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Clergy & State Lawmakers Highlight Statewide Petition Signed By 400 Faithful Floridians in Support of the Competitive Workforce Act


March 21, 2019


Michelle Nealy, mnealy@faithinpubliclife.org, (202)735-7123
Joey McKinnon, jmckinnon@faithinpubliclife.org, (843)364-4403

Clergy & State Lawmakers Highlight Statewide Petition Signed By 400 Faithful Floridians in Support of the Competitive Workforce Act

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — On Thursday, March 21st, faith leaders and impacted LGBTQ citizens stood with bill sponsor Sen. Darryl Rouson to voice their support for the Competitive Workforce Act and called for an Executive Order from Governor DeSantis to protect LGBTQ state employees.

Clergy touted a statewide petition, signed by 400 faith leaders, calling for legislation that protects everyone. Nearly 40% of Floridians live in cities without civil rights protections. The Competitive Workforce Act will protect people from being fired from their jobs, denied housing or denied basic accommodations simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

To watch the full video from the press conference, click here.

Rev. Terri Steed Pierce, Joy Metropolitan Community Church, Orlando, FL:

“On June 12, 2016 in an act of hatred, a young man walked into the Pulse Nightclub with the purpose of killing those whom he didn’t consider worthy of being treated with respect and dignity. Sadly, our state perpetuates this same hatred by not protecting all of our citizens. It is still legal under our state’s laws to fire a hardworking employee, deny them an apartment, deny them service in a restaurant, and otherwise discriminate against people simply because they identify as LGBTQ+.  My faith informs me that justice and equality are things of God and my heart tells me that it’s time for us to live out our faith in real ways. Governor DeSantis, I’m asking that you do what your predecessor never had the guts to do: Support this competitive workforce act.”

Rev. Joe Parramore, New Journey Ministries, Quincy, FL:

“I have hope and as a faith leader I’m compelled to remind this legislature of the words that Governor DeSantis spoke on January 8, 2019 at the inaugural prayer breakfast: ‘The more we turn to God, the easier it will be to work together and solve our problems.’ So to this legislature, I will say do as your faith compels you and your oath of office commands you treat others as you wish to be treated, pass the Competitive Workforce Act.”

Rev. R.L. Gundy, Florida State Director, African American Ministers in Action, People for the American Way, Jacksonville, FL:

“We should extend the same faith and deep love to all humanity, and that includes the LGBTQ community. They have the right to have employment without discrimination, they have the right to public accommodation, they have the right to housing without discrimination. That is a human right.”​


Faith in Public Life is a national network of nearly 50,000 clergy and faith leaders united in the prophetic pursuit of justice and the common good.

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