religious entities, such as religious hospitals (where there are multiple providers) and small businesses (fewer than 15 employees).

 

What is a public accommodation?

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 defines an establishment which serves the public as a public accommodation “if its operations affect commerce, or if discrimination or segregation by it is supported by State action.” Houses of worship are not encompassed currently, but the Equality Act, by radically expanding the definition of “public accommodation,” appears to sweep into the definition churches, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship if they are active in society beyond just worship behind closed doors.

 

If religious freedom is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution, why do we need Fairness for All?

The First Amendment sets out fundamental principles but does not specify what they entail in concrete instances and where other rights also must be respected. Fairness for All codifies the areas of common ground between the LGBTQ+ and faith-based communities so that religious Americans can practice and observe their faith.

 

In recent years, several states, local governments, or federal entities have passed laws or engaged in activities that erode religious protections for individuals and institutions. Colleges and universities with a religious mission have faced challenges from accreditors and government entities. Religiously affiliated hospitals and charities have faced the impossible choice of violating the teachings of their faith to comply with state law or closing their doors to the sick, the poor, and the elderly. And religious employees and employers have been forced into long, protracted, expensive legal battles to live and make decisions. Fairness for All would resolve such issues via lawmaking, taking all sides into account, and would not require continual resource-depleting court battles.

Text adapted from Alliance for Lasting Liberty, “FAQ.”

 

What is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)? 

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) was passed by Congress nearly unanimously in 1993 and signed by President Bill Clinton. RFRA significantly strengthened religious freedom protections, requiring the government to demonstrate a compelling interest and the inability to be less burdensome of religion if it seeks to act to limit religious freedom. RFRA created a pathway for litigation for those who believe their religious freedoms have been violated. The Equality Act, as written, would severely limit RFRA, preventing the law from being used to resolve disputes between claims of LGBTQ+ based discrimination and religious freedom.

 

Are LGBTQ+ rights already protected by Bostock v. Clayton County

In the Bostock decision, the Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 shields employees from being fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, but the Court noted that its ruling does not apply to religious organizations, which have the right to consider religion in their employment decisions. The Fairness for All Act builds on the Bostock decision, protecting LGBTQ+ rights in employment in a way that also protects the existing right of religious employers to maintain staff aligned with their respective religions. 

 

Can we just solve these matters in the court system?

Judicial decisions are narrowly tailored to the disputes they resolve and cannot provide a broad enough framework for a lasting solution, as seen in the Supreme Court’s ruling in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia on June 17, 2021 and in its Bostock decision of 2020. Providing clarity about the intersection of LGBTQ+ rights and religious freedom and resolving issues in a fair, sustainable way will require Congressional leadership.

Text adapted from Alliance for Lasting Liberty, “FAQ.”

 

How does the FFA Act affect high profile Disputes?

Masterpiece Cakeshop? Wedding vendors with fewer than 15 employees will not be considered a public accommodation except in the case of racial discrimination, which is broadly banned. Larger vendors will need to have someone on staff to fulfill same-sex marriage requests, but employees with a conscientious objection will have a right not to participate.

 

Transgender individuals in restrooms? FFA increases restroom privacy for everyone by expanding the number of single-user restrooms. Illegal behavior in restrooms or locker rooms remains illegal.

 

Transgender athletes in women’s sports? FFA keeps Title IX (the ban on sex discrimination in federally funded activities) intact and maintains a clear distinction between sex and gender identity. Eligibility for women’s sports will continue to be determined by the governing bodies of sports.

 

LGBTQ+ adoptions and faith-based adoption agencies (Fulton)? FFA ensures faith-based agencies and LGBTQ+ families have maximum choice, via an indirect funding approach where federal funds are given to families instead of institutions.

Text adapted from 1st Amendment Partnership, “Fairness for All ‘At-A-Glance.’”

Our Partners 

1st Amendment Partnership:

The 1st Amendment Partnership strongly supports the federal Fairness for All Act and we highly commend Rep. Stewart for his leadership on this important issue. Complex, emotional and divisive cultural issues surrounding the ongoing conflict between religious and LGBTQ+ rights have found a lasting, stable resolution in the Fairness for All Act. The Fairness for All Act ensures robust federal protections for the free and open exercise of religion and establishes basic civil rights for LGBTQ+ Americans. No one should be forced to live in ways that violate their core beliefs or identity. We urge Congress to pass this historic bill.

 

American Unity Fund:

American Unity Fund fully endorses the Fairness for All Act. This is the right solution for such a complex problem that urgently needs to be solved. Fairness for All acknowledges that we live in a diverse society. Civil rights should be guaranteed for everyone regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, or religion. Those rights can be fully protected while safeguarding religious freedom. Fairness for All is a lasting and balanced approach that will advance more freedom and liberty for all Americans, codifying significant protections for freedom of religion and freedom of speech. We urge the House to pass this historic legislation and prove that both sides of the aisle can find common ground and mutual respect for one another.

 

AND Campaign:

All attempts to remove more traditional religious beliefs from the public square should be opposed. We, like many other Americans, affirm the historic Christian sexual ethic, and we also believe that religious freedom and LGBTQ+ civil rights are not necessarily in irreconcilable conflict. Faith-based charities, hospitals and colleges should not have to choose between surrendering their convictions and closing their doors. At the same time, LGBTQ+ people should not lose jobs and housing because of how they identify. We must pursue ways to disagree and live together without bullying or compromising our conscience. Towards that end, we encourage all 2020 candidates to support the Fairness for All Act, which will grant basic civil rights for LGBTQ+ people while also protecting religious freedom for all faiths.

 

 

Seventh-day Adventist Church:

The Seventh-day Adventist Church applauds the Fairness for All Act’s balanced, principled approach for protecting both religious freedom and LGBTQ+ civil rights.

Fairness for All simultaneously affirms our right to hold, express, and act upon our biblical view of sexual identity and marriage and our belief that everyone is created in the image of God and deserves to be treated with dignity, compassion, and respect. Although no legislation can offer an exhaustive approach to these complex issues, we believe Fairness for All provides a reasonable and productive way forward.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church endorses this balanced and principled piece of legislation because it affirms two essential components of our belief system: honoring God and loving our neighbor.

 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints commends the introduction of federal legislation that seeks to preserve religious freedom and protect LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination. We’re grateful for the leadership of Utah Representative Chris Stewart and other congressional supporters of this cause. The nation is more united when diverse individuals and groups can work cooperatively to advance sound policy. Alongside other religious organizations and denominations and important leaders of the LGBTQ+ community, the Church endorses this balanced approach that fosters greater fairness for all.

 

Text adapted from Alliance for Lasting Freedom, “The Support.”