Monday, June 20, 2016

Hillsborough County Christians Say Rainbow Flag Memorials To The Dead Are "Unbearable"

As I have said here before, I am not a religious man; I do qualify that by saying I am not an organized religion man. I have a certain spirituality that is mine and I believe in creation things: I believe in reincarnation, and I believe that when our loved ones die they never really leave us. And I don’t need a man, or woman, in a pulpit, or my Sunday best seated in a pew, or a history book to explain all that to me. It’s my personal belief, and that’s good enough for me.

What I cannot believe is how people who call themselves Christians act toward the LGBT, especially in the days following last week’s mass murder where 49 of us were gunned down, and fifty of us were injured, just for being gay.

Shortly after the bloodshed, an LGBT pride flag was raised — as they were in many places around the country and the world — outside the Hillsborough County center as a sign of respect and remembrance for the victims.

And yet a day later, less than 24 hours, Hillsborough County  Commissioner Stacy White worried that the flag may be offending Christian employees and questioned whether it should be taken down.

Yes, a simple flag to remind us of, and to remember and honor, the victims of the worst mass murder in this country is offensive to Christians because, yes, gay.

But Stacy White said he received an anonymous complaint — of course it’s anonymous because bigots and haters refuse to sign their names — from a county employee that the presence of the flag was “nearly unbearable” for her to pass on her way to work and created a "hostile work environment."

A rainbow flag.

And so Stacy White, right, ignoring anyone and everyone who might have known a victim, or might know an LGBT person, or even :::gasp::: be an LGBT person told his supervisor that the flag was a “divisive, politically-charged symbol” and might become a human resources problem for the county. White wondered if they might take the flag down.

You know, because let’s not offend the Christians who cannot walk by a rainbow flag without feeling threatened.

Luckily, the commissioners voted 5-1  to keep the flag up through the month of June, which is Pride month; Stacy White, a Republican, who saw that coming, was not present for the meeting., after which the flag went right back up.

But Stacy White is still whining — perhaps he’s the “anonymous” letter writer and bigot — criticiaing County Administrator Mike Merrill for allowing commissioners to vote to raise the flag without telling them that some employees may have issue with it:
“It is still – in my view – unconscionable that the county administrator didn’t express to the board that this divisive symbol might create an uncomfortable workplace environment for many of his employees.”
Mike Merrill, left, in a memo to commissioners, defended the raising of the flag, saying he was “not aware of any employee complaint or concern having been expressed prior to the Board’s action” and adding that the decision to raise the flag followed commission protocols.

In addition to raising the pride flag, the Hillsborough County commission voted to recognize June as LGBT pride month every year from now on and to hold a candlelight vigil each year on June 12 to remember the victims of the Orlando shooting.

Stacy White will no doubt take the month of June off every year so he won’t have to endure the hostility of remembering the dead since it seems he believes the all the right people were murdered that night.

This ... is for Stacy ...hopefully he can "bear" it.


the dogs' mother said...

Yay for Hillsborough County!

anne marie in philly said...

the rainbow flag is beautiful; and those asshats who are "offended" can look the other way. or put their eyes out.

Dave R said...

If it was nearly unbearable to pass on her way to work, well, she's not a very good Christian.

Raybeard said...

I always feel uncertain (at best) on seeing a person wearing a small cross around their neck, something not at all uncommon. Of course I appreciate that this doesn't necessarily mean that, being Christian (which is presumably why they wear it), it follows that they must be anti-gay, though I also suspect that it is occasionally quite likely to be the case. I never say anything, naturally, but I do find such 'vulgar', in-yer-face displays disturbingly provocative and divisive. Trouble is, these days there are so many people around who vociferously maintain that having such a 'faith' trumps everything else - a handy excuse to cling onto any prejudice you could name.

Moving with Mitchell said...

Gasp. Rainbows are so threatening and divisive. Christian, my ass! Stacy White is a jerk.

Helen Lashbrook said...

One anonymous complaint and a flag to commemorate the death of 49 people and the grievous wounding of 50 more should be taken down? Even 5000 complaints should not stop the flying of the flag. There are a lot of Christians for whom it is do it my way or get gunned down.

MMTampa said...

Greetings from Hillsborough County. . . The county commissioners have always been a font of racism, homophobia, and poor drunken judgement. We do have a gay commissioner now so it's not as bad as it used to be. In 2005 we had one named Rhonda Storms (think Michelle Bachman with a harelip) she was offended be a book display honoring Gay Pride. After they thought better of burning the books ( can't make this shit up) Mrs Storms decided it was okay to cancel Pride events in Tampa so she wouldn't have to explain it to her daughter. She also demanded that Gay Pride always be spelled with a lower case g & p. Today Mrs. Storms still rants about stuff but she does it from her home - Hillsborough County found no further uses for her bigoted services - she served a crippled term as a state senator and 4 years ago she lost her bid to be property appraiser. Her platform was that the current appraiser watched porn on county computers. Stacy White has her old seat and probably will share a similar future.

Biki Honko said...

The complaint was from Stacy himself. And like most bullies and bigots is afraid of the light.