Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Memphis City Council to Vote on Non-discrimination Ordinance

Today, September 18th, Memphis City Council is scheduled to vote on another non-discrimination ordinance.

Someone posted a video clip of Steve Gaines during Sunday morning's service urging people to express their objections to city council approving an amendment to an anti-discrimination ordinance which would include "sexual orientation."

You may recall this news photo of Steve protesting in front of city hall a few years ago when a similar ordinance was being considered.

Where's the "love" and all that "kindness" he preached about Sunday?

Some thoughts:

"You should never be discriminated against because you're a woman."


From the mouth of SG that's one of the funniest (and saddest) things I've ever heard.

I believe the practice of homosexuality is a sin, just like gluttony, laziness, and a host of other sins, but I don't see Steve leading the charge against all-you-can-eat buffets. In fact, he's bragged about essentially being first in line for the dessert bar. ("No one asks if I want dessert. I just tell them to bring me the sampler plate.")

I still say let city council pass their little ordinance, and make this whole thing go away. It's not going to change anything. Few people would even know about it except for the organized protests by groups like Bellevue. I don't think people should flaunt what they do in their bedrooms be they heterosexual, homosexual, or any other "sexual." I also understand that even the most discreet homosexual who is doing his or her job proficiently and not flaunting his or her orientation can be "found out" by people in the workplace. Maybe they choose to set a small photo of their S.O. on their desk, much like someone like Steve would set a photo of Donna on his desk or a heterosexual man or woman would place a photo of their S.O. on their desk. I see photos of dogs on people's desks all the time, but that doesn't mean they're practicing beastiality! To me, a photo on a desk is not "flaunting" a lifestyle unless perhaps the S.O. is dressed in leather and chains or the employee is flitting around the office in a tutu. You get the picture. This just isn't a big issue in most workplaces in the first place.

There are redneck types who cannot simply live and let live with people who are "different" than they. They have to quash them or at least marginalize them. I deal with people I'm pretty sure are homosexuals on a daily basis. (I try not to judge people solely by appearances, but when two men or two women are together and referring to each other as "partner" it's pretty obvious.) I probably deal with many more who are homosexuals but they don't look "different" so no one who doesn't know them has a clue. As long as they treat me with respect, I don't treat them any differently than I do anyone else. I admit the open lesbians sort of creep me out much like someone with body piercings creeps me out -- e.g. older women with pierced ears and heavy earrings that have caused their earlobes to sag halfway to their shoulders, but they don't bother me personally. Most of them are more polite than many of the heterosexals I deal with. Homosexual men can be especially charming to women. Unlike a lot of the "manly men" in the church, I guess they don't feel threatened by women.

I don't think such an ordinance is necessary, but spending any time at all fighting it just brings it to a lot more people's attention (when it likely would have quietly passed or more likely died on the vine) and actually makes a much bigger deal out of it than it is. As long as someone is doing his or her job and not disrupting the workplace, I say leave them alone. How many heterosexuals disrupt the workplace on a daily basis talking about their after-hours exploits with the opposite sex? How many are just plain lazy and incompetent?

I dare say Bethany Gaines (Steve's daughter) "tweeting" live last summer from her paid job at Bellevue answering phones complaining about people who called, griping about working with "old people," having to get up early (on the days she was even there), and how she'd rather "expose my bare butt than sit here and answer the phones" (direct quote) was more disruptive to that workplace than the vast majority of what competent people who happen to be homosexuals do in the workplace.

Give me a competent homosexual who keeps his private life private to an incompetent, unappreciative, heterosexual spoiled brat any day of the week! There are a lot more slackers among the heterosexual workforce than the homosexual workforce just because there are a lot more heterosexuals in the workforce.

Incompetence and laziness are the biggest problems among all groups of people in the workplace, not "orientation." Most homosexuals in the workplace, like most women, just want to be treated equally based on their job performance, not "what" they are or what they do outside of work or who they choose to make a family with. As long as they're not disrupting the workplace and are proficient in their jobs, leave them alone. You'd think all homosexuals are pedophiles and rapists. The vast majority are neither.

Bellevue has had no fewer than three male pedophiles on staff, and they all targeted boys. I have a strong suspicion they were only the tip of the iceberg, and yet I don't hear any protests about that except a little fuss over Paul Williams.

And as a final thought, for what it's worth, I don't appreciate David Coombs (per Steve no doubt) sending out an e-mail to the membership instructing Bellevue members to go down to city hall, wear a sticker expressing their protest against something, sitting front and center (so the cameras will catch them?), and encouraging their city councilperson to vote a certain way. This is the church getting involved in matters of government. If they want "the church" (individuals already have that right) to have a voice in government, then "the church" needs start paying taxes! Instead they sit on millions of dollars in assets, eat up city services, and never pay a dime, but they want to tell the city how to run itself. How hypocritical can you be?

What if someone wanted to support the ordinance? I don't care if it passes or not, but a "church" telling me how to "vote" on anything sticks in my craw.

This was the message sent to all Bellevue members:

Memphis City Council Votes
on Revised Non-Discrimination Policy

On Tuesday, September 18, at 3:00 p.m., the Memphis City Council will vote on Ordinance 5470, which would include sexual orientation and gender identity to its employment non-discrimination policy.

To read more about non-discrimination Ordinances and their impact, click here.

