Similar laws in other cities and states have been used to prosecute Bible-believing Christians for standing by their religious convictions. Florists, bakers, and photographers have been found guilty of "sexual orientation" discrimination for declining to provide floral arrangements, decorate cakes, or take pictures for homosexual union ceremonies. Many faithful Christians have been the victims of exceedingly punitive fines, civil
penalties, or legal awards.
The "gay rights" cheerleaders in the ultraliberal media have repeatedly dishonestly portrayed these incidents as refusals to provide service to homosexuals. The fact is these individuals have not refused to serve homosexual customers. In fact, Baronelle Stutzman
, the florist being prosecuted in Washington state, both served and employed homosexuals for years.
What these individuals have done is refuse to participate in ceremonies that solemnize sexual immorality. They have demonstrated commendable courage in declining to be engaged in activities that God has described as an abomination. They have done what any true follower of Christ should do--resist any complicity in actions that are in open defiance against God and His Word.
The most insidious long-term impact of the Springfield ordinance may well be its hostile intrusion on the religious liberty of Christian institutions and organizations. The ordinance forbids any employer from firing or failing to hire any individual based on their "sexual orientation" or "gender identity." The religious exemption included in the ordinance is so narrow that it only applies to established churches and seminaries.
That means that religious school and religious non-profits can and will be sued for declining to hire individuals who are professed homosexuals. Private schools and Christian ministries will face expensive lawsuits because they refrain from hiring individuals who not only disagree with their beliefs and mission statements, but who are in vocal opposition to them.
We have seen the inevitable result of this in other states and communities. Teachers in religious schools have "married" their same-sex "partners," and then sued the schools when they were dismissed for violating their employment contracts. Those employment agreements required that those teaching the principles of a religious faith adhere to that faith in their personal lives and public witness.
The Springfield ordinance even eliminated a section that allowed religious denominations to hire individuals who are members of their faith group. This has obvious implications for many religious institutions in town, not the least of which is the international headquarters of the Assemblies of God.
If you live in the Springfield area, we urge you to do everything you can in the days to come to support a "YES" vote on Question 1 on April 7th. Please help post signs on your property, whether it be a private residence
or business. Please help distribute campaign literature to your friends, co-workers, and neighbors. You can make connections with the campaign committee working to repeal this anti-Christian ordinance by using this link:YesOnQuestion1.net
If you are a pastor or church leader in Springfield, we urge you to encourage your congregation to vote YES on Question 1. You can do so without any threat to your non-profit status since this is a non-partisan issue. You can distribute literature in support of Question 1 on your church premises and post signs on your church property without concern about legal retribution.
If you do not live in the city of Springfield, we ask that you contact any family and friends you know who do live
there. Please alert them to the seriousness of this issue, and urge them to get out and vote on April 7th.
Please be praying that the citizens of Springfield see through the false propaganda being disseminated by supporters of the ordinance and by their biased allies and advocates in the media. Protect women and children, and defend religious freedom. Vote Yes on Question 1.