Monday, February 27, 2012

214 churches and pastors buy full page antigay Omaha World-Herald ad on eve of reintroduction of Equal Employment legislation covering LGBT workers

Click picture to enlarge and read (at full resolution the image is quite sharp.)
The website is
Councilman Ben Gray, trying a second time
to pass LGBT protection in Omaha.
(Photo: KETV)
Update: A beautifully-made new video has just been released by EqualOmaha. See it in this post.
Writing in a 2/26/12 Sunday Omaha World-Herald ad "We do not have the right to change God's moral law to fit our sexual preferences," an organization of (mostly tiny) antigay churches and pastors has fired a shot across the bow of Omaha churches who have organized to support Councilman Ben Gray's reintroduction this week of his antidiscrimination ordinance, which failed in 2010 on a 3-3 council vote. (Ben Gray, Pete Festersen and Chris Jerram voted in favor; "Mean" Jean Stothert, Garry Gernandt and Thomas Mulligan were opposed.) Councilman Franklin Thompson called for a referendum and refused to vote.
    (Last summer the Human Rights Campaign released a poll during its bus tour (which included stops in Lincoln and Omaha)  revealing that a majority of Omahans favored passing an ordinance that would prohibit firing people because of their sexual orientation.)
Knee-jerk homophobe Perkins, of
Omaha's Pilgrim Baptist Church, who
opposed a gay rights law in Omaha
by saying "I find it offensive that we
would equate this with civil rights.
Those rights were based upon a
person's color of their skin,
which they could not change."
     The measure was shot down with the help of the Omaha Chamber of Commerce's executive committee, antigay churches, especially Pilgrim Baptist Church, home of heterosexual supremacist Cedric Perkins, and right-wing Christian policy organizations.
     When the Omaha Chamber of Commerce opposed the antidiscrimination ordinance in 2010, it said the law would impose "ambiguous and unclear" regulations and would be "difficult" for businesses to implement, saying such concerns were best approved at the state or federal level. The World-Herald said the Chamber would not elaborate on those arguments this week, citing the lack of final language for the latest proposal.
     LB912, an attempt to nullify any LGBT ordinance in Omaha by banning municipal protected classes not enumerated by the state appears to have stalled in the Unicameral's Judiciary Committee after a hearing last Wednesday during which Byron Babione of the Alliance Defense Fund, which appears to have written LB 912 for state Sen. Beau McCoy, testified on behalf of the legislation. The Alliance Defense Fund "helped" write a similar law in Tennessee which passed and nullified Nashville's LGBT protection ordinance.

Below: Alliance Defense Fund urging passage last Wednesday in Lincoln, Nebraska of LB912.


  1. I am very proud of The Nebraskans who took the time to offer testimony in opposition to LB 912 in February. The bill seems dead as a result of their hard work.

  2. So let me get this right -- these so-called religious people don't want an anti-discrimination law. They make is clear that they not only want to discriminate against gays and lesbians, they want everyone else to as well?
    And they are upset because such a law would prevent them from discriminating?

  3. What was the cost of the ad? And shouldn't that money be put to better use helping the poor, etc.?

  4. anyone notice the infamous UNO pastor phil kayser signed

    that alone speaks volumes.

    btw, it’s funny that some of the folks who who are part of Lifegate Church of Omaha and Christ Community Church of Omaha and King of Kings of Omaha

    will do a ad like this and yet refuse to call out a wack-job group like mike bickle of IHOP and his wackjob NAR folks who have said all sorts of weird far-right stuff that even many conservative christians dont believe in.

    but than again, most willow creek association church leaders in omaha are not really church leaders at this point, but are nothing more than political opportunists nowadays.

    the fact folks from Lifegate Church of Omaha and Christ Community Church of Omaha and King of Kings of Omaha are involved in the Nebraska Heritage Coalition and yet give a wackjob like Mike Bickle and his IHOP cult they support a free pass speaks volumes.

  5. I respect others' right to base their personal decision of whether homosexuality is a sin or not on the holy texts of the religion they claim and follow. Having said that, I, who claim Christianity as my spiritual home and discipline, do not agree that gay persons or loving gay relationships are sinful.

    Regardless – whether we disagree on that, to me, seems irrelevant here. If God does think homosexuality is a sin, it’s certainly not on the top of His list. Serving – or failing to serve – the poor appears to be His top priority (with roughly 2000 verses in the Bible addressing that), greed is a biggie, even divorce comes in way ahead of any mention, specifically from Jesus, of homosexuality. If we follow these pastors' and churches' logic then, should we not discriminate against divorced people, make it hard or impossible for them to get housing, education, work, and so forth?

    What Jesus DID say was for us to love our neighbors, which is one of the two great commandments, even to love our enemies and to do good to those who hate us, to judge not lest we be judged, to cast the first stone when we are without sin. So if opposing this bill paves the way for us to discriminate against gay people in hiring practices or rental policies or other such basic rights we have all come to take as a given, then I would say THAT is what is against God’s law and the standard to which we will all be held greatly accountable. Really?? Will we prevent people from getting an education because they are gay? Will we prevent them from earning a living from decent hard work because they are gay? How about medical care – will we get to the point that we deny that to someone who is gay? I’m sorry Mr. Perkins, and those who agree with him, but if you think that’s what Christian values are, you and I must not be reading the same Bible. Maybe we could get together for coffee or something, my treat, and compare our versions to see if indeed they have the same chapters and pages and verses.

    Aside from that is the matter of religious freedom, and not all religions or even people within the same religion (see above) believe gay people are sinners or sub-human creatures that God wants to harm or punish. We make, and have the right to make, personal decisions based on a reading of whatever our holy books are, or on the basis of a human moral code if we do not claim a religion, but we do not make laws based on the dictates of one group’s holy readings. That’s the constitution. We are a democracy not a theocracy.

    Respectfully, Bonnie Guy, UNL alumnus, Boone, NC

  6. Please print the whole document. Thanks