An elected official in southern city is taking heat from churches over his decision to proclaim today, Saturday, June 19, as ‘Gay Pride Day,’ complete with a march downtown.
The churches banded together for a protest/prayer service/counter-rally on Friday.
Organizers of the counter-rally state that they do not intend to disrupt the ‘gay pride’ parade today nor be a part of hateful slurs against homosexuals. Instead, they claim that their message is to the city official, Mayor Junie White of Spartanburg, South Carolina.
In spite of the fact that the city is located in a very conservative area of the Bible belt, White issued a proclamation designating the day as ‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Day.’
Not only were local religious leaders offended by the proclamation, but so were some local government officials, including City Council member Linda Dogan.
And Dogan was not the only city official upset by the proclamation:
Council member Joe Spigner is not as happy. The city shouldn’t be in the business of endorsing any lifestyle or behavior, Spigner said.
“And as a follower of Christ, I cannot go along or condone the lifestyle or behavior,” he said.
The council member said proclamations do not have to be approved by the council but he would have appreciated advance notice due to the sensitive nature of the matter.
Spigner said he found out about the proclamation when he picked up a newspaper at 5:30 a.m. last week.
“The way it was handled has kind of added to the controversy,” he said.
Mayor White received over 100 angry emails from constituents in protest of the proclamation, but he remains undaunted. White even went further to claim that those who oppose the gay pride march are akin to those who protested civil rights for blacks in the 1960s.
But Council Member Dogan, who is Black, is outraged that the Mayor and others would dare equate this issue with the fight for civil rights for blacks:
When City councilwoman Linda Dogan found out about the proclamation, she demanded a revision or for it to be rescinded entirely. She said that the mayor did not talk with all council members before signing it. Dogan, who is African-American, was upset that the proclamation tries to equate civil rights and gay rights. She was also angered that the proclamation was for the day that slavery was officially rescinded.
Dogan’s distinction is correct. The fight for civil rights on the part of Blacks was about personhood and not behavior. ‘Gay rights activism’ is about behavior–behavior that many Christians believe to be sinful, that is, if one takes the Bible seriously.
Further, one of the organizers of the counter-rally on Friday, Pastor Jason Camp, stated that the group opposing the proclamation takes issue with the charge that their protest is fueled by hate. Camp maintains that it is important to separate the sinner from the sin and that is it possible to love people in spite of any sinful behavior in which they may be engaged.
But this does not mean that in loving people we condone behavior that we find to be objectionable, Camp indicated.
Clearly, the ‘gay rights movement’ is basically political. The ‘in-your-face,’ confrontational nature of the movement tends to focus on political issues that most would consider to be Leftwing. Many gays and lesbians are NOT part of that movement and hold fairly conservative points of view.
For example, the questionable nature of a ‘gay pride’ day is highlighted by the fact that heterosexuals never find it necessary to celebrate their sexuality with a ‘straight pride day.’
It is curious, then, that a Mayor of a southern town in the middle of the Bible belt would issue such a proclamation, allowing the most extremist militants of the homosexual community to have center stage.
For commentary on the issues of the day, visit my blog at The Liberty Sphere.