On Monday, Missouri’s St. Joseph City Council passed a non-discrimination ordinance aimed at protecting LGBTQ people from being discriminated against in jobs and housing. The ordinance passed with a vote of 8 to 1, but as happens so often with bills like this, there was opposition from at least one Christian (despite the fact that religious organizations are exempt from the law).
That Christian is Pastor Jacob McMillian of Journey Baptist Church, who attended the meeting to express his (bigoted) opinion before the vote. He thought it important to let the council know that he felt private property owners shouldn’t have to abide by the ordinance if they had anti-LGBTQ beliefs. Meaning, he thinks people should have the right to refuse housing and jobs to LGBTQ people if they feel like it.
McMillian took issue with the wording of part of the ordinance. He asked, “I would also ask, why, in the ordinance, we have an exemption underneath one of the clauses. It says “an adult cannot be with a minor”… What if that person is born that way and that is their preference? Are we now telling them they can’t have their expression of sexuality?… Within my religious conviction, sexual choice is a choice. That you are not born a certain way. That this is a choice they have made, and that’s why I think it is condemned in the Bible.
Basically, he was equating LGBTQ with pedophilia.
The crowd took umbrage at McMillian’s statement, as did City Councilman Brian Myers, who said, “No one’s born a bigot either. I think it’s taught. And I think you’re a glaring example of bigotry that’s been taught.” Damn right.
Well, that really got to McMillian, who says, “Councilman, name-calling should not be allowed. That is slander.”
McMillian wasn’t done, though—he went on to write a letter to the newspaper. In it, he states,
For the record, I am not a bigot. My life shows that I tolerate and accept those of differing lifestyles. My kid attends public school with LGBTQ families, my wife teaches in a public school that serves LGBTQ families, our church is a food pantry that is willing to serve LGBTQ families, and I have coached for three years with the St. Joe Parks and Rec Department without discriminating against certain families.
I am not a bigot. Bigots are intolerant of another’s belief or right, like making one use private property to support a lifestyle that violates their religious beliefs. I would like a public apology from Brian Myers, I want to know publicly if he still thinks I am a bigot, and I would like him to present scientific proof that LGBTQ members are born into the community for the sake of the argument.
Clearly, McMillian is very much a bigot. No one owes him any scientific proof about being LGBTQ. And I’ll go ahead and speak for Brian Myers and say that yep, Myers still thinks McMillian is a bigot because he IS.
h/t Friendly Atheist