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Isn’t There an Ice Floe Somewhere That Needs a Homophobic Preacher? [MUDFLATS]

June 4, 2009

mudflatsfirstpic[Originally Posted on Mudflats, used with Permission]

If there is such an ice floe, I know plenty of people who would gladly escort Jerry Prevo on to it, and ceremoniously shove him off the shore with their foot to a destination far far away…or perhaps to no destination at all.   Prevo, of the Anchorage Baptist Temple has been a notorious opponent of civil rights for the LGBT community in the past, and he shows no signs whatsoever of intellectual or moral evolution.  He does, however, continue to throw stones, embrace divisiveness, and can now take credit for this:

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Is this a joke?  It looks like one, but alas, no.  There’s even a nice link to donate money.  So, while thoughts of men in dresses invading the public bathrooms frequented by your wives and daughters dance through your head; or you are kept awake at night by images of being forced to hire a sales team of gender non-specific humans who run you out of business …there is hope.  You can click that link and make a deposit right into the coffers of the Anchorage Baptist Temple.  Only your money will keep the city safe from THEM. You know…..(whispers) the ho-mo-sexuals! The price of safety can be paid right from your bank account to God’s open hand via Paypal.

I would like to believe that the majority of people in my city are better than this.  I would like to believe that most Anchorage residents allow their lives to be guided by something greater than fear.  I wish it were true that someone claiming to speak for Jesus wasn’t using his considerable influence to make people dislike each other, and judge each other, and fear each other.  Who Would Jesus Fire?  To whom would he deny housing?

Of course one of the things that Prevo forgets to tell you is that there is already a ban on discrimination for sexual orientation in public sector employment in Alaska.  Another thing they don’t tell you is that currently twenty states, the District of Columbia, and more than 140 counties and cities have legislation on the books banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.  Those states include such hot-beds of liberal decadence and mortal sin as Iowa, Indiana, Colorado, and Wisconsin (which was the first state to ban discrimination of this kind in 1982).

Prevo sent out an 8 page bulk fax on May 15, which began “Dear Community Leader.”  It went on in some detail to describe what “sexual orientation” really means, and how adopting it as part of a non-discrimination policy would mean the downfall of life as we know it in business, church life, restroom usage, charitable organizations, and schools.  Yes, schools.  Even our children will not be safe from guys in pumps and women using the men’s room.  The fax even asks the panicked question, in bold and all caps:

“WHAT WILL ADDING “SEXUAL ORIENTATION” DO TO THE ANCHORAGE SCHOOL BOARD’S ABILITY TO HAVE SOME STANDARDS OF CONDUCT AND DRESS OF TEACHERS AND STUDENTS?????”

Five question marks?  They must really want to know the answer to this one.  As a matter of fact, this question has caused many fearful Prevo followers to contact members of the school board and school district to demand some answers. Want to know how this ordinance will affect our kids?  Here’s part of the Anchorage School Board Update dated May 28, from Board member Jeff Friedman. (Emphasis is mine)

School Board Update May 28, 2009

The Municipal Assembly is considering a change to the Equal Rights ordinance to include sexual orientation as a protected class.  Whether it should adopt that change is a policy question for the Assembly to decide.  I am writing about this only because some people have raised a concern that this proposed change would have a large impact on the School District.  In my opinion, it would have no impact at all.  Eight years ago, the School Board added “sexual orientation” to its harassment/non-discrimination policy. Board Policy 114 (c).  Since we already have this policy in place, people do not need to be concerned about how the Assembly’s action might impact the school district.

Yes, this anti-discrimination policy has already been in place in the school district for eight years. So, is it possible that Mr. Prevo didn’t know this?  Unlikely.  But whether he knew or didn’t know is irrelevant, because Mr. Prevo is not in the business of peddling facts.  He is in the business of peddling fear.  Unfortunately,  people seem to want what he has to sell, and they are literally paying him for it.  The more frightened they are, the more money he makes.

What about Prevo’s and others’ religious beliefs?

Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Alaska, helped write the proposal. He said it contains a provision that allows organizations such as the Baptist Temple to legally refuse to hire people because their sexual preference conflicts with religious beliefs.

“It’s unfortunate when organizations want to muddy the water and misrepresent what an actual ordinance does or says,” Mittman said. “People should go to the ordinance themselves and read it.”

The Anchorage Assembly is holding a public hearing to discuss this issue on June 9.  So far, Assembly members have heard more from those who are afraid than those who are not.  Fear is a good motivator.  It’s one of the best.  My hope is that love can be a better motivator.  And if not love, then social justice.  And if not that, then a sense of fair play.  Or the desire that this community not be run roughshod over by people who think it’s OK to discriminate against their fellow human beings in the name of God.

This is not an issue of men wearing heels.   This is a civil rights issue, and those who seek to defeat it are doing so at the expense of a healthy community that protects all of its citizens.  Don’t let them.

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2 comments

  1. I would like to point out that protecting “sexual preference” means that sexual predators AND pedophiles would have to be protected and not discriminated against. Even bestiality would be allowed and protected. If you think that those are against the law, so was sodomy not so long ago. AND whatever form of “partner” would have equal rights “under law”.


    • Rick,
      Quite simply, you’re wrong. Trying to incite fear by stating that pedophilia will be made legal because the archaic sodomy laws were struck down in 2003 by the Supreme Court is frankly ridiculous. Being gay is not a “gateway drug” to perversion.

      I don’t know if you are from Anchorage, or have had a chance to hear some of the testimonies from people who have been fighting to get equal protection under the law since the seventies, but I have been there. I have heard their stories. I have heard people state that they are abominations that will go to hell. People who use language like that scare me a hell of a lot more than a transgender person in the bathroom.

      Also, can we stop bringing up bestiality as the supposed “next step” that will be made legal if gay people are given equal rights? The only correlation between the two rest in the minds of people like Jerry Prevo, who are so terrified of losing their influence over their flock that they will say or think of anything to scare their congregates from trying to empathize with their fellow man.



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