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Contact: Stacy M. Swimp
Black pastors denounce Michigan Republicans “Dance with the Devil” on Elliott-Larson: Michigan GOP House Speaker Bolger “sold his soul” for $100,000 from so called “gay rights” advocates, pastors say
Detroit, Michigan, August 21, 2014 — On Wednesday, a group of Black Christian pastors and ministers condemned what they called state Republican leaders’ “dance with the devil” regarding legislation they said is discriminatory and would threaten religious freedom and women’s privacy rights by adding so-called “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the Elliott-Larson Act, the state’s civil rights law.
The pastors said Gov. Rick Snyder and other Republicans risk losing the votes of Christian families in the upcoming 2014 general election “if they rush to hop in the same political bed with homosexual activists.”
“Speaker Jase Bolger and other Republican hypocrites in Lansing are now dancing with the devil,” stated Rev. James Crowder, Senior Pastor of St. Galilee Baptist Church- Detroit and President of the Westside Minister’s Alliance said, “selling out traditional morality and our religious freedom in return for cash from the same ‘gay’ multimillionaires whose campaign funding they’ve condemned in past elections.”
Crowder cited Bolger’s acceptance of a $50,000 PAC contribution last month from nationally prominent “gay” activist and Democratic Party financier Tim Gill of Denver.
Gill and billionaire Jan Stryker, also of Denver, funded the Democratic takeover of Colorado’s legislature in 2006; Jan Stryker is the sister of homosexual billionaire Jon Stryker of Kalamazoo, who Michigan Republicans condemned in recent campaign cycles for spending millions of dollars in a similar attempt to defeat GOP legislative candidates here.
Gill also gave $25,000 in July to a PAC controlled by Rep. Frank Foster, R-Petoskey, the only incumbent legislator who lost in the Aug. 5th primary election after publicly declaring he would sponsor the “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” legislation. Foster was defeated by Christian academy teacher Lee Chatfield, who aggressively criticized Foster’s stand.
Only days before the primary, Bolger’s PAC took another $50,000 from Wall Street billionaire hedge fund investor Paul Singer.
Singer also contributed $25,000 to Foster’s leadership PAC, called Spotlight Michigan.
Singer founded the American Unity PAC, whose “sole mission will be to encourage Republican candidates to support same-sex marriage,” the New York Times reported.
Singer has spent over $10 million since the 2010 election “to help push Republicans and states to support and legalize gay marriage,” the Washington Post reported.
“Speaker Bolger and other Republican con artists have now joined many other elected officials — in both parties — who’ve lost their moral compass and sold out the 2.7 million Michigan voters who supported our state marriage amendment, in return for campaign cash from the financial elitists pushing this anti-Christian agenda,” said Pastor Emory Moss, Strictly Biblical, Detroit. “They have betrayed Biblical marriage and traditional family values in the process, and they’re misleading Christian voters who they’ve duped into believing they can trust the Republican Party to protect those values.”
“Speaker Bolger’s lip service to protecting religious freedom is not to be trusted when he’s taking $100,000 from high-profile pro-homosexual activists pushing this discriminatory legislation and using that cash to buy votes with campaign contributions to Republican lawmakers,” states Minister Stacy Swimp, Founder of the Michigan-based Revive Alive Ministry.
Foster announced after the primary election that despite his loss, he still intends to push the legislation, promising it will pass before the end of the year.
And despite the strong message sent by voters who rejected Foster’s reelection bid, Gov. Snyder said he too still wants action on the bill this year.
“That was one race. I’m going to look at Elliott-Larsen,” Snyder told Crain’s Business Detroit. “I expect something to get done by the end of the year.”
Swimp noted that Michigan Republicans have for years opposed adding “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the state’s civil rights law “until the GOP’s big-money corporate campaign funders jerked their chains.”
Swimp, who is spokesperson for the group of over 200 Black Michigan pastors, also cited a coalition of brand-name Michigan corporations and Chambers of Commerce who joined the American Civil Liberties Union in forming the Michigan Competitive Workforce Coalition, a group organized specifically to push the proposed homosexual “rights” legislation.
The coalition is headed by Jim Murray, the openly homosexual CEO of AT&T Michigan.
Swimp, who is also Spokesman for a National Christian Council of Black Pastors for traditional marriage of over 33,000 churches and 3.2 million members, also cited failed efforts by the Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP) — a PAC directed by openly homosexual Republican political operative, Greg McNeilly and funded by the billionaire family of former Amway President Dick DeVos and his wife, former Michigan Republican chair Betsy DeVos — to defeat high-profile Christian candidates in the Aug. 5th Republican primary who publicly opposed the “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” legislation.
