'Nashville Statement' on Gays, Transgenders Earns Mayor's Ire

And the ire of many others after evangelicals issue their 'Christian manifesto'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2017 10:10 AM CDT
Evangelical 'Manifesto' on Gays, Transgenders Draws Rebukes
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, speaks during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 21, 2016.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The mayor of Nashville has lashed out after a group of evangelical leaders put out a "Christian manifesto" named after her city to offer church guidance on sexuality issues. Per the Washington Post, the so-called "Nashville Statement," a 14-point cheat sheet from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood endorsed Friday by more than 150 evangelicals, outlines what churches should "affirm" or "deny"—including that marriage is a "procreative, lifelong union" between one man and one woman only; "self-conceptions" such as being gay or transgender aren't in line with God's "revealed will"; and the "Lord's arm" isn't "too short" to save "sinners" who flout these mandates. One of the co-signers: Family Research Council head Tony Perkins, who pressured President Trump to declare transgenders unfit for the military, per the New York Times.

It's not enough to "agree to disagree" on these topics, the statement argues; the "faithful" must reject "moral indifference" and take a stand against "homosexual immorality and transgenderism." Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, who USA Today notes officiated some of her city's first gay marriages, blasted the guidelines on Twitter as "poorly named" and "not [representing] the inclusive values of the city & people of Nashville." Reaction online to the #NashvilleStatement hashtag was similar in tone. Rep. Ted Lieu pointed out "[Jesus] said the greatest commandment is to love God & 2nd greatest is to love your neighbor." The CBMW head has penned an explainer on why Nashville's name was used and why the statement was issued—including one "line in the sand" article. (More same-sex marriage stories.)

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