Keep the Faith in Meridian!

September 19

Meridian is neighborly, welcoming – a great place to raise a family and to live out your faith.

But now the city council is considering a measure – being pushed around the country by the LGBT lobby – that would punish people for their ideas and beliefs. And this is a battle that needs to be paid attention to all over Idaho; if it hasn’t come to your locality already, it could at any time.

The ordinance is known as a SOGI law because of its stated purpose to protect people based on their Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

But in reality, it divides friends and gives government the power to pick winners and losers based on their beliefs.  Consider two examples:

Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker who recently won a Supreme Court case, was prosecuted under a SOGI law for declining to create a cake celebrating a same-sex wedding. He gladly sells off-the-shelf products to anyone, but he reserves his artistic, creative talents for things he believes in.

But now, even though he won at the highest court, he is still under order by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission to not design cakes for ANY weddings (a huge part of his business) because of his faith-based convictions. And he is now facing new prosecution under the SOGI law for declining to create a cake to celebrate a “gender change.”

And even closer to home, Barronelle Stutzman in Washington State was prosecuted for declining to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding. She was a friend of the openly gay customer and had long served his floral needs. When he asked her about the wedding, she hugged him while politely declining – and even referred him to another florist who would do it. She is still in legal proceedings and is at grave risk of losing her home and business from fines and legal costs.

On Tuesday night, September 25th, the Meridian City Council will hold a hearing on the proposed SOGI ordinance.  If you live in Meridian, here are two ways that you can make a difference:

  • Speak up! You can send an email to all 6 council members in just moments on our Action Center. And here are their names and numbers if you’d like to call as well:
    Anne Little Roberts: 208-489-0529
    Genesis Milam: 208-489-0529
    Joe Borton: 208-489-0529
    Treg Bernt: (208) 409-7400
    Luke Cavener: 208-695-4536
    Ty Palmer: 208-489-0529
    Mayor Tammy de Weerd: 208-489-0529
  • Show up! It’s important that council members SEE members of their community who are opposed to this ordinance. You can either testify (respectfully) or just attend, but either way your presence is important and will make a difference!The meeting begins at 6  p.m. at 33 E. Broadway Ave., Meridian, Idaho 83642. If you’re planning to attend, your RSVP here will be a big help.

And maybe most importantly, please share this with other Meridian residents (even if you actually live in another part of our state.) Please help make sure that every freedom-loving Meridian resident gets  the word and takes action!

No one should be forced to give up their faith in order to earn a living. Some city council members claim they have addressed the religious freedom concerns, but the changes they have made are window dressing. They have exempted religious entities such as churches – which are already protected under our laws – but they leave individuals and businesses in Meridian completely vulnerable.

So let’s take action together. Keep the faith in Meridian—keep the faith in each other to be able to work out differences of opinion and belief without getting government involved in harmful regulations. And keep the faith in Meridian—when people of faith are free to live out their beliefs, the entire city, state and even country are the better for it.

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Policy Director