To oppose Ordinance 5470:

In person:

1. Attend the City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 18, at 3:00 p.m.

2. Be at 125 North Main at 2:30 p.m. for prayer before the meeting.

3. Each person will have to go through security, and there will be a line. Remove all sharp objects from your person.

4. Please be prepared to sit near the front so that those who oppose the Ordinance will be visible and to wear a sticker that says, "NO AMENDMENT."

5. Be prepared to stay for the whole meeting, which may last 2-3 hours.

By email:

1. Click here to be directed to the City Council Member page.

- Right above the Members' pictures, click "Click here to email all."

- Copy and paste the subject line and message below into your email (or write your variation of the same or even your own message).

Subject: Ordinance 5470 Regarding Non-discrimination

I ask that you oppose any amendments to Ordinance 5470 and approve the ordinance as originally proposed. Thank you for your consideration.

- Forward this email to your friends, urging them to do the same.

[There was no point #2.]

Please act today! Each person and each voice matter!

So will Bellevue members receive a follow-up message in a few weeks instructing them how to vote at the polls in November? Don't be surprised if they do.

Update: WMC-TV >> Memphis city council landmark vote on anti-discrimination ordinance put on hold

Commercial Appeal >> Memphis delays final vote on nondiscrimination language about sexual identity

Steve Gaines addresses the Memphis City Council

October 16th Update: Memphis approves protections against discrimination for sexual orientation


New BBC Open Forum said...

Some of the comments on the Commercial Appeal article were interesting...

At some point in the future, people are going to look back at our society and regard these religious zealots the same we view the the 17th century Salem witch trials. They'll think, "how could people be so ignorant and so mean?" Gaines is the new Cotton Mather.

New BBC Open Forum said...

You can bash gay American tax payers all day long with your religion. But you cannot do the same with your government.

Let me make it clear that I'm against "gay marriage" as "marriage" in my mind is defined as being between one man and one woman. I'm not necessarily against civil unions between two committed parties. Perhaps it's time to rethink the connection between civil "marriage" (a legal contract) and "marriage" as defined by the church (a spiritual covenant) and eliminate the "married filing jointly" tax status and a lot of the other legal perks that married couples currently enjoy. Two can live more cheaply than one, so why should two individuals who often both have incomes be afforded tax breaks two other individuals aren't? Either that or recognize civil unions.

This seems to be where the line blurs, and both sides are simply talking past each other. The pro "gay marriage" folks seem to want the legal recognition of their commitments and the legal privileges that accompany such a legal contract. The anti "gay marriage" folks want to impose the biblical definition of marriage on everyone. I don't know. Maybe it's time to rethink the terminology.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Comment: Factually, you could be fired for being straight if it struck your employer to do so. It would be highly unlikely but not impossible. Adding sexual orientation to the protected liberties would, however, be a two way street and protect both sides.

Reply: Technically yes, but first you would have to be outed as straight in your office. Then you would have to explain that being straight is not a choice. Then you would be judged by all the gay employees who would tell you that you were going to hell for being straight. Then you would get fired. But yes, that could happen.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Okay, someone wins the internet for this one! The logic here is beautiful. Except it would be the county and city coffers that would benefit because Bellevue is part of Memphis.

Mr. Gain[e]s, being a Christian is also a choice... you weren't born a Christian, it's not genetic... it's a choice you made. You also made a choice to join the church... so under your argument maybe we should cut all "special privileges" enjoyed by the church now... all those tax exemptions. What do you think the property tax on the Bellevue [properties] would bring into the county coffers.....hhhhmmmm.

Hhhhmmmm, indeed!

New BBC Open Forum said...

This person, whether knowingly or not, hit upon the real issue, and that's that Bellevue likely has contracts with the city. Steve's objection to this ordinance is not how the city treats their employees but rather that Bellevue will be forced NOT to discriminate against THEIR employees based upon sexual orientation. Get it now? Steve doesn't do anything for no reason. Follow the money. Always follow the money. It's a choice between not discriminating against their employees (and you just know someone is itching for a test case) or losing any lucrative city (and county) contracts. The county has voted against similar ordinances, and Steve led the charge against them, too.

Plenty of people read these comments, so I'd like to clear some things up for all of the folks commenting who are confused and those reading who might also be.

The ordinance under discussion applies to city contracts only. It is stating that it shall be city policy to not discriminate in the hiring, firing, promotion, or otherwise in the workplace, against employees of the city or those contracted by the city based on the listed factors, to which "sexual orientation" is being added.

Identical language has already been adopted via ordinance in Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga.

It does not alter state or federal employment law. It does not affect private employers. It also has nothing to do with gay marriage.

To oppose this language, one must believe that the city somehow needs to continue to discriminate if they have been, and/or will need to discriminate in the future, against homosexual employees based solely on their sexual orientation. Of course, I don't think anyone actually believes that. I think they are buying the Pastor Gaines argument that this language gives "special rights to homosexuals" - of course, it does not - and that this language "violates the freedoms of the majority" - again, what universe Pastor Gaines was in when he said that yesterday, reasonable folks can't be sure. What freedoms, Pastor Gaines? Does the city need the freedom to discriminate against homosexuals in city contracts because of their private sexual lives? No, of course not, the argument is absurd.

Follow the money.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Steve Gaines addresses the Memphis City Council

New BBC Open Forum said...

From the latest Commercial Appeal article:

It applies only to employment by the city of Memphis, not private individuals or groups that may contract with the city.

Sleep tight, Bellevue. Your city contracts are safe!

New BBC Open Forum said...

Eddie Struble