Project (GLEP) — a PAC directed by openly homosexual Republican political operative, Greg McNeilly and funded by the billionaire family of former Amway President Dick DeVos and his wife, former Michigan Republican chair Betsy DeVos — to defeat high-profile Christian conservatives in the Aug. 5th Republican primary who publicly opposed the “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” legislation.
GLEP spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the primary attacking Christian conservative candidates, all of whom won despite the attacks, while multiple members of the DeVos family contributed to Foster, who lost.
“Big names and big money are obviously descending on Michigan — from Tim Gill and Paul Singer and, shockingly, even the formerly conservative DeVos family — to try to grease the skids and convince Republicans to join too many Democrats in selling their souls to homosexual activists and selling out Christian voters who cherish traditional marriage and the family,” said Swimp
Swimp said the proposed “sexual orientation” legislation is identical to policies and laws adopted in other states and countries that has resulted in Christian churches, pastors, and church members being discriminated against, fired, fined, expelled from school, and pressured to violate their conscience and moral opposition to homosexual “marriage” and homosexual behavior itself.
He pointed to dozens of examples such as:
- Julea Ward, the Black public school teacher from Southfield expelled from Eastern Michigan University’s counseling for refusing as a matter of religious conscience to counsel a student on how to improve his homosexual relationship.
- Crystal Dixon, the Black vice president of the University of Toledo fired from her job for writing a letter to editor disputing claims that the “gay rights” agenda is comparable to the Black civil rights movement of the 1960s. (Over the objection of “gay” activists, Dixon was hired as personnel director for the city of Jackson, Michigan.)
- The Christian photographer in New Mexico who was fined $6,600 for refusing as a matter of religious conscience to photograph a lesbian wedding, a fine unanimously upheld by the New Mexico Supreme Court.
Swimp chided Republican leaders for “either their greed or their cowardice, whichever it is on this issue,” citing strong public opposition to laws that force Christian business owners to violate their conscience.
“If Republicans who can’t be bought by Speaker Bolger’s money from Tim Gill or Paul Singer or frightened by Betsy DeVos will simply stand firm for the conservative values they themselves claim to believe, they will find strong public support for that stand,”added Rev. Crowder.
Crowder cited a 2013 poll by Rasmussen Reports which found that 85 percent of Americans said “yes” to the question, “Suppose a Christian wedding photographer has deeply held religious beliefs opposing same-sex marriage. If asked to work a same-sex wedding ceremony, should that wedding photographer have the right to say no?” Only 8 percent said “no,” and 6 percent sat on the fence. The survey of 1,000 adults was conducted July 7-8, 2013.
Swimp said the pastors coalition also opposes the “gender identity” language of the proposed legislation, which has resulted in women and girls being forced to share restrooms, locker rooms, and showers with males who claim to be women, including in K-12 public schools in California, Colorado, and Massachusetts.
He noted that such language is opposed even by some lesbians and feminists who believe women’s privacy should be protected by law.
Swimp cited a 2012 letter written by lesbians Cathy Brennan and Elizabeth Hungerford to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights urging the commission not to endorse so-called “gender identity” policies.
Brennan and Hungerford wrote:
“We write to advise you of a legal development in the United States that compromises hard won sex-based classification protections for females. This legal development – in which gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) organizations and individual activists work to enact protections based on ‘gender identity’…
In addition to compromising rational sex-based protections for females, These same GLBT activists have used the ‘gender identity’ framework to undermine the justification for female-only space that falls outside of government regulation (i.e., private events on private property.) As lesbians, we are concerned about the impact of this legislation on our community, and our community’s ability to meet free from male influence. More importantly, as females, we are concerned that in the attempt to provide protections for a few, we will compromise the protections of the many.
Specifically, the proliferation of legislation designed to protect ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender expression’ undermines legal protections for females vis-à-vis sex segregated spaces, such as female-only clubs, public restrooms, public showers, and other spaces designated as ‘female only.’ Females require sex-segregated facilities for a number of reasons, chief among them the documented frequency of male sexual violence against females.”
Swimp continued, “It’s simply beyond belief that leaders of the Republican party, which claims to represent traditional family values, would even consider legislation that threatens the privacy rights, comfort, and safety of women, as attested to even by lesbian activists. But apparently, those values are for sale if the price is right.”
“Speaker Bolger is term-limited, but Gov. Snyder is not,” Rev. Emory Moss asserted. “We hope other pastors across the state of Michigan will join us in urging their congregations not to vote in the governor’s race this fall if the governor, other Lansing Republicans, as well as Democrats continue to push an agenda that threatens religious freedom and women’s privacy rights.“
(Editor’s Note: The Pastors are represented by the Thomas More Law Center in their defense of Traditional Marriage between one man and one woman- in Michigan and across the United States.)