Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, and Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson, D-Las Vegas, attend a church with a pastor who believes that homosexuality is a sin.
Victory Missionary Baptist Church is led by Rev. Robert E. Fowler Sr., and both Ford and Frierson attend services there. Just two months ago, Fowler even offered the opening prayer for both the Assembly and Senate on the first day of the Legislative Session.
Ford and Frierson are Nevada’s most powerful Democrat state-level elected officials. Their pastor’s position on homosexuality, however, is far outside the Democrat mainstream.
“We believe that everyone is to be restored to God,” said Fowler on KNPR’s State of Nevada in February 2013. “So whether you commit adultery, whether you commit fornication, whether you’re a child molester, you gossip, you lie, you cheat on your taxes, you don’t pay your tithes, things of that nature. All of that is wrapped together as sin, along with homosexuality. And so at our church, we don’t believe that there’s any one sin that’s greater than anything else.”
“So homosexuality is seen as a sin though?” asked host Luis Hernandez.
“Along with adultery, fornication, child molestation, not paying your tithes, gossip, lying,” said Fowler.
If I was a liberal hack or worked for Buzzfeed — but I repeat myself — this is where I would cue up the outrage machine that a pastor actually believes the Bible. I’d even hyperventilate about how Ford and Frierson need to distance themselves from someone who values God’s word over the ever-evolving dogmas of the Democrat party.
But Christianity’s standard for sexuality — that God created sex only for a man and woman in a marriage relationship — isn’t new. What Fowler shared in 2013 reflects the standard Jesus laid down in Matthew 19.
I reached out to Fowler to ask if he still holds these beliefs, but he requested that I call him back after he talked with Ford. Despite repeated calls since, I wasn’t able to get ahold of him. Neither Ford nor Frierson returned my repeated requests for comment.
What’s concerning aren’t Fowler’s beliefs, it’s that so many in Nevada’s legislature want to make it illegal to articulate them.
Ford co-sponsored and voted last week for SB201, which bans any practice from a therapist to a minor aimed at changing, eliminating, or reducing feelings of same-sex attraction or gender-identity issues, labeled “conversion therapy.” The bill is so far reaching that it would make it illegal for a therapist to read Fowler’s words that I quoted above.
Democrat opposition to Fowler’s beliefs goes further. The executive director of the Senate Democrats, Peter Koltak, has said on Twitter that the rationale behind SB201 is that “kids shouldn’t be subjected to psychological abuse” and called conversion therapy a “physically/emotionally abusive practice.”
Think about that. The executive director of the Senate Democrats believes that a therapist reading the words of the pastor of the Senate Majority Leader to some minors is “psychological abuse” and a “physically/emotionally abusive practice.”
The Nevada Legislature shouldn’t be banning the speech — especially when the ban would encompass the words of the pastor of its Senate Majority Leader and Speaker.