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Rantz: Anti-cop Seattle councilmember gets SPD to pull appreciation event invite

Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez. (Seattle Channel)

Anti-police Seattle City Councilwoman and mayoral candidate Lorena González pressured the Seattle Police Department to rescind an invite to a law enforcement appreciation dinner.

The May event is being hosted by Rev. Franklin Graham and the Ministry of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. The SPD Wellness Unit forwarded a link to the invite without commentary on April 14. But in Seattle, you don’t get to appreciate law enforcement — not if Gonzalez has anything to do with it.

Gonzalez frames her concern over LGBTQ issues, calling out Graham’s religious views as anti-gay. But her concerns are contrived. This is about getting in the way of supporting police officers. In the process, she wins some plaudits from anti-police activists upset she hasn’t done enough to abolish the police.

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Gonzalez demands invite be rescinded

The event is free for law enforcement officers. It offers appreciation for the work law enforcement does in a city where the council and a loud activist community turn cop-hating into a sport. It’s also religious in nature, as the invite promises an “uplifting message, encouraging and practical wisdom from God’s Word, live music, and fellowship with other law enforcement officers.”

But because of its religious nature, and Graham’s religious objection to gay marriage, Gonzalez feigned outrage.

“By promoting this anti-LGBTQ and far-right religious group’s invitation, the Seattle Police Department is undermining Seattle’s LGBTQ community, alienating our own LGBTQ officers, and further eroding public trust and confidence in law enforcement to protect everyone regardless of their religion or identity,” Gonzalez said in a statement.

She says the short email “is absolutely a misuse of taxpayer resources.”

Interim Chief Adrian Diaz responded by rescinding the email, claiming it raises “concerns that the SPD may not be committed to the equity of our community’s LGBTQ members.” He chided the event’s hosts for not supporting the SPD’s “inclusive values” and reminded the force that the department “fully supports the equity and just treatment of all people.”

Afterwards, Gonzalez released a statement from her mayoral campaign with an “official” response to her council action. This indicates it was more about politics than anything else.

Gonzalez ire over LGBTQ concern is as laughable as it is fake

It’s not shocking that Gonzalez would be outraged by a law enforcement appreciation event. She is a leading and destructive anti-police voice. If elected mayor, the “summer of love” would be extended year round.

It’s less shocking that Gonzalez would exploit the evangelical angle to make this about offending the LGBTQ community. She will pander to any group when she needs votes. She’s running for mayor, after all. Politicians pander.

It is somewhat shocking, however, that she has the audacity to feign concern over LGBTQ officers. She says they may feel alienated by the event. Perhaps they would. But Gonzalez has no concern over the feelings of any officers. She isn’t merely trying to defund the police by 50%. She is trying to fire police officers on the basis of their race. But we’re to believe she cares about their feelings?

As to an invite “undermining Seattle’s LGBTQ community,” Gonzalez might want to look in a mirror.

Gonzalez actually hurts the LGBTQ community

Defunding the police means less resources fighting crimes that impact the LGBTQ community. And those very same LGBTQ officers she claims to support will be out of a job with the councilmember’s defunding efforts. I guess her concern doesn’t extend to their ability to pay rent or afford child care and health care.

For someone who is suddenly an ally to the LGBTQ community, it’s odd Gonzalez just months ago backed a resolution praising Cuba while attacking the United States.

Gay marriage is illegal in Cuba. And after canceling a gay pride march, activists were arrested for holding one anyway. Although Gonzalez supports a ban on gay conversion therapy, it’s alive and well in Cuba.

But Gonzalez is happy to push her purported LGBTQ allyship aside to sign onto a Cuba-supporting resolution when it could be politically advantageous for her to do so. It’s the kind of position of principle we’ve come to expect from a Seattle councilmember looking for more power wherever she can get it.

Religious discrimination in policing?

Somehow Gonzalez thinks that passing along an invite to an evangelical event may erode trust in the SPD to protect people regardless of their religious. This is a somewhat new and specious concern from an activist councilmember who tries to erode trust in policing whenever she can. The less people who trust officers, the easier for Gonzalez to fulfil her goal of defunding the police.

The very same SPD Wellness Unit sent an email to the staff to celebrate the Muslim holiday of Ramadan two days prior to emailing about the evangelical event. It didn’t merely explain Ramadan, it even gives details on the best ways to greet community members who celebrate.

Where is Gonzalez’s phony outrage? When it comes to extending an invite to an evangelical Christian event, it could lead to the public questioning whether or not the SPD will police non-Christians. Yet extending an email about Ramadan doesn’t earn the same concern and ire about policing non-Muslims from Gonzalez?

Of course, those concerns would be nonsense. Extending an invite to a Christian event is as harmless as an email celebrating Ramadan. But when you’re a partisan looking to pander to Seattle’s worshipers of intersectionality, questionable attacks against evangelicals is certainly understandable.

Rev Graham speaks out

In a statement to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, Rev. Graham spoke out against the criticism and doubled down on his support of law enforcement.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and I stand in support of law enforcement officers across our nation. These are our community heroes. They work hard and put their lives on the line to serve and protect our cities and our families. They are the only thing standing between us and total anarchy. In recent months, the law enforcement community has faced a demoralizing change in climate and increased lack of support. We want them and their spouses to know they are appreciated, and that’s what our law enforcement events are all about.

I am a Christian, and I believe Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I believe He wants to help us through the storms and challenges that come our way in life. There are law enforcement professionals who represent other faiths and some who are of no faith. Regardless of their beliefs, sexual orientation, or the color of their skin, it doesn’t change in any way the fact that we are deeply grateful for the jobs they do and the sacrifices they make. They deserve our support and to know how much they are appreciated.

This is not a taxpayer-funded event. This dinner and event are a gift from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and from Christians all across this country who want these men and women to know they are appreciated. Even though the email from Interim Seattle Police Chief Diaz announcing the event has been rescinded, our invitation and the dates still stand. I hope many officers in the surrounding areas will take advantage of this special night dedicated to them.

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