This post (link) from Friendly Atheist Hemant Mehta deserves a reposting. Please pick it up if you read it and pass it along.
In a nutshell, the mayor of Spartanburg, South Carolina, Mayor Junie White recently recognized GLBT rights in their community. He approved June 19 as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Day.
City Councilwoman Linda Dogan wasn’t so thrilled. In fact, she gave this speech which Hemant transcribed (which I’ll add below the fold for anyone who wants to read along.
“Christians”, it is time for this kind of “love” to go away.
Grace and peace be with you, from God, our father, and our Lord, Jesus Christ. I’m not coming to you as a city councilperson. I’m coming to you as a child of God.
You know, what people don’t understand, we are not speaking hate. We are speaking love. But as a child of God, God says, “If you deny me, I will deny you.”
And for this proclamation to go on without the knowledge of full council is an insult. In my 16 years as a council member, I have never been so embarrassed. You know, for our families, this is an insult. And it’s early to say… I love [Mayor] Junie White, but he will go down as the worst mayor of the city of Spartanburg. The worst. [Crowd yells, "Right on!"] And it’s not hate.
But let me go a little deeper. As a black woman, born in Spartanburg, South Carolina, born during segregation, not one time we rode the back of the bus they ask you if you were gay or not. They looked at the color of your skin and they said, “You got to go, then.”
So when you talk about civil rights, you talk about stuff that’s real, that people have gone through. I went to a restaurant when I was 17. They said, “I’m sorry but you can’t come in the front door.” The thing about being black, I can’t take this off. But being gay or lesbian or whatever you want to call it, you can choose to be that way. You can choose to be that way. I can’t choose to be black. I’m proud of it. I am proud of it because God made us all equal.
The insult is deeper. It’s not only Christians that it’s offensive, but as a black person. And I want to know where the black pastors are. [Crowd yells, "Where you at?"] You know, you can get mad at me if you want to. I’m used to people being mad at me. Butyou should be here! You should be here. Not to spew hate, but to give love. And I’m sick of people saying I don’t have compassion. I’m one of the more compassionate people that you will ever find. I’ve never said to a gay person, “I hate you ’cause of what you do.” I’ve never shown ‘em any difference than anybody else. But trust me, I felt the difference — as a black woman.
And I am not preaching, because I am not a preacher. [Crowd yells, "Yes, you are!"] I’m not a preacher. But I want you to know that I am not up here saying, “Hate.” I’m saying, “Love you.” But we don’t need to endorse YOUR lifestyle because you not going to endorse MY lifestyle. And to cause this, this division of our city, of our county, is just wrong.
If you’re true to the cause… you don’t have to cause that disruption. And I ask all of you here not to go to that parade, because you’re giving them what they want. They want you to go out there and howl at them and say, “You’re wrong.” Stay at home and pray for them! I just thank you all for taking this stand and sharing love. Make no mistake about it. This is love that we’re sharing. Nothing else.
And at 56 years old, when God had better send me somebody, it’s gonna be a man. A man.
You know, God bless you all. Thank you.