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District 3 Applicant Clarifies Earlier Statements on Gay Marriage

Published on Friday, September 16, 2022 | 5:21 am

A local pastor seeking a seat on the City Council on Thursday clarified earlier comments he made about gay marriage. 

Lucious Smith is seeking the District 3 seat left vacant by the death of John Kennedy.

Smith, Brandon Lamar and Justin Jones have qualified for the seat which must be filled by Oct. 4.

Smith said in a 2013 article about Prop. 8 that by its nature and biblical understanding – “anything outside a union between one man and one woman, he said, ‘is something else’ other than marriage.

“The tradition here in this country has come from the biblical view that [marriage] is a man and a woman,” Smith said in the article. “I guess my question is, what’s next?”

According to the article, Smith said he was bothered by churches that take liberties with the scriptures to argue that homosexuality is not morally wrong. And was also bothered by the comparison of the gay rights struggle to the civil rights movement for Blacks in America.

“I have a real problem and take extreme issue with that,” he said. “You’re talking about a people who were ripped away from their home and country and forced to build a nation on their backs just to be considered human beings … That to me is a huge stretch and it troubles me.”

On Thursday, Smith said that although Christian faith is still “the source of my daily decision making process,” he is compelled to love and respect everyone with whom he comes in contact with, even those he disagrees with.

“Unlike 2013 when the article in question was posted, the legal benefits of marriage are now afforded to everyone, and as the law of the land I recognize the rights of anyone to exercise their right to do so,” Smith told Pasadena Now. “My faith does not require that I impose my beliefs [as opposed to sharing them] on anyone and I appreciate when that same respect is extended to me.”

Smith said his sense of morality, is also rooted in his faith and understanding of what The Bible has to say about it.  

“For instance, Adultery [i.e. when a spouse in a biblically sanctioned marriage has a sexual relationship with someone other than their own spouse] is considered a sin and is a major moral failure. Fornication [i.e. anyone having a sexual relationship outside of a similarly sanctioned marriage] is considered a sin and is a major moral failure. Likewise same sex relationships [for which I can find no biblical sanction] is also considered a Sin and is a major moral failure. But the good news is that there can be redemption and forgiveness for every moral failure in repentance and acceptance of God’s revealed will for our lives!”

Proposition 8, known informally as Prop 8, was a California ballot proposition and a state constitutional amendment intended to ban same-sex marriage; it passed in the November 2008 California state elections.

On Monday as the Council discussed the process to choose the new District 3 Council member several callers referenced Smith’s views without mentioning him by name.

However, he was mentioned in correspondence to the Council: “I am also concerned about Pastor Lucious Smith’s ability to adequately represent the LGBTQ community in District 3. After learning recently of his support for Prop 8 banning same-sex marriage in California. It would certainly make me feel unwelcome in Pasadena to know that one of my Council members publicly opposed the legality of my own marriage which was performed in the City of Pasadena,” wrote Jane Panangaden.

During his presidential campaign, then candidate Barack Obama said he opposed gay marriage, but also opposed Prop. 8. He later said his thinking on the matter had evolved. 

“I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama said.

Prop. 8 was later overturned in court.

Although the issue is not a matter governed locally by the City Council, the legislative body has passed ceremonial resolutions on national matters. Recently, the City Council adopted a resolution supporting a woman’s reproductive rights.

Local progressives and some members of the City Council have denounced past politicians and others for views held decades ago, including eugenist Robert Milken who’s name, likeness and statue has been removed from Caltech.

Last week a city commission held off on making a recommendation that the Council remove the portrait of a former mayor from City Hall for his past actions that helped prevent Black and Brown residents from purchasing property in Pasadena.

A.I. Stewart led the charge in real estate covenants that called for white residents to only sell their homes to their white counterparts. 

City Hall employees have also come under fire for sermons and their views.  

In 2014,  Health Director Dr. Eric Walsh, a Seventh-day Adventist preacher, resigned after he was placed on leave because of controversial sermons he gave on homosexuality and evolution.

“The Pasadena Public Health Department remains a strong and vital part of the city of Pasadena organization and remains dedicated to protecting the health and wellness of our entire community,” then City Manager Michael Beck said in a statement announcing Walsh’s suspension. “The city organization is made up of many different people from all backgrounds, races, faiths, family makeup, gender orientation and political beliefs.  The city holds diversity and inclusiveness as an important value in the workplace and in our community.”

Walsh, who was hired by the City in 2010, came under scrutiny after he was selected to replace gay screenwriter Dustin Lance Black as Pasadena City College’s commencement speaker.

After Walsh’s speeches were discovered, Walsh backed out of the appearance, citing a scheduling conflict.

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