Thursday morning a dangerous bill to faith and family values appears before the Senate Labor Committee. It is a bill that grants civil rights status to those claiming discrimination due to sexual orientation or gender identity/expressions. They received testimony last week but failed to have a quorum for a vote due to other pressing matters for individual Senators. I believe that this Thursday, June 9 they will have the votes in the room to act on this measure.
With some insights from Southern Seminary president, Al Mohler, here is the note I shared with the Senators:
“Dear Senators of the Labor and Industrial Relations Committee,
Thank you for taking the time last Thursday to listen to the objections that Louisiana Baptists have to SB 211. I understand the rhetoric from opposing positions can sometimes be confusing and disturbing. You are in the difficult position of wrestling with issues pertaining to two very different worldviews. Your committee patiently listened to the struggle between “constrained” and “unconstrained” visions for humanity.
The fundamental distinction between these two visions is moral, but the thrust of each is ideological. The constrained vision may be considered basically conservative, while the unconstrained vision is basically liberal, as reflected in the author’s opening remarks.
There is no real ground for compromise between these two perspectives. Both sides frame their argument in moral terms. Advocates of the constrained vision argue that humanity is heterosexual by default and design and that homosexuality is thus an aberration that exists (and needs to be discouraged). Advocates of the unconstrained vision argue that homosexuality is just one among several acceptable options for humanity.
As you are keenly aware, despite the rhetoric from the homosexual community, a super majority of your state, your constituency, do not favor an unrestrained vision. This bill has very little to do with protection of workers and has more to do with an attempt to normalize gay, lesbian and transgendered behavior. They want to make this a civil rights issue. They view our current laws that protect civil rights as in adequate obstacles to their human happiness and autonomy so therefore our current worker protections must be revised to accommodate their behavioral choices.
You, our elected officials, are in the uncomfortable position of attempting to find middle ground on many issues. The problem with this issue is there is no middle ground. The opposing sides see the potential of our culture from two very diverse perspectives. One perspective is based on the solid footing of principle, history and relational success. The other perspective is based on an emotive quest for normalcy by a small group of individuals engaged in certain kinds of behaviors that history and common sense deemed aberrant and abominable prior to the 1970s.
This is not hate speech. It is the reality that certain behaviors do not rise to the level of being civil rights to be protected in the public or private workplace.
SB 211 is rift with challenges such as the “gender identity and expressions” clause that the Forum for Equality described in the last hearing. Their explanation raises huge questions such as, if one is “plumbed” as a male but feels he is a female and dresses accordingly, which bathroom will be used? If state must create a third kind of bathroom called “others,” who pays for that? Where are the rules in this bill relating to an openly gay, lesbian or transgendered person who desires to work as a social worker? Will their worldview not permeate their thought processes relating to adolescents?
To conservatives, such as the vast majority of Louisiana Baptists, a bill such as SB 211 that attempts to assert sexual orientation and its cousin “gender identity” into a realm reserved for genuine civil rights is a mortal blow directed at the very heart of a prosperous culture.
We understand that we conservative Christians are the bulwark of opposition to stealth bills such as SB 211. And we will remain resolved on our opposition.