In states like Wisconsin where those pushing this dangerous and unconstitutional agenda know they can’t advance their cause through state law because of the makeup of the state legislature, they are turning to local municipalities. And sadly, there they are finding significant success.
The LGBTQ crowd — the acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning — has gotten very good at getting their people elected to local office.
Once they get them there, then they have them introduce their policy that they claim is about “anti-discrimination.” By using terms such as “fair,” “tolerance,” “bigotry,” and “discrimination,” they convince other council members to join them. Often there is a sympathetic or weak mayor involved as well.
We watched the above happen in Sun Prairie earlier this year, and now it’s happening in De Pere, a city just outside Green Bay. The language of the De Pere proposed so-called “anti-discrimination” ordinance is exactly the same as what was proposed in Sun Prairie.
City government generally works on a committee basis. So once a council member officially informs the full council about a policy he or she wants to introduce, the proposal gets assigned a committee. Once the committee deals with it, assuming it passes it, then it goes to the full council for public input, discussion and a vote.
That’s where De Pere is right now. The proposed ordinance has three main areas where it would implement its “anti-discrimination” policy: housing, employment and public accommodation. The policy begins by delineating the classes of people protected by these provisions and clearly includes “gender identity” and “gender expression,” as well as “sexual orientation.” The entire policy is a terrible idea, but at least the housing and employment portions have a religious exemption and a couple of other exceptions.
The public accommodation part is the most offensive. It basically says every business owner in De Pere cannot deny these protected groups in any way for any reason “the full enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages and accommodations.” That means business owners will have to let men who say they are women use the women’s restrooms and changing rooms in their places of business, regardless of the business owners’ religious beliefs or conscience rights.
In addition, there is absolutely no religious exemption in this part of the proposed ordinance. A place of public accommodation is defined as “all establishments…which offer goods, services, accommodations and entertainment to the public. A place of public accommodation does not include any institute or club which, by its nature, is distinctly private.” I think under this definition any church or religious organization that advertises anywhere inviting the public to services or programs would fall under this onerous law.
We have done what we could to alert citizens and churches in De Pere, in spite of the very short notice we had. I’m so hoping pastors and other ministry leaders, along with regular church-going citizens, will understand what is happening. Vulnerable and often unwitting citizens are being happily and handily sacrificed for this wrong-headed agenda; and religious freedom is being made to be “outdated,” “bigoted,” “hateful,” “divisive,” “phobic,” and “discriminatory” — and therefore unlawful.
I told you at the beginning that I consider this commentary a statewide alert. We stand ready to help citizens in communities dealing with this insidious agenda, but the on-the-ground battle must be waged by those who live, pay taxes, and vote in these places. I pray we are all ready for what must be done to stand up for our constitutionally protected religious freedom and for the safety and protection of our citizens.