A Dallas ordinance allows anyone who identifies as female to use the women's restroom.
A Dallas ordinance allows anyone who identifies as female to use the women's restroom. (Flickr/Creative Commons)

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Pastors will bridge denominational and racial lines to seek a solution to a recent Dallas ordinance that allows men who identify as women to use the women's restrooms.  

"This threat of personal safety and privacy against women will also criminalize Christian business owners is the same threat we're trying to address," The Pastors' Council Dave Welch says. 

Welch is part of a pastors group set to meet behind closed doors on Feb. 9 to discuss how to fight the ordinance.   

The U.S. Pastors' Council is the same group who fought the Houston Bathroom Bill last year.  

What makes the group special, though, is how they move beyond denominational lines to fight for biblical standards. 

"The primary reasons, benefits of pastors getting involved on these issues and leading the efforts—in particular because they are interdominational and interracial—keeps our effort anchored to Great Commission," Welch says. "(We are) Christ-centered, biblically grounded, spiritually led and accountable to one another and to our call. This is not political action." 

The ordinance, an updated version of an amendment passed in November 2014, defined the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity. 

According to the Dallas Morning News, the City Attorney released the following statement about the ordinance: 

Dallas's anti-discrimination ordinance was approved by the city council in 2002 and had not been amended since. The primary purpose of today's amendment was to distinguish between the terms "sexual orientation" and "gender identity and expression," which were grouped together in the definition of the term "sexual orientation" when the original 2002 ordinance was passed. The ordinance as originally approved in 2002 prohibits discrimination in employment, public accommodations and housing on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender identity; today's amendment simply defines gender identity separately from sexual orientation, and changes the wording of Chapter 46 of the Dallas City Code to reflect these separate definitions. With this change, the definitions of "sexual orientation" and "gender identity and expression" in Chapter 46 now match the definitions in the city's personnel rules. 

But Welch of the Pastors' Council wants to take a stand—and not just for Dallas. 

"It's just another in the latest sequence across the nation, being implemented by the Human Rights Council and radical LGBT movement, forcing (LGBT regulations) on the local community," Welch says. "Often because we simply have not paid attention to who we put into office at city level, they're too easily manipulated by emotional rhetoric. It's time to stand up and turn back to Judeo-Christian framework, morality and law."

Jessilyn Justice is the director of online news for Charisma. Born and raised in a pastor's family in Alabama, she attended Lee University and the Washington Journalism Center. She's passionate about sharing God's goodness through storytelling. Tell her what you think of this story on Twitter @jessilynjustice.

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