Again and again we see people standing up for their right to be bigoted based on thier religion. The latest instance comes from Omaha, Nebraska.
About 100 people testified on Councilman Ben Gray’s proposed amendments to city discrimination laws.
The amendments would allow lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents to file complaints with Omaha’s Human Rights and Relations Department if they were fired over their orientation, suffered other workplace discrimination or were refused service at restaurants, hotels or other places that serve the public.
This all sound very reasonable. These people are trying to go about their lives without being fired or refused service. Things that the rest of us take for granted. Not everyone sees it that way.
“We hired you as our public leaders to lead us in justice, not to determine religious doctrine,” said the Rev. Jane Florence of First United Methodist Church in Omaha. “It’s a disgrace when Scripture is used to exclude and condemn and marginalize people, beloved people of God.”
That’s right. Removing the ability to discriminate marginalizes the ‘beloved people of God’. They also argued that this regulation would put undue stress on small business owners. How that works I don’t know, unless it means that business owners forced to serve the public can’t function without the ability to discriminate. Perhaps they are threatening restaurants with a boycott if they happened to think their server is gay or transgender. Those damn gay cooties.
Further, they said, the amended ordinance would force those morally opposed to gay and transgender activity to accept state-sanctioned behavior.
“Our councils will pass away. Our written, man-made laws will pass away into extinction. But the word of God will stand forever. We will be judged by it. I pray we consider that,” said the Rev. Dr. Stan Rone, head of the Worship Center church in northeast Omaha.
Of course, the resolution is not all inclusive.
Though Gray’s proposed language includes an exemption for religious organizations, he said concerns from Catholic leaders led three council members to offer an amendment to broaden and clarify the exemption.
That amendment specifically excludes from the provisions public places owned or operated by religious groups.
That’s right a soup kitchen, thrift store, or shelter operated by a church would legally be allowed to refuse anyone based on sexual orientation. Someday this will be seen by all as disgusting as it appears to the rest of us. Someday.