Thursday, November 27, 2008

Letter: Resist bigotry, hatred

Letter: Resist bigotry, hatred

Edward A. Slavin Jr.
St. Augustine
Publication Date: 11/11/04

Editor: On Nov. 2, 72 percent of Floridians voted to raise the minimum wage by $1. Justice triumphed in the workplace, expressing our moral values.

Hatred and bigotry are the opposite of moral values. Jesus never condemned Gay and Lesbian people. True moral values condemn and seek to end and extirpate all forms of invidious discrimination. True Christians are known for love, not hatred.

Thirteen states, the District of Columbia and over 124 cities and counties now prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, including a growing number of Florida counties. The American Bar Association endorsed such laws in 1990.

St. Augustine and St. Johns County must enact and enforce local human rights ordinances banning all invidious discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation, sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, personal appearance, income and other irrelevant factors. Human rights must be protected and not neglected.

The St. Augustine City Commission twice refused to allow Gay Pride flags to be flown at the Bridge of Lions for one day a year, while frequently flying others' flags (including profit-making organizations). The implied message to gay and lesbian people was expressed by one Record letter-writer -- we'll take your money but we still hate you.

Bigotry is uneconomic and does not attract tourists, new employers or good jobs.

Four decades ago, African-Americans were arrested, beaten and jailed in St. Augustine, simply for insisting on their civil and constitutional rights to equality. Jesus never taught bigotry or hatred. Neither should anyone else.

Organized bigots are neither "Christian" nor "conservative," but high-tech Pharisees. Do forgive them, but please stand up to them. We are all God's children.

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