Yesterday morning, crowds of well-wishers, friends, and local spiritual leaders gathered peacefully in support of ousted Largo city manager Steve Stanton.
LARGO - They stood 350 strong in the grass outside City Hall on Tuesday morning, united by faith.
They held signs, saying "Justice," "Compassion" and "Love," as well as these:
Some Baptists need their hearts examined.
Jesus wasn't the Terminator.'
We don't tolerate diversity, we celebrate it!
They were there to support Steve Stanton, who was fired from his job as city manager by the City Commission after disclosing that he is going to undergo gender-reassignment surgery.
The 30-minute rally drew more than a dozen clerics from churches and synagogues around the Tampa Bay area.
"We believe that Mr. Stanton is a human being worthy of being treated with respect, compassion and dignity," said the Rev. Abhi Janamanchi, pastor of Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater.
"We likewise urge the citizens of Largo to hold their elected leaders to a high standard of justice and compassion in human relations. Therefore, we ask the city of Largo to hold true its self-articulated vision of being a City of Progress."
It's thrilling--dizzying, almost--to hear rational, intelligent, and vigorously moral language used to attack the hypocrisy and hatred spewed by the foaming faithful. Used forcefully and publicly.
Spudsy, be a love--I believe I need smelling salts and fainting couch both.