Councilman Ron Webb was appalled when the Shreveport, LA City Council passed an anti-discrimination ordinance in December by a vote of 6-1. The ordinance was the end result of a campaign by the pro-LGBT coalition Be Fair Shreveport and bans discrimination in housing and employment within the city limits on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
As co-chairs of the Be Fair Shreveport campaign, Odessa Sykes of Forum for Equality and I are grateful for the goodwill of so many business, civic, and political leaders who have supported our work in Shreveport. They have made it clear that they want our city to be forward-looking so we can begin to end the exodus of our most talented young people to cities that thrive on diversity.
--Adrrienne Critcher, Shreveport
We hope other cities in Louisiana, as well as our state legislature, will be encouraged to join Shreveport in enacting laws that send a strong message that Louisiana does not discriminate but welcomes all who want to work hard and build a good life here. No one should live in fear of losing their job or being evicted simply for being who they are, and in Shreveport, no one will.
--SarahJane Brady, Forum for Equality
During the debate prior to the December vote, Webb gave voice to his opinion:
The Bible tells you homosexuals are an abomination.Webb also added that he does not socialize with homosexuals and concluded that the ordinance was bad legislation.
So Webb launched an effort to repeal the ordinance.
Webb's drafted proposal was addressed at Tuesday's City Council meeting and drew dozens of people who wanted to testify. But none of them expressed the point as well as transwoman Pamela Raintree, who called out Webb for his bible-quoting.
Leviticus 20:13 states, 'If a man also lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, they shall surely put him to death.' I brought the first stone, Mr. Webb, in case that your Bible talk isn't just a smoke screen for personal prejudices.Just minutes later, Webb withdrew his measure.