'Religious Liberty' Bills Challenge UMC's LGBTQ Stances

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The Train Keeps A-Movin'

The Train of Freedom, that is...."You know it's long, long overdue; and it's "coming right on through..." (lyrics from "People Got To Be Free" by Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati of The Rascals, released 1968).

North Carolina just may be, inadvertently, the turning point in the battle for full inclusion of our LGBT Brothers and Sisters. It is apparent the right-wing attempts to twerk the law is just plain and simple meanspiritedness, and so are our UMC policies of exclusion and hatemongering rhetoric.

The contrast to our General Conference in Portland, Oregon, cannot be overstated. The West has long been a bastion where individuals are respected. The State of Oregon has a bisexual Governor who is expected to coast to re-election (or, really, her first election, as her predecessor resigned in a scandal which elevated her) while NC's hapless McCrory is in for the fight of his political career this November. Some questioned the efficacy of this legislative move at this time. The best anyone could come up with is that McCrory needed to fire up the haters for his fall campaign. Despite our contradictory stance at present we should cancel all events at Lake Junalaska [UM Conference Center in NC] and divert them to other locations where state law does not enable bigotry.

Enabling discrimination on the basis of "sincere religious belief" is a backpedaling strategy, much like the South African apartheid regime's last ditch effort scheme to create "homelands" where Blacks could vote even though almost all of them didn't live there. This nonsense is just like that. If your Bed -n- Breakfast refuses to host a same sex couple you are not acting out of religious belief; you are merely exploiting religion to enable your hatred. It is no accident this same day news came of an RV Park in Mississippi which threw out a biracial family and then closed down rather than comply with the civil rights laws. Haters gotts hate. How sad it is.

George Nixon Shuler more than 5 years ago