By M.H. Cavanaugh
Christian Action League
December 4, 2020
The Christian Action League joined five other Christian pro-family organizations (North Carolina Family Policy Council, North Carolina Values Coalition, Alliance Defending Freedom, North Carolina Faith and Freedom Coalition, and the North Carolina Chapter of Concerned Women for America) in sending a joint letter to public officials across the state, urging them not to approve SOGI ordinances.
The letter is in response to Equality NC’s lobbying activity calling on several cities to adopt these legal protections, which give special rights to persons who make up the LGBTQ community.
As the letter notes:
“Such laws unconstitutionally threaten our First Amendment freedoms. If enacted, they would not only violate privacy rights and deprive women and girls of equal opportunities in sports and other areas, but they would also expose businesses, religious organizations, and ordinary citizens to significant legal and financial liability. Across the country, SOGI laws have advanced government discrimination against people of faith just for seeking to live and work consistent with their religious beliefs peacefully.”
Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, explained the letter’s need was also because of the expiration of HB 142, which was the compromise legislation that replaced HB 2.
“I think most everyone in North Carolina remembers all the uproar surrounding HB 2, which was a statewide common-sense bill prohibiting special protections for ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity.’ But because of the horrendous pressures from politically Left-leaning entities that held the state’s economy hostage, lawmakers repealed the bill and reset the state by putting everything back as before when there was no explicit statewide policy about bathrooms and changing facilities. Neither did the compromise law allow for any SOGI ordinances to be passed until after December 1, 2020. Well, the expiration date on HB 142 has expired, and we’re catching a whiff of the rottenness of those canned SOGI laws now being opened.”
The letter expounds upon the harms precipitated by SOGI ordinances in the following ways:
- Harms to Small Business Owners, Their Employees, and Customers.
- Harms to Women and Girls in Sports, Economic Opportunities, and Privacy
- Harms to Churches, Ministries, and Faith-Based Non-Profit Organizations.
Creech added that pastors and churches and other Christian non-profits need to be aware of the negative impact a SOGI ordinance passed by their city or town council could have on them.
The joint letter reads:
“SOGI laws could even harm churches and faith-based organizations by stripping away their ability to make employment decisions based on the sexual conduct or identifications of applicants. If someone who identifies as a Baptist and is married to a person of the same-sex applies to be the Baptist church’s worship leader, the church could not consider the applicant’s sexual relationship when making its hiring decision – even if church doctrine speaks directly to that issue. Alliance Defending Freedom recently sued Virginia over its enactment of a state SOGI law that violates church autonomy in this manner. The law even prohibits ministries from offering sex-specific classes for parenting and Christian discipleship, and it forces them to pay for medical procedures – such as ‘gender reassignment’ procedures – that violate their beliefs. Local governments should reject any law that causes similar harms to churches and ministries in their communities.”
Ryan T. Anderson, who is currently the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, warns that SOGI Laws threaten freedom.
“SOGI Laws impugn judgments common to the Abrahamic faith traditions and to great thinkers from Plato to Kant. By the light of religion, reason, and experience, many people of goodwill believe that our bodies are an essential part of who we are and that maleness and femaleness are not arbitrary constructs but objective ways of being human. A person’s sex is to be valued and affirmed, not rejected or altered. Our sexual embodiment as male and female goes to the heart of what marriage is: a union of sexually complementary spouses from which the next generation naturally springs. Sexual orientation and gender identity refer not only to thoughts and inclinations, but also to behavior, and it is reasonable for citizens to make distinctions based on actions. However, SOGI laws would prohibit reasonable decisions made in response to behaviors that are fraught with moral weight.”
Some proponents of SOGI ordinances state that they are good for business, but the facts do not substantiate such claims. Various studies suggest that places without these classifications have greater economic growth, while areas that have added them to their laws have weaker economies and lower job growth.
For instance, Forbes reported that seven out of ten of the top ten states for business did not have non-discrimination laws that included sexual orientation or gender identity. Chief Executive had an even higher figure, reporting that nine out of ten of the top ten states for business did not have SOGI laws.
While this does not mean states with these types of laws always experience low economic growth, it does indicate these classifications are not essential to economic growth, as proponents have argued.
“I want to encourage pastors and other Christian lay leaders to be on the lookout,” said Creech. “In the coming weeks, watch the agendas of your town, city, or county to see if a SOGI ordinance is on the agenda. If you learn about one, contact the Christian Action League at 919.787.0606 or email us at email@example.com. Get ready! One could be coming to your town very soon.”