By Scott Tibbs, April 19, 2006
The Bloomington City Council is considering adding "gender identity" to the city's Human Rights Ordinance. Activists have been lobbying for a change in the law for some time, and City Councilors Chris Sturbaum and David Sabbagh are sponsoring the ordinance.
As a Christian conservative Republican (in that order) I am disappointed that Sabbagh is sponsoring the ordinance. Sabbagh often complains about Republicans criticizing him or other moderate-to-leftist Republicans, but he needs to examine his record before complaining about party "disunity". When a Republican sponsors legislation that the Christian conservative base of the Republican Party finds grossly offensive to their beliefs, he cannot expect those people to remain silent.
I think it is important to note that many people strongly disagree with the idea that "gender identity" is on the same class as race, sex, ethnicity or national origin when it comes to discrimination. The previous are immutable characteristics, whereas "gender identity" (or sexual orientation, for that matter) is not. One cannot choose whether to be black, whether one is biologically male or female, or where one was born. For someone who is biologically male to choose to live as a woman is a conscious decision. We make decisions every day of our lives, and most people accept the responsibility for those decisions.
One consequence of a decision to rebel against one's biology may be that people of faith will be wary of doing business with trans gendered people. Whether the majority of people in Bloomington or their elected representatives in city government agrees with that reaction or not, the First Amendment right to freedom of association necessarily includes the freedom not to associate. Does anyone have a "right" to force anyone else to associate with him and does that "right" override the rights of the other person? I would argue the answer to both of those questions is "no".
It has long been established that with government money comes government strings. Will any business or organization that contracts with the city or accepts a grant from the city be forced to abide by the city's "nondiscrimination" ordinance on "gender identity" as a condition of that relationship? Will any faith-based charity that accepts money from the Community Development Block Grants or the John Hopkins grants be subject to an ordinance that could violate the standards of their faith?
God established men and women as different, but some are tempted by sin and rebel against His standards. This can take the form of living as a different sex than the one God assigned through biology (see Deuteronomy 22:5) or through the sin of sodomy that is vigorously condemned in the Bible. Sexual sin, especially sodomy, not only provokes the wrath of God but destroys lives here on earth. Sexual sin is a sin against one's own body – see I Corinthians 6:18.
City government should not take the position that choosing to rebel against nature is a normal and acceptable lifestyle. Bloomington city government will eventually pass away, but God's Word is eternally true.
Thankfully, there is an escape from both sodomy and the perversion of biology through "gender identity" choices. The shed blood of Jesus Christ will bring forgiveness of sin and the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit. You are not alone: we are all powerless to save ourselves from the damnation our sin brings upon us. It is our inability to redeem ourselves, however, which makes the Gospel so liberating. We need only accept God's unmerited grace and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I invite anyone tempted by these sins to visit Church of the Good Shepherd here in Bloomington.