Tag Archives: Jax HRO

Ally Profile: Pastor Reginald Gundy

Pastor Gundy_FP

Born in Jacksonville, Pastor Gundy is a graduate of Troy State University with a BS Degree and hold two Masters Degrees, Masters of Arts in Pastoral Ministries and Master of Divinity.

He is a retired public school teacher, and is also retired from the US Army with two Meritorious Service Awards. He is the recipient of the Congressional Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for outstanding and invaluable service to the community award, Jacksonville’s Florida Mayor’s Distinguish Award, Trailblazers Award, Teacher of the Year Award and many other U.S. Army Awards

He is currently the Pastor of the Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church and past Jacksonville Local Chapter and State President Florida Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He has 14 years of experience in working with Not-for-Profit organizations specializing in advocacy for Juvenile Justice and Civil Rights issues. He is married to Wallette, they have a son named Andrew and two grandchildren, Darrion and Savia. He is a pastor with 33 years ministerial experience and serves on the Boards of several Not-for-Profit Organizations.

Recently, Pastor Gundy has publicly changed his stance on the need to expand the HRO in Jacksonville.  Once a vocal opponent of amending our city’s protections, Pastor Gundy has expressed why it is important to protect the rights of everyone in our community.

It is time for me to write the letter from the “Jacksonville Jail”.  It must address the conservative evangelical and black church as a whole:

The history
The harm
The hurt
The healing
The hope

The LBGT community has a right to be heard, but also others.  The voices of change must also respect the voices of resistance.  We must also deal with the voices of fear. I see the plan to introduce the law that will address the fears, but that is not what many others see.   It is very important that Bible base-believers be heard, along with the others.   That did not happen in the first meeting and must not happen hence forth.

I have set on the new ordinance for 18-months that specifically addresses the protection of the church.  You cannot blame a culture of resistance  based on their Biblical beliefs.  My belief is tied deeply with the Bible, as it relates to all matters of sin, and all have and all sin, and all fall short.  But, thank God for Jesus, all can be saved and forgiven.  Anger and mistrust, on either side, does not allow acceptance, respect, forgiveness and reconciliation.

LBGT issues have divided churches, communities and families.  This should not be, there must be honest dialogue, disagreements and forgiveness.  The evangelicals must be part of the long-term solutions and we all must love each other, even if we do not agree:

1.  The law protects the church.
2.  The law protects housing, jobs and public access.
3.  The law protects people against discrimination.

The conversation is tough but it must be held.  Discrimination against any human being is discrimination against all humanity.

Love should not divide, but bring all of us together.

Pastor Reginald Gundy, pens An awakening to what it means not to discriminate, featured in the Orlando Sentinel on February 5, 2016

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Perfil Aliado: Luis “Louie” López

Luis "Louie" Lopez, Jockey retirado y buen padre
Luis “Louie” Lopez, Jockey retirado y buen padre

Mi nombre es Louie López. Soy oriundo de Los Ángeles y en mi juventud era un Jockey. Dado a la constante hambre que pase para mantener mi bajo peso, decidí dejar mi profesión Hípica y me aliste en la Marina, lo cual me trajo a Jacksonville. En el 1990 me casé por primera vez y ese matrimonio nos produjo dos maravillosos hijos, John David y Curren. Quería una hembra pero fui bendecido con mis dos varones.

Cuando John tenia doce años, estábamos convencidos de que el podía ser gay y fuimos concientes de dejar a John saber que nosotros lo aceptábamos, si ese era el hecho. John nunca me dijo que era gay, cosa que siempre me intrigó ya que yo había visto fotos de el en ropas de mujer y con maquillaje. Dado mi poca comprensión, John finalmente me confesó y cuando lo hizo, se presento como una joven transexual que prefería que la llamáramos Nina. En los ojos de Nina (John), ella no era gay, si no ¡alguien que se sentía, y se veía a si misma como una hembra desde su infancia!

He visto personalmente el rechazo, prejuicio y pullas que mi hija ha sufrido. Como padre, puedo ser lastimado por otros, pero en el caso de mis hijos, me corta como una navaja cada vez que pasa. La ironía es que siempre quería una hija y un hijo y al fin de cuentas, es lo que he recibido.

Mi segunda esposa, Susana , y yo continuaremos amando y apoyando nuestros hijos adultos y ayudando a Nina en el curso que ella ha determinado.

Mi esperanza es que las personas tomen el tiempo para comprender y no juzgar porque todo no es siempre como parece ser.

Daughter

PRESS: Transgender Experiences on First Coast Connect

This past Tuesday, We Are Straight Allies Founder and Co-Creator Chevara Orrin, along with Gina Duncan from Equality Florida, Tricia Russell, Chair of the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality Gender Identity and Expression Committee and Cam, one of newest members of the JCE, appeared on First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, as a continuation of our series discussing transgender experiences. [The segment begins at 29:20]

Listen to Transgender Experiences on First Coast Connect

Thank you to all of our partners and panelists for your courage to have dialogue in hopes that we may better educate our city about transgender people and why it is important that we protect the rights of our T-community – you rocked the house!

Reverend Dr. Bruce Havens

Every Sunday at Pastor Havens’ church they say to people, “No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey you are welcome here!” Havens believes, “we can disagree about how we practice our faith and still be for justice and against discrimination. That is the legacy of all faiths. If the business community can stand for justice and what is right, then the faith community should surely not lag behind.” That’s why he’s a “Straight Ally,” for the Human Rights Ordinance.

Read more about Pastor Havens here: http://wp.me/p3PnKk-ge

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Ronald Breaker, CW2, US Army (Ret)

Ronald E. Breaker is a native of Jacksonville’s Eastside.  He served 21 years in the United States Army.  His journey to becoming a straight ally began by re-evaluating his old thoughts and beliefs.  In his statement, he encourages why it’s time for Jacksonville to do the same.  Read more from his ally profile here: http://wp.me/p3PnKk-hj