Bishop Reddall Speaks in Support of Equality and Fairness for all Arizonans

(February 7th, 2022), The Rt. Rev. Jennifer A. Reddall, Bishop of Arizona, attended a press conference at the Arizona State Capitol in support of the bill HB2802: The Equality and Fairness for all Arizonans Act. This bill introduced by Representative Amish Shah, M.D., and Speaker Rusty Bowers, will extend Arizona’s non-discrimination protections to LGBTQ Arizonans in employment, housing, and public accommodations while also protecting religious rights for people and institutions of faith. It will also ban conversion therapy for licensed healthcare professionals in Arizona.

HB2802: Equality and Fairness for All Arizonans

This historic bill was created after years of thoughtful dialogue between leading Arizona LGBTQ organizations, business leaders, and communities of faith. The bill is aimed at updating the state’s non-discrimination law while also preserving religious freedom. The introduction of the measure also follows the passage of similar non-discrimination ordinances in Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, and Tolleson in 2021. In total, only 10 Arizona municipalities have LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination laws, leaving many Arizonans vulnerable to discrimination with no legal recourse.

The Episcopal Diocese of Arizona supports LGBTQ inclusion with Bishop Reddall saying “This bill means that every Arizonan can be viewed for just who they are, who God made them, in the image of God, and not be discriminated against.” she continues to say that “The Equality and Fairness for All Arizonans bill will extend the non-discrimination portion of our states non-discrimination ordinances but it will not do so in a way that prevents religious organizations from doing their work in their ministry. Each and every person in our great state should be able to earn an honest living without fear of being fired for who they are or who they love.”

Support for LGBTQ inclusion has continued to grow across Arizona’s faith community, with over 500 religious leaders signing ONE Community’s Open to Worship pledge, and over 100 signing an open letter, noting “LGBTQ rights and religious freedom do not have to be in conflict. Instead, we can come together to protect all people and unify our community on what has for too long been a divisive issue.”

Also in attendance was the Dean of Trinity Cathedral, The Very Rev. Troy Mendez, Rev. Canon Jana Sundin, and Rev. Chad Sundin.

Bishop Reddall and the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona have been proud supporters of LGBTQ rights and recently participated in the Pride Parade in 2021.

To view the recorded press conference you can visit One Community’s Facebook page or their website.