HOUSTON, Texas — Controversy is stirring over Bruce Jenner’s recent visit to a megachurch in Texas, where he prayed with a pastor who stood against an ordinance allowing men who identify as women to use womens’ restrooms and vice versa.
According to reports, the former Olympian visited Ed Young, Sr.’s Second Baptist Church of Houston last week with other transgender activists during a children’s holiday program. Young was among a number of local ministers who had been vocal about their opposition to Houston’s “bathroom bill,” which was also referred to by some as HERO or the Human Equal Rights Ordinance.
“Those of us who believe men should use men’s facilities and women should use women’s facilities, we will be discriminated against,” Young preached to his over 60,000-member congregation in September, calling the proposed measure “Godless.” “It is totally deceptive and deadly, and I trust that you will vote no, no, no.”
A transgender who goes by the name of Jennifer Boylan blogged this past week that Jenner took the opportunity during his visit to scold Young for his words.
“At the end of the evening, Pastor Young approached us. We all stood up. And Caitlyn Jenner looked him in the eye and told him how much his actions and his words had harmed our people,” Boylan wrote. “The pastor seemed to me to have never spoken face to face with transgender people before, and he clearly did not understand our lives, given some of the things he said to us.”
At the end of the discussion, Young asked those present if he could pray with them. They obliged.
“He asked us if we’d participate in a prayer,” Boylan, who professes to be Christian, outlined. “We bowed our heads.”
Photographs show Young and Jenner praying together in a small group huddle.
“Dad always taught me to love and pray for everyone. Tonight he prayed with @caitlynjenner, who attended their service,” Young’s son, Ed Young, Jr., Tweeted on Friday.
Jenner also attended Grace Church, led by Garrett Booth, during his visit to Houston. Booth had likewise been opposed to the bathroom bill, which as previously reported, was overwhelmingly repealed by popular vote during the November election, being defeated 61 to 39 percent.
Following word of the visits, some praised Jenner for scolding Young.
“Proud of @Caitlyn_Jenner, saying to @EdYoung’s father’s face that the pastor’s #transphobic hate videos r highly offensive to all #trans ppl,” Tweeted activist Kate Bornstein, who was stated to have been present.
Some blasted him for not having any local representation from Houston, especially people of color. TransGriot Editor Monica Roberts complained in a blog post that Jenner was wrong to “compound the melanin-free photo screw-up by going to the Christmas pageant at Second Baptist (Hate) Church…”
Others viewed Jenner’s visit to the churches as a publicity stunt, but also an opportunity to remember to reach transgendered persons with the heart-transforming gospel of Jesus Christ.
“The photo ops conducted by Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner in at least two Houston megachurches who were very active in defeating Mayor Parker’s Bathroom Ordinance, were transparent and prove that the battle for decency, freedom and faith is far from over,” Dave Welch, executive director of the U.S. Pastor Council, told Breitbart.
“The tragic stories of Mr. Jenner and those like him who have become confused about how God designed them as male or female, call for our compassion to help heal them, and our determination to never let their plight be our new normal,” he said.