For Fayetteville, the group supporting a city civil rights ordinance on the ballot Sept. 8, has announced support of 22 religious leaders and also the endorsement of the Northwest Arkansas edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Clint Schnekloth, says he and 21 other faith leaders composed an open letter for city of Fayetteville citizens.
“What we wanted to do was communicate real clearly that there’s a community of religious leaders in Fayetteville who are very supportive of the ordinance,” Schnekloth said.
The letter states that Ordinance 5781 is a clear benefit to – quote- “Local businesses, that it ensures religious freedoms, and makes the city a safe place for women and children.” – end quote.
On Sunday, an editorial in the NWA D-G emphasized changes from a previously rejected ordinance but said that it is still relatively weak. It concludes, essentially, that the ordinance is more important symbolically than structurally.
It won’t end discrimination. But it will affirm that Fayetteville strives to be inclusive and welcoming to all.
Not if the leaders of conservative churches have their way and defeat yet another expression of tolerance and equality with the misleading wail that is all about sneaking men into women’s restrooms.
PS — Times columnist Jay Barth makes the point that the importance of the ordinance outweighs some flaws.
PPS — The New York Times wrote an important and comprehensive story on the late-developing effort for non-discrimination against transgender people, built around the story of a Texas judge who once was part of the Texas A&M corps. Her story is inspiring. And the rest is illuminating. Foes of civil rights ordinance focus on transgender (and restrooms) because of the very difficulty of the discussion. Their numbers are very small; their stories very real; their discrimination probably the worst.