Should Gay Rights be Voted On?
Source: Juan Perez Jr and Erin Golden, "Churches push to get Omaha vote on gay rights," Omaha World-Herald, 14 October 2012
This is an issue local to my region, but arguments reflect a national trend. The Omaha city council last spring, by a close vote of 4 to 3, passed a measure that gave lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender practioners the ability to file grievances if they were fired from a job, discriminated against, or refused public accomondations because of their sexual lifestyle. "Religious organizations are exempt from those regulations, but some Christian leaders say that does nothing to protect Christian employees or businesses."
A petition is being circulated to repeal the regulation. If enough signatures are gathered, and the council leaves the regulation stand, then the measure will be voted on by the general public. Those favoring the repeal argue, "This ordinance makes it a crime to publically hold a Christian viewpoint on sexual morality in the marketplace environment."
The reason for mention all of this is the way the supporters of the ordinance are defending it. The sponsor of the ordinance, Ben Gray, said, "the repeal effort undermines residents civil liberties. What's being attempted here is to push a certain issue of religion on people that ought to be unacceptable to all of us who believe in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights."
Fascinating. Mr. Gray is claiming that some people had no liberty prior to this ordinance being passed. He is also claiming that people exercising their right to object to a law is undermining civil liberties. But the truth is that this ordinance is pushing for the acceptance of homosexuality in society. It is a religious belief, though a false one, that is being imposed on others and it is limiting the liberties of others not to accept it. What is being advocated is a denial to object or hold a different view.
Similarly, Jane Florence, senior pastor of the First United Methodist Church, said, "How can someone -- in the name of Christ, who offered love and acceptance and a message of gace -- then deny others the basic right to employment and not to be discriminated against?" The monstrous hole in her reasoning is that there has been no denial of employment in general and every act of employment is a discriminating one where the one most suited to the job and the work environment is selected. Removing this biased law won't change that. But Florence is hiding her desire to have sin accepted by hiding behind a twisted presentation of the authority of Christ. It is Christ who said, "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him" (John 14:21). Homosexuality is a sin (I Corinthians 6:9-10). The acceptance of sin in a person's life doesn't help the person on earth or in reaching heaven. Love of sin is not the love of God. As another preacher stated in the article, "The goal, therefore, is not economic equality but legitimating certain sexual behaviors in our culture and making it illegal to disagree with this view in the public arena."
If this ordinance is voted upon, I don't know which way the vote will go, but I do know that no harm is done in letting people have a say in the issues of their community or in the expressing of moral choices.