A hot button in the Florida Legislature has been the Pastor Protection Act but some say it’s a hypocritical move by countless pastors.
The Pastor Protection Act, which was signed into law this past legislative session, protects clergy from lawsuits if they refuse to perform wedding that violates religious beliefs, such as for same-sex couples. (House Bill 43 and Senate Bill 110).
Months ago, specific Pastors in the Central Florida community sounded off about wanting full protection against having to marry a same sex couple.
On social media, one pastor and members of his congregation even attacked elected officials for voting against the Pastor Protection Act.
But even prior to this bill, Pastors were and are already protected under the law to be able to marry couples they feel are prepared for marriage regardless of sexual orientation so some say there’s no reason why the hotly disputed Pastor Protection Act, sponsored by Representative Scott Plakon (R-Longwood), should be a contested issue, even though it was signed into law at the end of session.
But, what significantly links the fight for the Pastors to not be able to marry same-sex couples has become more ironic over the past 24-hours.
One pastor who was vocal about not marrying same-sex couples was scheduled to hold a vigil for the victims of Sunday’s massacre. Another pastor, who opposed marrying members of the LGBT community, rushed toward the cameras to stand in solidarity with elected and appointed officials as they spoke during a nationally televised press conference.
Pastors speaking out against marrying same-sex couples and then advertising and holding a vigil for national attention is the more unlikely couple. Some say those pastors have yet to do one thing in the LGBT community except protest the legal union and legal benefits for citizens while judging their lifestyle and most of all, judging who they love with all hopes of using legislative power to deny them the rights for which they are fighting.
Sound off on whether or not these pastors are saying one thing but truly believing another? Or, are they using this tragedy to gain national attention during one of the most trying times in American history?
Governor Rick Scott attended a prayer vigil at Iglesias El Calvario in West Orlando. His words were unifying. Scott said, “As Christians, we know God is with us and it is our faith in God that will persevere.”
An armed 29-year old identified as Omar Saddiqui Mateen walked into the nightclub and shot patrons of this club, which catered to the LGBT community, because he hated to see ‘two men kissing.’ Currently, we know 50 people were killed at Pulse nightclub in Orlando and 53 still remain injured as a result of this hate crime.