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Hundreds of Black Pastors Throw Support Behind ‘Anti-LGBTQ’ Southern Baptist Houston Democrat

On a humid Tuesday afternoon, Rep. Shawn Nicole Thierry met with dozens of Black pastors donning suits and ties for a press conference outside of Mt. Hebron Missionary Baptist Church in south Houston. The pastors unabashedly expressed their support for the four-time Democratic incumbent who’s now in a contentious runoff against her challenger, Lauren Ashley Simmons. Without a Republican candidate in the field, the Democrats are set to square off against one another on May 28 to determine who wins the district. “We are here to stand united in solidarity,” said the Rev. Dr. Max A. Miller Jr., Mt. Hebron’s pastor as he stood beside Thierry. “We stand with her because she stood for us.”

Minutes before the event, Thierry told me inside the church that she received support from pastors due to her role on the House’s tax-writing Ways and Means committee, for getting appointed to the House Energy Resources Committee, and for advocating to address Texas’ high maternity death rate. But the main reason why more than 50 pastors gathered here in Houston, and why 500 more are tossing their support behind the representative, the pastors admitted, is because of her faith-rooted, blue-yet-traditional-leaning voting record on LGBTQ issues, including her backing of a Republican ban against gender-transitioning care for minors.

Some Democrats have criticized Thierry for breaking with party lines, and many have branded her as an anti-LGBTQ lawmaker—a damning reputation when she’s fighting for votes in a race against Simmons, the community organizer who identifies as a queer Black woman. In Texas, only parents or legal guardians and medical groups are able to make gender-transitioning care options for minors. Thierry repeated her belief that minors must be protected from making “life-altering medical decisions” like taking puberty blockers and hormone therapy, and believes that stance is consistent with existing laws barring minors from getting tattoos or buying tobacco products.

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Faithfully Magazine is a fresh, bold and exciting news and culture publication that covers issues, conversations and events impacting Christian communities of color.


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