MOBILE, Ala. (BP) — The dismissal of two “liaisons” to the LGBTQ+ community from the mayor’s office has brought a statement of support from the Mobile Baptist Association as well as a call to pass a religious liberty ordinance. (See earlier Baptist Press story.)
The Association issued the resolution in support of Mayor Sandy Stimpson on Oct. 1 on behalf of its 114 congregations representing some 72,000 members.
The resolution stated that Mobile Baptists “love the great city of Mobile, desire its peace and welfare, and are instructed in Romans 13:1-7 and 1 Timothy 2:2 to honor, respect, be subject to, and pray for ‘all those in authority.’” It furthermore cited Christians’ civic responsibility to be involved in the public sector, to speak truth in love and the Bible’s stance on sin and sexuality.
Through an Aug. 11 statement from his communications office, Stimpson recounted the removal of the door from his office 10 years ago as a symbolic gesture “that everyone had access to the mayor’s office” alongside a platform of promoting citywide unity.
In 2021, he was approached by members of the LGBTQ+ community about appointing liaisons to the administration. Stimpson did just that with two individuals, but in his statement admitted “the appointment of liaisons created concern for many because I have no named liaisons for any other group or organization.
“Instead of an action of unity, it created a rift within the city as it unintentionally communicated privileged access to the mayor’s office when, in fact, no such special privilege exists with any group or organization.”
In the “Resolved” statements of its resolution, the Mobile Baptist Association affirmed Stimpson’s decision and “implor[ed] our city, county, and state officials to protect religious liberty by rejecting any attempts to compromise the longstanding Judeo-Christian and biblical convictions of the majority of our citizens” as well as to “preemptively pass a religious liberty ordinance that will affirm and protect the right to hold and live out biblical convictions regarding marriage and the family.”
The Association also pledged its “continuing prayers for Mayor Stimpson and our support of any actions he takes upholding biblical standards of right and wrong.”