The Eagle Forum of Alabama and the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) came together Friday for a forum at Government Street Baptist Church in Mobile. The forum focused on LGBTQ initiatives recently set forth by the city.

“It’s about religious freedom, folks, which if you haven’t checked it yet, the First Amendment has something to say about that,” the ADF's Charles Wilson said.

The gathering was spawned following Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s appointment of Natalie Fox and Michael Tyner as LGBTQ liaisons to represent the city’s LGBTQ community.

“In this newly created role, the City’s LGBTQ+ liaisons will work directly with the administration to help make sure leaders throughout the City of Mobile have an LGBTQ+ perspective on public policies and services,” the city’s website states.

Wilson pointed out that his group approached many churches in the Mobile area that would not allow the forum because of the topic.

Attorney Gregory Baylor, with ADF, spoke about the public policy issues his group has identified in Mobile.

Attorney Gregory Baylor, with ADF, spoke about the public policy issues his group has identified in Mobile. Alabama News
Attorney Gregory Baylor, with ADF, spoke at Government Street Baptist Church in Mobile about the public policy issues his group is willing to fight against. Photo: Erica Thomas.

Baylor has spent much of his time with ADF focusing on faith-based educational freedom and legislation. Baylor said over the years, those with faith have been put down and put out, but at this time, things are more challenging with the false narrative that those with faith are now being called bigots or seen as discriminatory.

"This is the new tool that is deployed every day to suppress people of faith and the values they hold," said Baylor.

Baylor explained that in social and public ways, the government is attempting to force everyone to accept and comply with gender-affirming actions, even in schools and youth sports, by putting into place sexual orientation and gender laws (SOGI).

"They try to force you to use pronouns even if it isn't realistic or defies your beliefs, and this is based on their assertive gender identity rather than the truth," he said. "This includes allowing children to receive hormone blockers, and it includes the mutilation of children. Even schools are subject to rules of gender affirmation. They tell schools that they must allow boys that identify as girls to play on the girls' team. Not fair, not safe."

ADF has represented people nationwide that have been the target of lawsuits going against people's religious exemptions based on their faith. Baylor summarized many of those cases that have attacked those who stand up for religious liberty, freedom of speech and parental rights.

Baylor said he is concerned about local SOGI ordinances in Alabama. There are already 374 of those on the books, he explained.

"I don't want a SOGI in Mobile," said Baylor. "I don't."

When it comes to fighting the fight, Baylor said it is important to have boots on the ground and to have people come together on a local level. He said the ADF would not have a problem legally challenging any SOGI ordinance passed in Mobile.

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