After prayer and reflection, I am opposing Senate Bill 2. Allowing government officials to refuse to provide residents the legal right to marry is unwarranted and discriminatory.
Government officials swear an oath to impartially discharge the duties of their office. When public officials seek to deny services to taxpaying residents based on religious beliefs, they are not fulfilling that oath or serving the common good. The government should treat everyone equally. Government officials shouldn’t be able to pick and choose whom they serve.
Gay people are our family members, neighbors and co-workers. They work hard, serve in the military and pay taxes. When they walk into a government office, they should be treated like anyone else.
Lastly, let me say that I understand the reluctance of some who struggle with this issue. This has also been a journey for me. Houses of worship and clergy have the constitutionally protected freedom to determine which marriages they perform. No church could be forced to perform a marriage, period. The government, however, must care equally for all citizens. Government officials must do the right thing; treat everyone equally and not pass this bill.
Terence K. Leathers
Pastor, Mount Vernon Christian Church