Skip to Content

Florida Faith Leaders Oppose Trump Administration’s Religious Exemption Executive Order​


Friday, May 5, 2017


Michelle Nealy, mnealy@faithinpubliclife.org, (202) 735-7123

Florida Faith Leaders Oppose Trump Administration’s Religious Exemption Executive Order

Jacksonville, Fla. —  Florida Clergy United, a coalition of over 250 clergy and faith leaders, alongside Faith in Public Life, oppose the religious exemption Executive Order signed on May 4th by President Trump.

As a coalition of faith leaders from all walks of life and faiths, we reject the recent executive order that makes unnecessary exemptions for religious places of worship and organizations. The impact of this state-sponsored discrimination will be felt by women, LGBTQ people and other marginalized communities. We are deeply disappointed President Trump is misusing religion to promote something that we believe is morally wrong.

Freedom of religion is important. It’s one of our most fundamental values. That’s why it’s already protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. But freedom of religion does not give people the right to impose their beliefs on others, to harm others, or to discriminate. We believe it is unholy to use religion to justify harm against women or LGBT people in their places of work.

Pastor R. L. Gundy, Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, Jacksonville:

“As a State President of African American Ministers in Action for People For the American Way, I am adamantly opposed to this executive order. It allows for churches to get more involved in politics and further erodes the separation of church and state. That is why our organization voted to oppose this “religious freedom” order.  

Rev. Joe Parramore, New Journey Ministries, Tallahassee:

“Any attempt by the President or the government to impose legislation that provides for the discrimination against women and their personal health and healthcare is a travesty and a grave injustice to all humanity. Furthermore, when the President and the government chooses to further blur the lines of separation of church and state for what appears to be for personal political gain, we lose the very foundation of our democratic society. We as a nation must realize we are not a “Christian nation” and to impose such beliefs defies everyone’s first amendment right afforded them under our constitution.”

Rev. Wayne Cook, First United Methodist Church of Kissimmee:

“Jesus invites all to come to Him not to be prevented by another’s religious understanding. (Matthew 11:28) Religious liberty and freedom means liberty and freedom for all persons. not selected groups or sects which may result in discrimination against others. Today’s order creates the potential for discrimination against a person’s beliefs and choices based on the beliefs and choices of another.”


Faith in Public Life is a strategy center for the faith community advancing faith in the public square as a powerful force for justice, compassion and the common good.

Florida Clergy United is a network of people of faith who advocate for updating Florida’s existing anti-discrimination laws to include LGBTQ people and who stand against legislation that would harm Floridians by allowing religion to be used as a weapon to discriminate. Our mission is to inform, coordinate, equip and mobilize people of faith in Florida and to urge our state legislature to stand up for full equality.

Back to top