Several churches in the Waco area met outside of the McLennan County Courthouse Sunday afternoon a part of a national protest.
Metropolitan Community Churches organized the protest across the country. Senior Minister Rev. Charley Garrison of the Central Texas Metropolitan Community Church said the display is in opposition of President Trump's administration.
The fear is that "'so-called' religious exemptions that allow people to discriminate at will against whoever seems to offend their religious beliefs."
The protest was originally scheduled after concern President Trump was planning to overturn an executive order put in place by former President Obama to protect LGBTQ workers. This week however, the White House announced that the 2014 order will stay in place.
Rev. Garrison said there are still pressing concerns for LGBTQ rights at the state level. "There's laws that are being proposed such as the supposed transgender bathroom law. It's under consideration that different cities that have protection for LGBTQ people that would be reversed."
Garrison maintains that exclusionary practices could have a detrimental effect. "The effect is that LGBTQ people would be second class citizens. lacking equal access to public accommodations and subject to the whims of those who might fire or deny entry and deny services or health care to people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity."
Pastors from Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, and Lake Shore Baptist also spoke, as well as spoken word artist Jenuine Poetess.
Josh Barlow, a Baylor Student attended the protest, saying he's been discourage by some of the conversation following the election. "Our nation is a nation built on love and inclusiveness. It's a nation built to say, 'Hey you're different and that's awesome." And that's something that I don't think that's happening right now."
Barlow hopes that by taking a stand and joining he conversation he can make a change, "I think I speak for a lot of queer individuals I say I don't want any extra rights I just want basic rights."
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