You did it. You made them listen and the City Council was forced to go back to the drawing board regarding the proposed sexual orientation and gender identity nondiscrimination ordinance. This weekend a new draft became public that specifically exempted churches and religious organizations when functioning specifically (and only) in their ‘religious’ role.
Unfortunately, we’re not done, yet. While protecting churches was something they were always going to have to do because a court would have forced them to under the First Amendment, there are still a lot of problems with ordinances like this one when they are used to target every day people of faith.
Please know, the stories you’ve heard about in which business owners were attacked, or women were forced to use bathrooms with males – ALL that is still possible if Wichita enacts this ordinance.
Just one example:
Jack Phillips went back to court for the third time last week to protect his ability to live out his faith in his business. You may remember Jack from a couple years ago when he was narrowly vindicated before the US Supreme Court.
Jack’s case started in 2012 when he respectfully declined to make a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding, though he had made many other desserts for the same couple. (YES, Jack has now been fighting the consequences of a SOGI law for nearly ten years!) Though the Supreme Court said he had been treated badly by the commission that investigated the complaint brought by the couple, the Court did not do anything about the underlying law that allowed the complaint to be brought. And guess what – that was a similar sexual orientation and gender identity nondiscrimination law as what we are seeing proposed in Wichita.
Cities and state governments have been willing to prosecute cases like this all the way to the state or federal Supreme Court. Wichitans shouldn’t have to spend years in court for a law that is in search of a problem.
Under this ordinance a pastor is welcome to teach until he is blue in the face about God’s design for marriage and sexuality but the church member sitting in the pew won’t be allowed to actually act on that teaching or freely live out those values outside the walls of the church.
Do we really want Wichitans to be forced to go to court for years in order to defend basic God given rights?
I urge you to contact your City Councilmembers and pray that they will change their hearts.
We encourage you to come to the city council meeting on July 6th and stand up for your family and our city. We will be meeting outside for prayer at 8 am.
Tuesday, July 6th at 8 AM
455 N Main, 1st Floor
Wichita, KS 67202
We so appreciate that so many of you took time to reach out. We still need you! We are in this for the long haul to make sure Wichita stays a welcoming place for families, businesses, and believers.