Dear Citizens of the City of Jackson,
Over the last several weeks there has been much discussion and news publications in regards to our City Council passing a Non Discrimination Ordinance.
Further, there has been discussion on the local Catholic Church’s position on the Ordinance. In regard to the persons that the Non Discrimination Ordinance seeks to protect, our Church teaching is clear:
Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2358:
…They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter…
In addition to our position on the non-discrimination of a person based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, we feel just as strongly about the protection of the religious freedom of our citizens in case of a reasonable conscientious objection.
We already have seen how such a law in other cities has affected small business owners, such as Barronelle Stutzman, who have faithfully served people of the LGBT community, but cannot in good conscience take part in same-sex weddings. They stand to lose their business and all they have.
Although we support the vast majority of the current version of the NDO, in faith we know that we cannot lessen the amount of discrimination by shifting it from one group of people to another.
We must be patient and be persistent that all members of the human race – of all gender identities, of all sexual orientations, and of all religious affiliations – are equally protected under the law.
St. John the Evangelist Parish prays that our city leaders, elected and otherwise, will come together and modify the current Non-Discrimination Ordinance with a specific clause that guarantees the freedom of all persons to act in accord with their conscience.
When a revised, universal version of the NDO is available, we will be proud to support it.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me by phone or email.
Director of Communications
St. John the Evangelist Parish