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The City Council meeting on "gender identity"

By Scott Tibbs, April 13, 2006

I attended last night's City Council meeting to speak in opposition to the "gender identity" ordinance. Since I knew that the amendment to the Human Rights Ordinance will pass by an 8-1 or 9-0 vote, I focused on morality in my speech. I cited Genesis 5:2 and 1:27, Romans 1:26-27, I Corinthians 6:9-10 and 6:18 in my speech and read Deuteronomy 22:5 from my Bible.

I opened my remarks with the fact that I am very disappointed that the ordinance was sponsored by a Republican. I followed up with several Scriptures on sexual sin and what God has established through biology and through Scripture. Unfortunately, many people are tempted by sin and rebel against God's truth. I told the City Council that by passing an ordinance specifically protecting people engaged in sexual sin and thereby endorsing that sin, they are practicing hate against the very people they seek to help.

It is not love to tell someone that sin is OK. If someone is driving down the road and you know of a hazard a few miles away, is it not your duty to warn the driver of the impending hazard? Even if the driver curses you for insulting his driving skills and continues on his way, is it better to not warn him about the bridge having collapsed? Why is it different with sin, especially sexual sin?

The way the ordinance was presented was highly biased in favor of passage, to the point that the city's presentation was little more than propaganda. Given this is a done deal and has been since it was proposed, there was no need to "run up the score" by making sure those presenting for passage of the "gender identity" ordinance had much more time to present their views (and in a featured, city-endorsed time block) than those who attended to remonstrate.

Steve Volan introduced Rebecca Jimenez to speak to the ordinance as a way to counter "fundamentalist" religious perspectives. Volan later apologized for that statement, which marginalized Christians who believe in Biblical teachings. While this was an honorable thing to do, it is brazenly hypocritical for the City Council to have someone speak from a Christian perspective while simultaneously ignoring and/or dismissing conservative Christian viewpoints.

Jimenez said something to the effect that she interprets Scripture in a way that liberates and includes rather than enslaves and excludes. She said Jesus was accepting of everyone, which is simply not true. Jesus violently ejected the money chambers from His Father's temple, and rebuked the Pharisees harshly. Even when He told the crowd ready to execute the adulterous woman that he who is without sin should cast the first stone, Jesus told the adulteress to go and sin no more. Yes, Jesus will accept anyone into His Kingdom, but only if that person repents of his sin and accepts the substitutionary atonement of Christ's death on the cross. Then the sinner is saved by grace.

A problem with the argument that Jimenez presented is that it focuses on how Christians are to treat sinners and ignores the slavery that sin represents. Jesus Christ represents liberty from the bondage of sin that destroys lives, bodies and souls.

I submitted a guest editorial to the Herald-Times on the "gender identity" ordinance. I called the editorial department on Tuesday to ask if they had gotten the submission and made a decision on whether to publish it. I will post more news when the H-T confirms whether or not they intend to publish my column.