An LGBT activist group is demanding that a Christian man end his campaign for district attorney in western Pennsylvania because of his church affiliation and beliefs that homosexuality and transgenderism are sinful, like adultery.
Turahn Jenkins, a Democrat running for district attorney in the state's Allegheny County, which surrounds the city of Pittsburgh, reportedly said yes during a recent meeting with local activists when asked if he believed being gay or transgender was a sin, and compared it to adultery, the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette reported on Monday.
Outrage ensued soon thereafter.
"We are deeply disturbed by the beliefs of Turahn Jenkins, recently announced candidate for D.A., and equally so by his direct verbal confirmation of those beliefs to an assembled group of leaders from the LGBTQ+ community," the Stonewall Steel City Democrats said in a statement.
The LGBT activist group is calling for Jenkins to withdraw from the race, and urged their allies to do likewise. They've also threatened to withdraw their support from other elected officials backing Jenkins who decline to disavow him in light of his comments.
The statements against his candidacy came one week after Jenkins became the first candidate to enter the race, an entrance many liberal activists applauded. Yet amid the discovery that the website of The Bible Chapel in Wilkinsburg — the evangelical congregation Jenkins is a part of — had content and sermons critical of homosexual practice, describing it as "not God's design," the praise was rescinded.
Jenkins took to Facebook on Sunday to explain at length that he would treat everyone fairly.
"My campaign for District Attorney is premised on TREATING PEOPLE LIKE PEOPLE. It both frustrates and saddens me to see the injustice within our system, especially as it pertains to some of our most vulnerable citizenry, including the members of the LGBTQIA+ community," Jenkins said.
"During my many years as a trial attorney for the government and the defense, neither my integrity nor my fairness were ever questioned by colleagues, clients, witnesses, victims, officers or any other court staff. However, that same long held reputation for fairness is now being questioned."
While not renouncing his belief that homosexuality or transgenderism is sinful, he stressed: "Despite social media reports of my faith equating to a bias or phobia, I categorically reject this conclusion. I further reject any speech or rhetoric from any source, including my church, that seeks to teach hate or prejudice based on race, sex, color, age, orientation or any other classification. I clearly hurt and offended members of the LGBTQIA+ community, which was never my intent. I never want to be the source of someone's pain or hurt, my aim in life is to be the exact opposite."
Soon after he announced his candidacy, someone inquired about his Christian faith, particularly his church, on Twitter.
"When If elected DA, I will mandate implicit bias training for all ADAs," Jenkins replied to the questioner.
"As a black man, I know the destructive power of prejudice, and as a Christian I am called to love everyone unconditionally. I oppose bigotry of all forms against the LGBTQ+ community."
Yet others noted and mocked the double standard among the progressive crowd.
"In which the left holds racial justice hostage to compel black leaders to become more woke on sodomy," commented Brandon McGinley, an editor at EWTN publishing and a contributor to the Scottish Catholic Observer, in a retweet of the Gazette article on Wednesday.
"The LGBT movement adopting the traditional line of white people re: racial justice: 'Not yet; and if so, on our terms.'"