The Scripture says that there is a time to be silent and a time to speak (Ecclesiastes 3:7).
Now is the time to let your voice be heard.
The Macon-Bibb County Commission is scheduled to vote on a sexual orientation and gender identity ordinance on Tuesday, November 17 that will impact every business and place of public accommodation in our county. You may read the ordinance here.
Where does it stand? The ordinance passed the Committee of the Whole meeting of the Macon-Bibb County commission meeting on Tuesday, November 10, by a vote of 5-3.
Those voting in favor were the sponsors of the ordinance – Elaine Lucas, Larry Schlesinger, Al Tillman, and Virgil Watkins – who were joined by Bert Bivins.
The Commissioners who spoke and voted against the ordinance were Joe Allen, Mallory Jones, and Valerie Wynn. Commissioner Scotty Shepherd was absent.
What’s next? The Commission is scheduled to vote on final passage on Tuesday, November 17.
The Mayor’s office says that a public hearing will be held at some point, but as of this writing details have not been communicated.
What should we do? We should contact the Commissioners and respectfully ask that they oppose the ordinance. Contact information for the Commissioners may be found at this website.
We should also contact our Mayor, Robert Reichert, and respectfully ask him to veto the ordinance should it be passed.
Please encourage as many people as you can to contact the Mayor and let their voice be heard.
Why is this ordinance not good for our county? Here are just five reasons:
- First, it is contrary to the teaching of Jesus. Jesus said, ”Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female” (Matthew 19:4; cf. Genesis 1:27)
- Second, it will put women and girls in danger. It will force women and girls to share private spaces (bathrooms, locker rooms, etc.) with biological males.
- Third, it will be used to punish and coerce small business owners (florists, photographers, videographers, cake bakers, etc.) who hold Jesus’ view of marriage. No business owners should be coerced by the government to promote messages or celebrate events that are contrary to their religious convictions.
- Fourth, it will be used to violate the free speech and religious freedom rights of citizens. As scholar Ryan Anderson writes, SOGI laws “are not about freedom—they are about coercion.” These laws “are about forcing all Americans to embrace—and live out—certain beliefs about human sexuality. They are not about protecting the freedom of people to live as LGBT, but about coercing everyone else to support, facilitate, and endorse such actions.”
- Fifth, this ordinance is the next step down the slippery slope. Proponents will say that the ordinance only applies to businesses. But their ultimate goal is clear. They want coercive laws like this to apply to everyone – to every business, every school, and every non-profit. Since they have so far not been able to pass the “Equality Act” at the federal level, their goal is to chip away at our liberties at the local and state levels.
You may read more about the danger of SOGI laws in this short article.
Let’s be clear. No one should favor unjust discrimination. All people are created in the image of God. All people should be treated with dignity and respect. All citizens should have equal justice under law. But to grant special rights on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is not good public policy and will not produce fairness for all.
I’m very grateful for your partnership in the gospel. God grant us wisdom and courage to be salt and light.
Now is the time to let your voice be heard!