More on the domestic partner benefits fight in El Paso

The Trib covers the fight over domestic partner benefits in El Paso.

Pastor Tom Brown wants homosexuals to repent and turn to Christ. He certainly does not want them to be given taxpayer-financed health benefits.

Brown, the charismatic leader of Word of Life Church, an independent evangelical congregation of about 1,500 members, is on a mission to ensure that the domestic partners of city workers no longer get health insurance. He is spearheading an effort to oust the mayor and two City Council members who supported an ordinance allowing the city to pay for the health benefits of unmarried employees’ domestic partners — gay and straight.

“They want to reward fornicators, and they want to reward homosexuals,” Brown said in an interview, his voice booming with indignation as he occasionally pumped his fist for emphasis.

The bitter battle over the ordinance and the resulting campaign to get rid of Mayor John Cook, along with the council members, Susie Byrd and Steve Ortega,is dividing a city that prides itself as a liberal Democratic stronghold. For some, it is a symbolic struggle over El Paso’s identity. For others in this deeply religious, and largely Latino community, the fight is one that city leaders brought upon themselves and have badly bungled.

“These are the things that define a city, and they’re worth fighting for,” Byrd said.

See here for more background. I’m sympathetic to the argument that a City Council should not re-pass an ordinance that had been repealed by popular vote. I agree that the remedy for those who have been aggrieved by such a Council is at the ballot box. I don’t have a problem with the process here. My problem is a moral one. I am unfamiliar with a definition of Christianity that is consistent with the beliefs of Pastor Brown and the actual teachings of Jesus. Putting that aside, he’s just wrong. And I hope he loses his wrong-minded, immoral fight.

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