By David Vandygriff
Photo Courtesy of InOurOwnVoice.org
As I read and saw the articles and news coverage today about our anti-HRO foe’s current radio ads, I had to speak up. According to FloridaPolitics.com the radio ads being ran by anti-HRO are:
“With all the problems in Districts 7, 8, 9 and 10, the last thing the City of Jacksonville needs is for the black church to become weak and anemic, and we believe if the HRO bill is passed, that’s exactly what’s going to happen,” said part of one ad put out by a group of churches and Christian business owners. The group believes that if the city passes the HRO, Jacksonville churches will be targeted by the LGBT community.
Districts 7, 8, 9, & 10 are Reggie Gaffney, Katrina Brown, Reggie Brown, and Garrett Dennis. Reggie Gaffney stated during the City Council election at the Union Hall in Springfield, that he would support a fully inclusive HRO. Reggie Brown voted against the HRO in 2012. Garrett Dennis has said too many members of the LGBT community that he was supportive during the past election cycle. Katrina Brown has remained silent through-out her past election cycle on the issue and continues to do so today.
I will start off by saying that the HRO has ZERO to do with same sex marriage and/or the black church. As an honorary member of black church in Springfield, I personally take offense to a black self-proclaimed bishop supporting Donald Trump for President and spinning his lies about the HRO expansion, to be the ultimate betrayal to the black community.
Furthermore, for this self-proclaimed bishop to be standing side-by-side with Liberty Counsel, a designated hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, is the biggest disservice to the black community in Districts 7, 8, 9, & 10. A little known fact is that Liberty Counsel has brought a law suit against the Southern Poverty Law Center. The black community and frankly the entire United States owes a great debt to the SPLC for all of its past work in protecting minorities. Without the SPLC black communities and the black church would be, “weak and anemic.”
The time of sitting by and allowing this human being to turn the rights of LGBT in Jacksonville into a race issue is over. It is appalling and every black person should tell the self-proclaimed bishop that he does not represent the majority of our black community members.
Many of us know the money he is operating is not from the black churches, but in fact from those white pastors hiding behind their hoods or rather their own pulpits. The white pastors that wish to deny LGBT human rights are the very same ones 50 years ago, that wanted to deny blacks the same human rights.
The self-proclaimed bishop was just less than a year ago supporting the HRO protections for LGBT and now that there is money flowing from the white churches he has switched sides. None of the churches are suffering any lost tithes nor being forced to conduct gay marriages nor will they be required to do so after the passage of the HRO protecting LGBT in Jacksonville.
The HRO expansion is clear that a religious exemption is in place to protect religious beliefs. Now we have the men of God telling lies via a radio ad. What happened to 10 commandant’s pastors? Sin is sin and if you choose to say that homosexuality is a sin, well sir you are now equal in God’s eyes as a sinner no different than a homosexual you claim to be a sinner.
Maybe those pastors should have a long talk with Bishop T.D. Jakes, whom said the church and state should remain separate and that LGBT should be protected early this week. T.D. Jakes is the Bishop of The Potter’s House with over 30,000 members.
Don’t try to quote me Leviticus or say “he who cast the first stone,” garbage. Because you sir and all of your friends have already “cast the first stone.” May God forgive you all, but for now I have to really pray to God for the ability to forgive you and your friends, but I refuse to continue to turn the other cheek as my community is continued to be discriminated against by you and your friends.
Let the City Council do its job and pass the legislation that over 60% of Jacksonville’s citizens believe should be implemented. The legislative process is the right process to ensure both sides are able to compromise and comprise a bill that will be fair to ALL citizens of Jacksonville.
No voter referendum. In the words of Rachel Maddow, “Here’s the thing about rights. They’re not actually supposed to be voted on. That’s why they’re called rights.”
In closing nobody can under estimate the work of the LGBT community during the last election cycle. Many that opposed the HRO expansion in 2012 did not return to the City Council and our Mayor that sat silent was not re-elected. Therefore, I give this tidbit of advice to current City Council members, if you vote no, we will help to ensure you are not re-elected. We done it in 2015 with great success and will do it again in 2019 if need be.
CALL-TO-ACTION: Please send an email and phone call to District 7, 8, 9, & 10 asking them to support a fully inclusive HRO protecting LGBT in Jacksonville.
District 7 Reggie Gaffney (904) 630-1384 RGaffney@coj.net
District 8 Katrina Brown (904) 630-1385 KBrown@coj.net
District 9 Garrett Dennis (904) 630-1395 GarrettD@coj.net
District 10 Reginald Brown (904) 630-1685 RBrown@coj.net
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.“ - Martin Luther King Jr.