FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 5, 2015
CONTACT: Ryan Hughes
Shirley & Banister Public Affairs
Faith Leaders Urge Jacksonville City Council: Just Say No to the HRO
TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC), led by John Stemberger, announced a coalition of pastors organizing to oppose the threat that the proposed Human Rights Ordinance poses to the religious liberty of churches in Jacksonville, Florida. A press conference featuring pastors, legal scholars, community leaders and advocates for religious liberty came together to speak about how the ordinance will affect their religious liberty, which included some of the largest churches in Jacksonville.
“We gathered to announce a large coalition of some of the largest churches and most significant faith leaders in our community who are organizing to defeat the so-called human rights ordinance and to say to the Jacksonville City Council: Just Say No,” said John Stemberger, President of the Florida Family Policy Council. “It is bad not just for Christians, but it is bad public policy for all of Jacksonville. It is not needed and it is dangerous. The strength of this coalition is that there are white and black, Catholic and Protestant, various denominations coming together.”
Pastor Fred Newbill, pastor of First Timothy Baptist Church, one of the most respected pastors in the city and a long time civil rights advocate stated, “Jacksonville is a tolerant and decent city whose citizens welcome people from all areas of life. We do not need the government interfering with our relationships and small businesses when it comes to religious matters. And we surely don’t need the government to pass foolish laws that allow men to use woman’s showers, bathrooms and locker rooms.”
“Adding the new protected class of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression is not needed, threatens our religious liberty, and compromises our personal privacy, safety and security when using public facilities,” said Ginger Soud, Former President of the Jacksonville City Council. “As a woman, when I use the facilities, this is one of the most vulnerable and private places where I need to feel safe and secure. This law allows the many to be offended by the one and requires all the women of Jacksonville to feel violated and frightened by a man who subjectively feels he is a woman.”
The Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC), a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, is one of 38 other state based policy councils around the country which are associated with Focus on the Family. Many of these organizations are the leading pro-life, pro-family organizations in their respective states.