2018 | Week of May 14 | #1255
Believe it or not, often I hate being right. Seriously. Way too frequently I have to be the one who is saying this is a slippery slope, or if this city does this certain thing, watch out because other cities in Wisconsin will soon follow. I hate it when such words turn out to be true—especially when it happens so fast.
Last month the city of Milwaukee Common Council passed an ordinance on a 12-2 vote that bans so-called conversion therapy or counseling for minors if a fee is paid for such counseling. Mayor Barrett signed the ordinance into law within 48 hours of the council members’ vote.
The ordinance mirrors what states and other cities have been doing all across the country recently. The council wasn’t brave enough to let the citizens of Milwaukee have much time to react to the proposed ban, nor were they brave enough to let citizens speak openly before either the committee or the full common council. The only public voices the decision-makers heard were those who desperately wanted to shut down any voice that opposes their agenda of giving a plethora of special rights and protections to the LGBTQ folks…that’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, questioning.
Conversion therapy or counseling is that which is used by people who believe that one is not condemned to a life of struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction or unwanted gender identity issues. This type of counseling, especially when done by Christians using the Word of God as their authority and guide, offers real hope and real help for change. And it’s “change” that scares those pushing the LGBTQ agenda. They want everyone to believe that people are “born gay” and to change would damage them irreparably. The only change they believe in is that one can change one’s biology—or try to—in order to bring it into conformity with their emotions. Mind you, changing one’s emotions is wrong, according to these folks, but changing one’s gender is fine. Talk about inconsistency.
The ban essentially says the only kind of counseling for Milwaukee minors dealing with unwanted same-sex attraction and unwanted gender confusion that is acceptable is that which affirms and encourages homosexuality and biological gender non-conformity.
Attorneys specializing in dealing with these bans tell us this ban is a direct threat to the right of parents to make decisions they believe are in the best interest of their children and is also a threat to pastors, churches, Christian counselors and others who are working with kids and dealing with these issues.
I said at the time that this issue was before the Council, if it passes here, look out because it will soon be in other communities. Not even a month from when the Milwaukee Mayor signed the law, Shorewood, a community just north of Milwaukee, has announced that it’s considering passing a ban similar to what Milwaukee just passed. Last week, the board passed a resolution supporting such a ban and agreed to look into drafting an ordinance that actually bans the practice in the Village of Shorewood. This is one of those times that I hate being right. I’m pretty sure Shorewood wouldn’t have even thought of this if Milwaukee hadn’t already paved the way.
Fortunately, in Milwaukee pastors and churches have been engaged in pushing back against this ordinance almost as soon as word was out they were considering it. And it’s not just a few pastors but many pastors representing Milwaukee’s vast and rich diversity. These pastors rightly understand that this ban is a threat to their religious freedom. While the media is parroting the Milwaukee council author that the ban doesn’t stop churches from preaching and teaching what they want, attorneys keep rightly warning that common council members and the media aren’t judges who will get to say exactly how this ordinance gets interpreted and applied in real life. The language is very broad, leaving lots of room for judges to wreak havoc. If you live in the City of Milwaukee, I urge you to check with your pastor to see if he is involved with this effort and to find out what you can do to let your opinion be known to the Common Council.
And if you live in Shorewood, now’s the time to let your village board members know your opinion on the issue. If you don’t contact them, they will assume everyone is ok with their position and will vote accordingly. And for everyone else who doesn’t live in Milwaukee or Shorewood, please know I hate being right on this again, but this issue is coming to your community sooner or later. Be aware and be prepared.
This is Julaine Appling with Wisconsin Family Council, reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”