There’s Trouble In Sioux City

Cornerstone World Outreach is one of two churches whose members are accused of creating a voting bloc on the Sioux City Human Rights Commission. Critics say the six-member majority is made up of Christian fundamentalists who stifle discussion of gay rights issues and are leading a charge to dismiss the commission’s director.

~Sioux City Journal‘s Critics Wary Of Churches’ Looming Influence

In the Sioux City Journal‘s Critics Wary Of Churches’ Looming Influence is addressing the lack of diversity on the Sioux City Human Rights Commission, and that six of commission’s members belong to two churches. The commission apparently has eleven members: Four of the commissioners attend Cornerstone World Outreach, while two belong to Heartland Community Baptist Church.

These six commissioners apparently vote as you might imagine a conservative Christian block would set the agenda and vote on a Human Rights Commission.

Former commissioner Sherry Flansburg, who is Jewish, took her concerns to the council Monday, as did Judie Campbell, who served six years before her term expired in 2008. In interviews last week, Campbell and Flansburg both said conservative Christians on the commission were intolerant of certain viewpoints and were imposing their will on the group.

“We had gotten to the point there were just certain things you knew you couldn’t talk about at meetings,” said Flansburg, who was chairman until her term ended June 30. “We never discussed gay-lesbian rights and sexual orientation, for example.”

Campbell said the growing conservative Christian influence on the board was disconcerting. She said no discussion of same-sex marriage or gay and transgender rights was tolerated.

“It certainly came across in their discussions,” said Campbell, a member of Peace Reformed Church. “Same-sex marriage came up and they were definitely not in favor of that.”

The City Council appoints the Human Rights Commission members in Sioux City, and the council has named ten of the eleven commission members since 2007.

I may not be energized al all to vote this November for Democrats on the national stage {due to the failure to have a national progressive agenda — especially regarding “Card Check,” immigration reform, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues}, but I’m very energized to vote in my city’s and county’s local election. The reason is that city councils and school boards have great influence on local communities; that city councils and school boards with conservative Christian majorities can do much damage to not only progressive agendas. And especially these local bodies can (and do) vote in ways that indicate LGBT people as lesser beings; hat treat LGBT people as unequal under the law with other citizens in given jurisdictions.

So vote I will in November, but not so much to reelect Sen. Barbara Boxer and Rep. Susan Davis (although I’m interested in seeing both reelected), but because I’m energized to vote for certain local candidates, such as Stephen Whitburn elected to the San Diego County Board Of Supervisors, and Kevin Beiser elected to the San Diego Unified School District Board Of Education.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright