In the United States, the cradle of equality, the majority in a democracy enacts laws intended to protect the freedom of the masses. It is amazing how a nation dedicated to liberty and justice for all under a loving God can find discrimination a viable alternative to complete acceptance. It has happened in Springfield, Missouri.
Last year, Springfield City Council extended the city's non-discrimination ordinance to prevent LGBT community from being discriminated against in the areas of housing, employment and public accommodations.
Yet, on April 7, 2015, voters narrowly repealed Springfield's ordinance that provides non-discrimination protections to the LGBT community by a margin of 51.43 percent to 48.57 percent.
It seems evident to most that the vote has exposed Springfield as an unwelcoming city. But, to the contrary, Calvin Morrow, the spokesman for the Christian "Yes on Question 1 Committee," claims that assertion is untrue. He says, “So we’re really dealing with a situation where the net effect is that the church and Christian people are under siege by something that has not happened since the Jim Crow laws of the 1960s.”
What? To me, it is astounding how certain religious leaders claim to speak for God. In this case, the good Mr. Morrow and his cohorts believe that the Lord has deemed a house or an apartment should not be rented to folks afflicted with the "sinful gay disease." Morrow sponsors bigotry and injustice.
Surely, landlords will face civil rights violations.
Nonetheless, Morrow says he is very excited for Springfield, and he feels the next step will be about healing. Yes, I spelled that correctly. I'm sure many of you thought the next step for the gay community is "heeling," as in "being unrightfully oppressed under the boot of self-ordained religious judges."
“One thing we are careful not to do is we are not gloating -- because we were all damaged on both sides. And my heart goes out to the LGBT community and we are probably going to be looking for ways to unite and connect."
(Theresa Bettman. "Springfield Voters Repeal Question One By Narrow Margin."
KSMU Ozarks Public Radio. April 07, 2015)
Many business owners in Springfield had supported non-discrimination protections. For example, James Martin, owner of Gilardi’s Ristorante, said the upcoming election would allow Springfield to “step into the 21st Century” and to vote against discrimination. Martin explained ...
“Because discrimination does not happen with a fire hose or dogs does not mean it’s not wrong. There’s a point at which we will stand up and look in the mirror and say ‘We did stand up for something today.’”
Martin's hopes were extinguished by the April election returns. And, this "mirror" was deliberately shattered by those claiming to be working in tandem with God, the Almighty.
In a democracy, the majority rules. But, perhaps, in 2015, it is time to open the Good Book, discover the New Testament, and access the damage of those who might twist the words within ...
"A new commandment I give to you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another."
King James Bible, John 13:3410 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
King James Bible, Matthew 5:10