Controversial judge to speak at prayer breakfast; Tacoma mayor to skip event

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pcpb-2014TACOMA — Controversial Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who has outspoken views on church and state and who is speaking out against same-sex marriage, will be addressing the annual Pierce County Prayer Breakfast on Friday at the Tacoma Dome.  At least one local politician won’t be attending.

“His philosophy about marriage equality is really the opposite of what we’re trying to do as a city, so I thought it was best for me not to attend,” said Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland, who usually gives an opening prayer at the annual breakfast.

She said that since the breakfast not an official city event, she did not talk to organizers about her concerns.

“I wasn’t trying to turn this into a big media event, I just figured I wasn’t going to attend this year. They were probably able to read into why I didn’t attend, but I never said to them explicitly I’m not attending for this reason.”

Moore attracted national attention 10 years ago, when he refused an order to remove a display of the Ten Commandments from a state courthouse. He lost his job at the time, but he gained a lot of supporters in the religious community.

That’s one of the reasons he was invited to be the speaker at this week’s Prayer Breakfast.

“The Ten Commandments are a big part of the Bible, so why not talk about that?” said Paul Wagemann, who is with the Greater Tacoma Christian Laymen’s Outreach.

More recently, Moore has been outspoken about same sex-marriage, calling for a U.S. constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

At a rally in 2012, he said Satan was to blame.

“He’s convincing many in our land that they can form a marriage between two of the same gender. How God must be sad about this.”

When asked whether prayer breakfast organizers were concerned about Moore’s stance, Wagemann said, “That did not even come up in the discussion, to the best of my knowledge.”

Organizers say leaders from other cities and the county are expected to attend. They hope those who do show up realize the event is not meant to be political.

“Certainly we all have different points of view, our country is built on different points of view,” said Wagemann. “What we’re trying to bring to the table is someone who would be interesting to people.”

Michelle Douglas, with the Rainbow Center in Tacoma, said Moore is a disappointing choice. She said faith can be used to unite people, but his track record has been as a divider.

Moore’s office in Alabama said the judge was traveling and could not be reached for comment.

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  • Julie F.

    Bigotry goes both ways. Apparently, our local government officials are fine with taking a position for same-sex marriage but are fine with practicing exclusionary bigotry against those who support traditional marriage. The thought police apparently will not be denied. Either you tow the line of current political correctness or you must be attacked and excluded from discussion. This is narrow minded intolerance. The height of arrogance. In an tolerant and intelligent society, differing views would be able to be discussed and government officials would represent all the people. The mayor has taken a disappointing and prejudicial position. Sad

    • rusty44

      'Scuse me, but Judge Moore is the bigot, not us.

      It is not "bigotry" to OPPOSE *real* bigotry.

      And exactly WHICH "traditional" marriage do you mean? For most of the Old Testament, it was one man and as many women as he could buy, capture, enslave, etc.

      King Solomon had 300 wives and 700 concubines (and genitalia of titanium, evidently <eg> ).

    • Ted

      Jesus, what a bag o’ hammers. ‘Exclusionary bigotry’? No one was excluded, she simply didn’t attend. The event went on as scheduled, no one was excluded. And nobody cares about your views on same sex marriage, and you shouldn’t care so much about other peoples, since it doesn’t impact your life, in any way, except emotionally. Maybe it’s time for a change. I’m not gay, but I don’t see how this effects me. And yes your ‘fear’ is bright light to you, but only you……

  • ShadowWalker59

    Shoot, if I lived close enough, I'd attend. I too, am a very firm believer in Marriage between a Man AND a Woman……………..period. I am not politically correct, and I"m not afraid to stand up for what I believe. The ONLY 'sad' thing about is, that it's so wonderful that this world didn't start with a couple of queers, for THAT, would be a total disaster!! There would have been NO mankind, nor would there have been any women. Sorry………….well, not really, but I do NOT support those so called gay 'marriages'. What is sad, is that people think that, that kind of life is acceptable, and it's not. And, if you think I'm narrow minded and ignorant, then so be it, I will not change my stance on something that I believe wrong. IF I did, well, THAT, would be ignorant and intolerant of my own beliefs, and I will not do that. I will tell anyone, at anytime and anywhere………I do NOT support gay "marriages", and that is the way it is, and if it offends you, I'm not sorry at all, because you've then made my day.

  • rusty44

    They're not "so-called" … they are on the verge of being legal in all 50 states.

    And MY marriage is none of your darned business. Don't like marriage equality? Don't marry someone of the same sex.

    But you DON'T get to write your bigoted and hateful sectarian world view into OUR *secular* laws.

    You ARE narrow-minded and ignorant, Blanche, you ARE!

    • guest

      why does the perverted part of the population always scream "hate" when someone disagrees with them? is it that you hate everyone that disagrees with you?