It’s no secret that Biblical views about gender are under attack in California. The latest victim is Dennis Hodges, San Diego County Human Relations Commissioner and pastor of Church of Yeshua Ha Mashiach.
On November 9th, Hodges abstained from voting along with his fellow commissioners to endorse a letter committing to work against “discrimination” toward transgender identified people and to oppose anyone with a binary view of gender as “transphobic.”
When asked why he abstained from voting, Hodges spoke out against LGBTQ ideology, saying that “transgenderism…is an abomination in the eyes of God.”
He soon came under fire for his comments. “This type of language is hate speech, and speech like that, as we have seen in this country, time and time again…causes real harm, creates discriminatory laws and violence against LGBTQ people, and fear in our community, and a real struggle for safety, security and dignity not just that we all deserve, but that this commission is supposed to fight for,” said Commissioner Cara Dessert.
Hodges was asked to resign, but he refused.
“I should be on the roundtable because I have a concern for everyone,” Hodges told the San Diego Union Tribune. “I don’t hate (transgenders), matter of fact, I love them because they are God’s creation.”
The Leon L. Williams San Diego County Human Relations Commission met to decide whether to remove Hodges after he doubled down on his comments. Of the 19 commissioners at the meeting, 10 voted to kick Hodges off the commission. Thirteen votes were required for his removal, so the recall attempt failed.
“I respect all beliefs and religions, and I respect the rights of those who do not have the same beliefs or agree with my faith,” said Hodges. “I respect each individual’s right to practice their own faith. My rights have been challenged in the current pursuit of punishment and removal from this commission.”
“We as a commission should never allow one set of beliefs or one group of people to try to eradicate another,” he later added, as quoted by the San Diego Union Tribune.
Hodges has every right to speak out against transgender ideology, regardless of what position he holds.
Alarmingly, the majority of the commission believed that Hodges’ differing viewpoint rendered him worthy of expulsion. While this majority wasn’t enough to remove him, it is still an incredibly dangerous precedent to set.
Rather than welcoming open debate and differing viewpoints, which is necessary for the truth to prevail, the commission is trying to enforce groupthink. The same thing is happening in major US companies who are censoring opposing viewpoints and stifling free speech.
Ultimately, this is a threat to democracy. Unless our elected officials are able to freely voice their opinions and instigate change, Americans’ votes lack any power. Further, if the truth is suppressed, Americans won’t have the information they need to cast an informed vote.
As Benjamin Franklin said, “Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom – and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech.”