A group of community activists are planning to protest the appearance of same-sex marriage opponent Brad Dacus as keynote speaker for the Santa Clarita Valley’s ninth annual Mayors Prayer Breakfast on Thursday in Valencia.
Dacus is the president and founder of the Pacific Justice Institute, which on its website, describes the nonprofit as a “legal defense organization specializing in the defense of religious freedom, parental rights and other civil liberties.”
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The Pacific Justice Institute recently brought a lawsuit seeking to overturn California’s new law banning the practice of “conversion therapy” used to change the sexual orientation of minors who profess to be gay, lesbian or bisexual.
Dacus is quoted as calling the California law banning conversion therapy as “draconian and close-minded.”
In an interview with The Gospel Herald, Dacus is quoted as saying, “Any society that elevates homosexuality as being entitled to marriage only opens up the foundation to greater indoctrination to public schools to be accepting and giving in to such lifestyles. The opposition of homosexual activist tempted to say the lie that everyone’s born that way, psychologically and medically, that’s a huge falsity.”
Freedom of speech
One local activist supported Dacus’ First Amendment rights; however, he didn’t think city officials should support the controversial concepts Dacus was espousing.
“Dacus has the right to purport ignorant ideas, including gay-conversion therapy, but not with the support of our city of Santa Clarita and Mayor Bob Kellar,” said Malcolm Blue, part of the unofficial Santa Clarita group that is planning the protest.
“It’s worse than when I was in grade school, where teachers would bind the hands of left-handed students (to make them right-handed),” said Blue about conversion therapy. “This does mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical damage. And it doesn’t work.”
The Dunamis Group’s purpose, as listed on their website is:
“First and Foremost the ultimate goal is to Glorify GOD. To present Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord to professional business men and to develop Christian professional business men to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 18-20). To unite in a common organization Christian professional business men. To promote Christian Business professionals and business men by providing a forum for the exchange of information and support. To provide an organization to facilitate the teaching of basic biblical business principles and maintain biblically based ethical standards for running God’s business. To provide a venue by which the group can reach out in SERVICE to the community to promote the love of Christ.”
Sponsored by public officials
The protesters claim that it’s inappropriate for the event to carry the name Mayors Prayer Breakfast, saying that the label associates Santa Clarita and its residents with the event.
“Although the Mayors Prayer Breakfast is not an officially sanctioned city of Santa Clarita event, it carries the de facto support of the city when it’s called the Mayors Prayer Breakfast, and all the advertising touts Santa Clarita Mayor Bob Kellar as giving the opening remarks,” said Malcolm Blue, a self-described Santa Clarita activist.
The protesters are also upset that Joe Messina, president of the William S. Hart Union School District, is one of the event’s organizers.
“Does school board President Joe Messina want to reverse the progress we’ve made (in diversity and inclusion)?” said Patti Sulpizio, mother of three children educated in district schools.
“What mixed message does it send our young students when Messina, the president of the board, supports discrimination, especially in light of the tragic recent suicide of Nigel Hardy, a 13 year-old middle school student from the Antelope Valley, which occurred after he had been subject of name-calling like ‘gay’ and ‘fag,’” Sulpizio said.
“We are calling on the city of Santa Clarita and the Hart district to… remind (Kellar and Messina) of their responsibilities to the entire community,” she said.
“I believe that we should have a national day of prayer and celebrate here in Santa Clarita, and do it in a way that it is totally a nonpolitical issue,” Kellar said.
“The Mayors Prayer Breakfast has absolutely nothing to do with the city of Santa Clarita,” he said. “It’s a national day of prayer. I believe it was started by President (Harry) Truman. It’s a great thing to do.”
National Day of Prayer
Several churches from the Santa Clarita area will be recognizing the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 2, including the Church of the Way Santa Clarita, which will have a special service commemorating the event beginning at 7 p.m.
Read the original KHTS website story here.
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Source: Santa Clarita News