This spring, the local community in Springfield, Missouri endured a divisive campaign and vote regarding an ordinance passed last year protecting LGBT people in the city of Springfield from discrimination.
Throughout the campaign, community leaders from across the city spoke out about why LGBT people in the city must be protected by the basic fairness ordinance. Among these leaders were Pastor Brian Jenkins and his wife Kelly Jenkins, who felt compelled to speak out with One Springfield, urging their community members to allow the ordinance to stand.
“Faith is very important to us,” Pastor Jenkins said in a video. “As Christians, we believe in treating others as we want to be treated.”
Pastor Brian and Kelly understand that the freedom of religion is a fundamental right – something we hold dear in the United States. They also know that the freedom of religion is protected in the Constitution – and that the Springfield non-discrimination ordinance did not infringe on anyone’s freedom of religion. It was, simply, about the Golden Rule, the universal American belief that we should always treat others the way we want to be treated.
Faith is very important to us. As Christians, we believe in treating others as we want to be treated.– Pastor Brian Jenkins
“That’s what we’re teaching our kids, and it’s not always easy,” Kelly says in the video. “We’ve prayed about it and thought about the example we want to set for our kids.”
Pastor Brian and Kelly were disappointed to see the Springfield ordinance repealed when the election arrived in April. But now, they’ll continue to work with their family and their neighbors to show their community the importance of standing up for all people.
“I once judged people who are gay,” Pastor Brian said. “Then, through my ministry, we came to know some gay and transgender people and learned the discrimination that they sometimes face.”
Through my ministry, we came to know some gay and transgender people and learned the discrimination that they sometimes face.– Pastor Brian Jenkins
“We are all God’s children, including gay and transgender people,” he added. “Protecting them from discrimination ensures that they are treated just the same as everyone else.”
Watch the video: