Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Louisiana Stonewall's Response

Dear Members,

Yesterday, Baton Rouge Mayor Pro Tem Mike Walker and Councilwoman Alison Casio pulled the ‘One Baton Rouge’ resolution from the Metro Council’s agenda in the face of adversity. Fighting for what is right has never been an easy task. Often times, there is more opposition than support but that never negates our obligation to doing what is in the people’s best interest.
We find it ironic that the God that says practice love, compassion, forgiveness and patience is the same God that has inspired groups of people to treat others with hatred and scorn. In an open letter to Mayor-President Kip Holden, a group of church leaders claim to hate prejudice; however, their entire letter is about their collective prejudice against non-heterosexual people.
‘…To address personal sexual preference in a special gesture of respectability goes against our conscience,’ the letter says. I ask when did publicly acknowledging that people deserve to be treated with decency and respect become an attack on one’s conscience and if that is what “One Baton Rouge” is doing to them, maybe they need to explore how prejudice works and ask God to fill their hearts with love and kindness.
This group disputes other pastors’ interpretation of John, Chapter 8, where Christ defends the adulteress. They say the story is not about accepting people despite their ‘sins,’ but it is about having redemption from sin. Well, since sin is an on-going theme in this letter and the reason they cannot support ‘One Baton Rouge,’ I am elated that is a burden they are above carrying.
Ultimately, we live in a nation that is supposed to have a distinct separation between church and state. If there are no reasons for not supporting “One Baton Rouge” beyond citing the Bible, our country and fellow Americans have been failed terribly.
We are not asking, nor have we ever asked, for anything beyond the basic rights that every American should be granted. If we cannot advocate having respect for others, how can we possibly move forward…together?

Standing tall in the fight for equality,

Captain Cory F. Heitmeier
Louisiana Stonewall Democrats

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