Various outlets are touting the number of homosexual and transgender candidates who won their races on election night and in the primaries. Some are also honing in on firsts for African Americans who identify as homosexual. Among those firsts are two seats in the Florida legislature, where the House of Representatives will add an openly “queer” female lawmaker and where the state Senate will include its first openly homosexual man. Both were raised in Christian environments but are now in same-sex relationships.
Michele Rayner, a civil rights attorney and social justice advocate who is “married” to Bianca Goolsby, received 31% of the vote in the Democratic primary in August, a race that had three other contenders, including Keisha Bell and Michelle Grimsley.
She was unopposed in the general election, thus sealing her win for the Florida House to represent District 70.
“Y’all. It just hit me. I’m the first openly Black queer women ever elected in Florida — at any level,” she tweeted on Aug. 21.
Rayner’s website says that she graduated from Lakeside Christian School and went on to study at Florida State University and the Florida Coastal School of Law. One photo shows hangings on the wall in her office that quote Jeremiah 29:11 and Micah 6:8.
Rayner was endorsed in her bid for the legislature by the homosexual advocacy group Equality Florida, as well as the Florida Education Association and the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida.
Shevrin Jones, who has been a member of the Florida House of Representatives since 2012, ran for the state Senate’s 35 District this year. He received 97% of the vote, running only against a write-in candidate.
“I’m a firm believer of everyone being represented at the table, and it is not to say that the current LGBTQ allies can’t speak up for us, or speak for me, but it’s better to have someone from the community at the table,” Jones told NBC News. “I can tell you from experience my story, which can help … move — whether it’s legislation, whether it’s to move the agenda or a particular item.”
Jones is stated to be Florida’s first openly homosexual Black legislator, coming out publicly in 2018 after parting ways with his wife a few years prior to, as he called it, go about “living [his] truth.”
He is the son of Eric Jones, the mayor of West Park and pastor of Koinonia Worship Center in Hollywood.
“It was a Sunday morning last year in late August, and Shevrin Jones was in church feeling just a little hungover,” the Miami Herald reported in 2018. “He’d been out drinking the previous night with his brother, Kaneil, and now they were sitting next to each other at a pew in Koinonia Worship Center in Hollywood.”
“As their father gave the sermon, Shevrin Jones leaned on his older sibling and whispered, ‘Thank you’ — for accepting him.”
During the primaries, he faced five others vying for the Democratic nomination. One of Jones’ contenders, Erhabor Ighodaro, was labeled as “homophobic” by one advocacy group after he spoke about the biblical definition of marriage.
“I’m a Democrat. But I’m a Democrat that still has sense,” Ighodaro said, according to Florida Politics. “There is an image that God says a marriage should look like, that a family should look like. And that’s what we’re going to fight for.”
More than 500 homosexual or transgender candidates reportedly appeared on ballots nationwide last week.
While a common argument among those who struggle with feelings toward the same sex is that they were “born this way,” the Bible teaches that all are in the same predicament. Every man and woman is born with the Adamic sin nature (Romans 5:19), having various inherent feelings and inclinations that are contrary to the law of God and being utterly incapable of changing by themselves (Job 14:4).
All men, therefore, are natural lawbreakers and guilty in the sight of God (Romans 3:19), evoking His wrath.
“[W]e all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others,” Ephesians 2:3 outlines.
“All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned every one to his own way,” Isaiah 53:6 reads, “and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
It is why Jesus, the Messiah, came: to do what men could not do for themselves, to “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
Scripture outlines that Jesus came to be the propitiation for men’s sins (1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10), a doctrine in Christianity known as substitutionary atonement, and to save men from the wrath of God for their violations against His law (Romans 4:25, Romans 5:9, Romans 5:16), a doctrine known as justification.
Acts 2:38-40 exhorts, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
The Bible also teaches about regeneration, as in addition to sparing guilty men from eternal punishment, Christ sent his Holy Spirit to make those who would repent and believe new creatures in the here and now, with new desires and an ability to do what is pleasing in the sight of God by His indwelling and empowerment (Ezekiel 11:19, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Titus 3:5).
The late Anglican preacher J.C. Ryle once explained, “The Lord Jesus has undertaken everything that His people’s souls require — not only to deliver them from the guilt of their sins by His atoning death but from the dominion of their sins by placing in their hearts the Holy Spirit; not only to justify them but also to sanctify them.”