Welcome and Acceptance

Message to Parkersburg, WV – City Council Person Zachary T. Stanley
( District 8 )


I am concerned about what I have heard in the current debate over the proposed ordinance prohibiting discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations.

It would seem to me to be something very harmless. In fact, I would think that such discrimination should already be actionable in both civil and common law as simple discrimination against persons – anyone as a person should not be discriminated against according to the 7th, 9th, 13th, and 14th amendments to the constitution of the United States.

The church groups which have invested so much in opposition to this ordinance have pretty effectively killed it as a means by which more persons could be valued and welcomed to Parkersburg. However, there are other ways that that you as a City Councilman could ‘put out the word’ that you are welcoming and that all people are safe with you. That you will not stigmatize people who confide in you their sexual preference and/or gender identity.

From the beginning of Christianity (to the current day) the fish symbol has been used as a signal to others that they were either Christian or sympathetic to Christians. The rainbow flag or any pattern that uses the colors of the rainbow associated with your office, or the city of Parkersburg would do the same. Using this symbol does obligate you to actually be welcoming, accepting, and safe. It does not require legislation. It is an action of the heart in the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law. As the apostle Paul wrote: (Second Corinthians chapter 3 verses 5-6 )

Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

The letter of the law cannot make Parkersburg welcoming, accepting, or safe for all the people who live here, only the spirit of the law; where each of us as people reach out to the other person to make them welcome, accepted and safe.

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