GOAL: 555 signatures
The First Amendment protects freedom of speech and religion for all Americans, regardless of belief, and you have publicly advocated for making Atlanta “a more welcoming city for all of her citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender, race, and religious beliefs.” In light of this, your decision to terminate Atlanta's distinguished Fire Chief, Kelvin Cochran — a public servant with more than three decades of experience who has served President Obama as U.S. Fire Administrator and was unanimously confirmed as Atlanta’s fire chief —constitutes the absolute height of hypocrisy.
Chief Cochran, exercising his legally protected rights, expressed his religious convictions in his recent book. He even cleared its contents with your own Ethics Office Director. Despite this, you chose to fire him simply because you disagree with his religious beliefs. This action is not only un-American, it constitutes intolerance, bigotry, and discrimination.
We live in a rich, diverse society. A society with differing viewpoints and beliefs, a society of open discourse in which tolerance and inclusion makes it possible for us to disagree with respect. We also live in a society that values equality, including the notion that everyone has the right to publicly express deeply held beliefs without fear of persecution or reprisal. People of faith – who are a significant part of America’s rich rainbow of diversity – share the same fundamental rights as all other groups.
Chief Cochran and the citizens of Atlanta should all have the right to equal application of equal protections under the law. If one group is protected for its beliefs, all groups must be protected.
By signing this petition, I join my fellow citizens in a united call for tolerance, fairness, and equality for all.
I am asking you to:
- Immediately reinstate Chief Cochran.
- Apologize for your unjust actions against Chief Cochran.
- Ensure that no person of faith in Atlanta will be singled out by your administration simply due to the expression of their religious convictions.
As we prepare to celebrate Martin Luther King Day, a holiday honoring an Atlanta native who bravely stood for equality and civil rights, I call on you to respect and honor his legacy. As Dr. King famously said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
GOAL: 1,731 signatures
2nd Update, May 16, 2014 – Following a swift and unified outcry by Faith Driven Consumers and fair-minded Americans across the nation, SunTrust today reversed its earlier decision to drop the Benham brothers – citing respect for the fundamental constitutional rights of all Americans. Faith Driven Consumer is grateful to all who collectively raised their voices against religious viewpoint discrimination in a united call for tolerance, fairness, and equality for all Americans. This also applies to those who hold to a biblical worldview, which includes respect for life and natural marriage.
UPDATED May 16, 2014 — Following HGTV’s decision last week to cancel the Benham brothers’ television show, SunTrust Banks has taken the highly unusual step of pulling all of its listed properties with the Benham Real Estate Group—and its franchises spread across four states—apparently based on the brothers’ biblical faith and worldview. By taking this discriminatory action, SunTrust has demonstrated its intolerance toward those who hold biblically based views and chosen to exclude Faith Driven Consumers from its rainbow of diversity.
Send a message to SunTrust and other companies that it’s NOT OK to discriminate based on religion and deeply held faith convictions by signing our petition at the bottom of the page and continuing to speak out. Together, we can send a powerful message to corporate America that Christians should be welcomed and respected equally alongside other groups in America.
Dear HGTV and Scripps Networks Interactive,
I am writing regarding your network's intolerant and discriminatory decision to cancel “Flip It Forward” from HGTV's fall 2014 lineup because of the pro-life and pro-natural marriage faith-driven beliefs of stars David and Jason Benham.
The views that the Benhams' have publicly expressed reflect a biblical view of life, sexuality, marriage, and family that have stood the test of time for thousands of years and continue to be held by the majority of Americans and your viewers – including those in HGTV’s home market of Knoxville, Tennessee.
HGTV’s decision to exclude those who hold to a faith-based viewpoint held by 46 million Faith Driven Consumers who spend $1.75 trillion annually has no place in America’s inclusive rainbow of diversity.
And this decision contradicts HGTV’s stated core values of integrity and diversity, which emphasize “having a strong moral compass which points to character, honesty, ethical practice and accountability” and hold that all are included in the “broad canvas of interests, backgrounds, lifestyles and ethnicities.”
While some members of the pro-choice and LGBT communities may not agree with the biblical view on these particular issues, the notion that free-thinking Americans should be discriminated against simply for expressing a perspective that is in conflict with another is patently un-American and flies in the face of true tolerance and inclusiveness.
As a Faith Driven Consumer, I ask that you reverse your decision and reinstate "Flip It Forward” immediately out of respect for the millions of Americans who share the faith-driven worldview of its hosts.
John Q. Public
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