A Christian senior citizen home in St. Louis has been sued by a lesbian couple after they were denied accommodation due to the center’s rule against same sex cohabitation.
“Seventy-two-year-old Mary Walsh and Bev Nance, 68, filed a federal lawsuit last month against the Missouri-based nondenominational nonprofit senior housing community Friendship Village Sunset Hills, a case that could have greater implications when it comes to the religious freedom rights of faith-based nonprofit institutions,” according to Christian Post.
The couple, Mary Walsh and Bev Nance, whose application was denied in 2016, claims that the senior center violated Fair Housing Act and the Missouri Human Rights Act.
Friendship Village’s cohabitation policy allows only for spouses, parents, children and siblings to live together in the same unit. Their corporate policy defines marriage as “the union of one man and one woman, as marriage is understood in the Bible.”
“Although neither federal or Missouri law ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, lawyers for the couple argue that if either Walsh or Nance was a man, their application wouldn’t have been rejected,” according to the report. “The couple’s lawsuit not only asks the court to force Friendship Village to change its cohabitation policy but also asks the court for a permanent injunction that would allow the couple to move into Friendship Village, where several of their other friends reside.”
There are wide-ranging implications to this court case, not unlike the implications from the Supreme Court case in which a Christian baker was sued for not baking a cake for a gay wedding. The bakers eventually won the case.
The essential question is whether a business has the religious liberty to refuse service to those whose beliefs and lifestyles might violate the business’ religious convictions.
The lesbian couple will be represented by the Missouri American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).
“Mary and Bev were denied housing for one reason and one reason only — because they were married to each other rather than to men,” NCLR Senior Staff Attorney Julie Wilensky said. “This is exactly the type of sex discrimination the Fair Housing Act prohibits. Their story demonstrates the kind of exclusion and discrimination still facing same-sex couples of all ages.”
James S. Diel III, the vice president of the Friendship Village Services’ board of directors said that the organization is “prayerfully and thoughtfully reviewing this issue.”
Southern Baptist Convention President Attacks Opponents of Critical Race Theory as Closet Racists, Neo-Confederates, and Pharisees
Russell Moore 2.0
The president of the Southern Baptist Convention, J.D. Greear, has blasted leaders and pastors who’ve made “closet racists” and “neo-Confederates” feel more at home in their churches than people of color.
His criticism came during an address at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee meeting on Monday.
“Let me state this very clearly, as clearly as I can, critical race theory is an important discussion and I am all for, as I hope you would be, robust theological discussion about it,” Greear said. “For something as important as what biblical justice looks like in the world today, we need careful, robust, Bibles open, on our knees discussion. But we should mourn when closet racists and neo-Confederates feel more at home in our churches than do many of our people of color.”
Greear also compared Southern Baptist Convention leaders to the Pharisees in their opposition to Critical Race Theory, stating that although they believe “correct doctrine,” they are closing their hearts to the full Gospel message by attacking CRT.
“The Pharisees who resisted Jesus, we know more than any other group in the world had correct doctrine. It was their spirit that Jesus said disqualified them from the Kingdom of God. They weren’t content with what the Bible said. For example, they weren’t content with how exactly the Bible said it, so they created what has come to be known as a hedge about the law, conflating the traditions of men, Jesus said, with the commands of the law,” he said.
Jeff Maples, covering Greear’s address for Reformation Charlotte, says that Greear is referring to “vocal anti-Marxist critics” when he uses the terms “neo-Confederates” and “Pharisees.”
“If Greear were after unity, he’d denounce the heresy that is swarming the denomination and call for unity around the truth. Instead, Greear labels those who defend biblical doctrine as ‘pharisees’ and calls on the denomination to repudiate them,” Maples writes, adding that Greear’s comparison of certain SBC leaders to Pharisees is based on an incorrect understanding of how the New Testament presents the Pharisees.
“Greear also demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of Jesus’ issue with the Pharisees when said that the Pharisees in the New Testament had correct doctrine, but that their problem was that they opposed Jesus. The Scriptures, however, do not teach that the Pharisees had correct doctrine—Jesus’ problem with them is that they were false teachers, just like those who push Critical Race Theory.”
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