Consider This: (Springfield & Gay Rights) Pastor Paul E. Coltharp

Christians and social conservatives are being challenged from many sources. Some of these challenges sneak under the radar, hoping we won’t notice until it is too late to do anything about them. In our city, we lave that very situation. Many people do not know that we have a Mayor’s Commission on Human Rights and Community Relations. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Actually, cities throughout the country have formed similar entities as proscribed by the United Nations, with the stated purpose of protecting people from discrimination. Already on the books is a city ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on race, creed, sex, handicap, age, national origin or ancestry. No one has challenged that ordinance. But, now there is a proposed amendment to that ordinance, adding sexual orientation or gender identity to the list of protected categories. PROMO is a statewide organization that advocates lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality through legislative action, grassroots organizing and community education. They are the ones who initiated the push for this change in our anti­discrimination laws. They admit that Springfield was chosen for this effort because “this is the tough fight. This has been our platform to do in Springfield for about seven years. This is a long-fought battle. This is strategic. If we are able to win this fight with your help in Springfield, this is a tipping point to be able to get more pro-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) components in the state. This sends a message that even in what’s viewed as one of the most conservative bastions in the state is still going to support the LGBT community.” That is a quote from the executive director of PROMO. This group is not just promoting fair and equal treatment of homo­sexuals. Their intent is to establish themselves as a special protected class throughout the full scope of policies with the city. Notice that this is not limited to gays and lesbians. The terms sexual orientation and gender identification is wide ranging in interpretation and practice. Here are some comments from an administrator of a local private Christian school. “If approved as written, the bill could open doors to a serious assault on our freedom to choose who we hire or not hire, who we admit or not admit as a student, what we could teach or refuse to teach or allow to be taught in our school, and how we handle privacy issues. Several attorneys have reviewed the bill and agree that it has the potential for serious encroachment on constitutional rights to religious freedom.” It is time for Christians to stand up and speak out.

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