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Don’t Be A Sexually Active Homeless Homo If You Want Help From GA’s House Of Mercy

Know what sucks about being homeless? Being homeless. Know what sucks about being homeless and gay? Being kicked out of the House of Mercy homeless shelter in Columbus, Georgia, because of your suspected gayness.

Two women claim they were kicked out of the shelter over suspicion of being lesbians. One of the women, who escaped an abusive home with her kids, says the experience was “unholy” and that House of Mercy “is not a place of god.” Officially, the women were kicked out for breaking rules like smoking cigarettes and violating curfew; supposedly the woman was out late to meet up with another woman.

Except, uh, the woman says she’s not even gay, and she had to miss curfew — and received permission to do it — because she needed to get her children’s birth certificates and other records.

But House of Mercy, which requires clients to attend church service and keep hats off their head while inside, also refuses any sexually active gay people. Because after all, says director Bobby Harris (pictured), there’s the Bible and, ahem, “we have little children here.” But if you’re a celibate homosexual? Fine, Harris will take you in. “We believe that Christ can change all,” says Harris. “But when they begin to practice their acts here, and use excuses, and do these things, and want to go out in the street and practice what they believe in, we have to let them go on and do that, because I can’t help you like that.” House of Mercy refuses straight couples, meanwhile, unless they’ve been married for 2-3 years.

Is it a reasonable thing to ask clients not to have sex inside the shelter? Of course. Whether the people are straight or gay, the space is communal and tight, and neighbors shouldn’t have to bear witness to your sexual activities. But private activities outside the shelter are another matter entirely, in that they are none of your freakin’ business.

Ah yes, the conundrum of do-gooding services that proudly discriminate, a la the Salvation Army. Does doing some good — as some House of Mercy clients can attest — excuse Harris’ discriminatory policy? Nope, not one bit. And given the shelter’s religious affiliations, it would be my understanding the facility benefits from tax-free status. That is: A waiver for the privilege of discrimination. Would we tolerate this for a shelter that refused sexually active blacks?

[WRBL; via]

By:           Ryan Tedder
On:           Jan 18, 2011
Tagged: , , ,
  • 9 Comments
    • Franky
      Franky

      Expected behavior from Christianists.

      Jan 18, 2011 at 1:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks
      justiceontherocks

      @Franky – thanks a lot. Now you’ll have Cassandra all up in our business.

      Jan 18, 2011 at 2:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ron
      ron

      @justiceontherocks: I think she can only come out after the sun goes down……

      Jan 18, 2011 at 3:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Franky
      Franky [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @Franky:
      I’m pretty sure you can just say Christian and be fine. When and why did people start using the word Christianist?

      Jan 18, 2011 at 3:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Francis
      Francis

      Hey, another Franky. I changed my name to not cause confusion.

      There is a major difference between Christians and Christianists. People like this aren’t Christians, and it’s an insult to lump them in with Christians. Christianism is a political and ideological view, that revolves around (not really) Christian beliefs, and using Christian beliefs as an de-facto strongarm to gain whatever personal goal that individual is fighting for (social power, legal power, financial power etc.). Christianity, to put it very simple, is a personal belief system.

      Whoever Cassandra is, I don’t know, I guess luckily, but yeah, there is a major difference between the two. Christians wouldn’t do something like this. Christianists couldn’t care less.

      Jan 18, 2011 at 4:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Franky
      Franky [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @Francis:
      Ahhh ok. Now it makes sense. With your explanation you might have staved off a lecturing from Cassandra. Not that it really matters, I’m sure she’ll post something anyway…
      Yeah, for a second there I thought I had a clone. For the past little while someone’s been showing up and commenting under other people’s names. I thought it was happening to me now since it’s rare to run into anyone else with the name Francis lol.

      Jan 18, 2011 at 4:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • redball
      redball

      That man and his fake sanctimonious smile are as icky as his gnarly mustache!

      Jan 18, 2011 at 5:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Oscar
      Oscar

      This place is a scar on the face of Columbus GA. For a conservative southern town, it has been remarkably welcoming to me and my partner, out and proud.

      Also, no other homeless outreach program in Columbus discriminates against GLBTQs.

      Time to raise a ruckus against these hypocrites.

      Jan 18, 2011 at 10:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      I’m not overlooking their blatant homophobia in my comment, which is terrible; but where do they get off saying straight couples have to be married 2-3 years? I’m not saying I’m more concerned about straights, but that just is prove positive they are crazeee.

      Jan 19, 2011 at 9:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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