''We believe this ordinance against discrimination discriminates against people of faith. Would a Christian child care center be forced to hire a transvestite?''
Steve Gaines a preacher from Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, TN, speaking last week against extending that city's nondiscrimination policies to include sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. Gaines, who is reportedly working with some other area churches, was informed by the measure's main proponent, Councilmember Janice Fullilove, that the scope covers only employees of the city of Memphis or to businesses that deal with city contracts. Private businesses would not be affected. She asked, ''[How] many times do you go into a restroom and look into the stall and ask, what are you? A man or a woman?''(Commercial Appeal) (Memphis Flyer) (WREG)
Another Councilmember asked the preacher if he would still have a problem if trans protections were dropped. Gaines has called homosexuality a choice and not a civil right, and reportedly said the proposal was "dangerous" telling his congregants to contact the City Council. WREG reports that e-mails have poured in from both supporters and opponents of the ordinance. Truth Wins Out, a gay supportive organization dug up some interesting allegations about Gaines' past at Bellevue.