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City Council approves Pride Mass for Waterfront Stadium

Below is an article that appeared in the June 24, 2021, edition of the Grand Haven Tribune about the ministry of our church.

June is recognized as Pride Month, and to show its support, Grand Haven’s City Council approved a Pride Worship Service at the Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium for this coming Sunday.


All but Councilman Dennis Scott voted in favor of the event, along with waiving the $500 fee to use Waterfront Stadium.


Scott cited his religious beliefs for why he was against the Pride Mass.


“This was a little hard for me to come up with,” he said. “I gave it some thought all week, most of the weekend anyways. Batted it back and forth. The bottom line – I can’t support this.


“I’m not against any church service being held at the Waterfront Stadium – we used to do that all the time,” Scott added. “But this is promoting an LGBTQ agenda, and that is the board doing that.”


Earlier, during the public comment period of Monday’s council meeting, the event organizer, the Rev. Jared Cramer of St. John’s Episcopal Church, commended the City Council on its decision last month to recognize June as Pride Month. Scott also voted no on that item.


Scott said he, too, has been a victim of abuse and bullying, and isn’t advocating for either to happen to LGBTQ people.


“I understand abuse, I understand that myself,” he said. “... Being made fun of for the size of my ears, I got bullied pretty good, and I know it’s not fun. I don’t advocate that for anybody. It’s not a good experience, and I would never support anything like that – nobody deserves to be bullied no matter what their agenda. Saying that, I also can’t support this.”


To clarify his beliefs, Scott said that if he was a baker, he would have no problem making a birthday cake for an LGBTQ person, but would have to refuse if they were requesting a wedding cake.


“My biblical view is different than Dr. Cramer’s and I can’t compromise that view, and I won’t,” the councilman said. “So, any support of this group, I cannot support.”


Mayor Pro Tem Michael Fritz said he could understand Scott’s point of view, but took a different position.


“I respect your views, Denny, and I know where you are coming from,” Fritz told Scott. “But we are all humans on this earth. Each of us has a different way of looking at this thing, and I will be supporting this 100 percent.


“A lot of my friends are gay, I’ve known them for years, I went to school with them,” Fritz continued. “And to have them come out and not recognize what they are, I can’t do that. I don’t want them to be ashamed, but proud, and I want to be proud of them.”


Mayor Robert Monetza said he would also be supporting the Pride Mass, and didn’t think it was promoting a lifestyle. He said he believes the event is recognizing the challenges and difficulties that LGBTQ people have had to go through.


The St. John’s Episcopal Church Pride Worship Service will begin at 10 a.m. Sunday.

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