An Open Letter to Mesa Residents

As faith leaders in the community, we are writing in support of the recently passed non- discrimination ordinance that protects all people, including LGBTQ people, from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. This ordinance provides equal protection for those who visit, live, worship, and work in our great city. 

We also respectfully urge Mesa residents to decline to sign petitions seeking to overturn the ordinance.  People opposed to the ordinance are using falsehoods and wrongly invoking religion to create fear where there should be love. We want to be clear, as Christians, Mormons, Episcopalians, Methodists and more, we all agree that nothing in this ordinance violates religious freedom or endangers our community.

As faith leaders, we are called to serve all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves.

Seeking to nullify an existing law for the purposes of excluding people from full participation in our common and civic life does not promote freedom of religion, but rather seeks to reimpose practices of discrimination and segregation into society.

The First Amendment’s freedom of religion allows us to profess and practice our faith freely. It does not seek to stifle the freedom of others or impose personal beliefs on them. Simply put, religious beliefs ought not be used to harm people. Not in the marketplace, not in a restaurant, not in a place of employment.  We know this non- discrimination ordinance does nothing to jeopardize our freedom of belief nor our First Amendment rights under the Constitution. In fact, religious institutions are exempt from the ordinance.

While we may have different beliefs, let us focus on what we have in common—taking pride in our work, respecting our coworkers, serving our customers and getting the job done. Just because a business serves a customer doesn’t mean they share or endorse all of that customer’s beliefs.  Nobody should be turned away from a business simply because of who they are or who they love. And nobody should have to fear or question whether or not they will be served when they walk through the doors of a business.

Religion is meant to include not exclude.  We all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, without exception. We are all God’s children.   


The Right Rev. Jennifer A. Reddall, VI Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona

Robert T. Hoshibata, Resident Bishop, The Desert Southwest Conference

The Rev. Deborah K. Hutterer, Bishop, Grand Canyon Synod, ELCA

Rev. Dr. William Lyons, Conference Minister Southwest Conference UCC

Rabbi Robert L. Kravitz, D.D. Past-president, Board of Rabbis of Greater Phoenix

Brad Monroe, Pastor to the Presbytery, Grand Canyon and de Cristo Presbyteries

The Rev. Hunter Ruffin, Rector/Pastor, Church of the Epiphany

The Rev. Canon Jana Sundin, Canon for Children and Youth, Episcopal Diocese of Arizona

Rev. Jeff Procter-Murphy, Sr. Pastor, Dayspring United Methodist Church

Rev. David M. Felten, Pastor, The Fountains, a United Methodist Church

The Very Rev. Troy D. Mendez, Dean, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral

Rev. Carol Reynolds, Pastor, Scottsdale Congregational United Church of Christ

Rev. Michael Lonergan, Pastor, Church of the Painted Hills, UCC

Bryce Cook, Founding member of "All Are Alike Unto God - Arizona"

Rev Jay Hartley, Regional Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Arizona

Rev. Dr. Adele Stiles Resmer, ELCA

Rev.  Michael Patzloff, Faith United Methodist Church

Rev.Khalif A. Smith, Senior Pastor, First UMC of Mesa

Rev Bob Mitchell, First United Methodist Church of Mesa

Rev. Rock R. Fremont Jr., Pastor, Shepherd of the Hills UCC

Rev. David W. Ragan, Beatitudes Campus/United Church of Christ

Kega Nasios, Pastor, Ktizo United Church of Christ

Rev. David C. Rennick, Sr. Pastor, North Scottsdale United Methodist Church

Rev. Dr. Mike Kerr-Osman, Pastor, The Bridge United Methodist Church

Rev. Jonathan Arnpriester, Chandler United Methodist Church

Rev. Jody Topping, Pastor, Song of Life United Methodist Church

Rev. Dr. John Herman, Desert Palm United Church of Christ

Rev. N Susan Brims, United Methodist East District Superintendent

Rev. Elaine Groppenbacher, Pastor, Guardian Angels Catholic Community, ECC

Rev. Anthony Tang, Pastor, Desert Mission United Methodist Church

Rev. Jeff Procter-Murphy, Sr. Pastor, Dayspring United Methodist Church

Pastor Warren Stewart Jr.

Pastor Reginald D. Walton, Phillips Memorial CME

Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

Rabbi John Linder, Temple Solel

Rev. Mark Elliott Newman, Presiding Bishop, Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch

Reverend Bob Saik. Rector, Church of the Transfiguration

Rev. Richard Maraj, Senior Minister Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center

Linda Cogdill, Board Trustee and Member of Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center
Rev. Jose Olagues, Presbyterian Church - USA, Retired

The Rev. Anne K. Ellsworth, Episcopal Diocese of Arizona

Rev. Sue Ringler, Ecumenical Catholic Communion

Rabbi Bonnie Sharfman, Congregation Kehillah

Dr. Juan M. Brown, Sr., Progressive Baptist Church of Mesa

Dr. David L. Wade, Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, Mesa

Fr. John Caleb Collins, Priest in the Episcopal Church


Add your name to the Open Letter to Mesa Residents