Democrats in Virginia have set their sights on the pastor of an elementary school teacher who was recently put on administrative leave for refusing to affirm children’s “transgender identity” because of his Christian faith.
As highlighted by The Daily Wire, Byron “Tanner” Cross, a P.E. teacher at Leesburg Elementary School, told the Loudoun County school board Tuesday “that he will not ‘affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa’ because he loves children who struggle with gender dysphoria and refuses to lie to them.'”
Cross was swiftly placed on administrative leave.
Cornerstone Chapel Pastor Gary Hamrick spoke out against the school board’s actions during the service Sunday, defending Cross, who is a congregant of the church, and blasting Marxist gender theory as abusive to children.
The Loudoun County Democratic Committee reacted by demanding the pastor “recant” his “[u]nfounded statements” that “not only hurt our community that he is meant to serve but have dangerous ramifications for the incitement of violence.”
During the service, Hamrick called the implementation of the left-wing gender ideology a form of emotional abuse to Loudoun County children and denounced inaction from the church. “To be passive, is to be complicit,” emphasized the pastor.
“The school board — some of them, not all — some of them are not doing their duty to protect, let alone educate our children,” ” Hamrick said. “And they are subjecting them to sexually explicit materials … and they are already talking about introducing racially divisive curriculum, they are emotionally abusing our children by perpetuating the lie about gender confusion when they affirm pronouns that are contrary to biology, reality, and the beautiful design of God. So, they need to be held accountable and it’s time to step up.”
Fellow congregants were also allowed access to petitions calling for the recall of six specific “troublesome” school board members.
The Loudoun County Democratic Committee on Sunday released a statement targeting the pastor and demanding he “recant” his “inflammatory and insidious remarks.”
“The Loudoun County Democratic Committee was extremely disheartened to hear that one of our community’s religious leaders made inflammatory and insidious remarks about several Loudoun elected officials during a service at Cornerstone Chapel this morning,” the statement said. “In his Sunday, May 30th sermon, Pastor Gary Hamrick took to the pulpit to accuse six Loudoun County School Board members of ’emotional child abuse,’ opening his chapel’s atrium to political campaigning, and invoking the name of God to incite political action.”
“We are deeply concerned about the consequences of such rhetoric, having witnessed a recent rise in threats to the safety of the Loudoun School Board members. Furthermore, this irresponsible accusation of child abuse minimizes and tarnishes the people and organizations that seek to protect our children,” the Democrats continued.
“We call on Pastor Gary Hamrick to recant his allegations due to the libelous and inflammatory nature of the remarks. Unfounded statements such as these not only hurt our community that he is meant to serve but have dangerous ramifications for the incitement of violence.”
A portion of Cross’ statement to the school board was also shown to the congregation on Sunday. The Daily Wire reported:
“My name is Tanner Cross and I am speaking out of love for those who are suffering from gender dysphoria,” Cross said during his brief speech, which referenced school district policies demanding Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) staff use preferred pronouns and “allow gender-expansive and transgender students to participate in such activities in a manner consistent with the student’s gender identity.”
Referring to an explosive “60 Minutes” investigation that aired Sunday about young people regretting their transitions, Cross continued, “’60 Minutes’ this past Sunday interviewed over 30 young people who transitioned but they felt led astray because of lack of pushback or how easy it was to make physical changes to their bodies in just three months. They are now detransitioning.”
“It’s not my intention to hurt anyone, but there are certain truths that we must face when ready. We condemn school policies [that] would damage children, defile the holy image of God,” he continued.
“I love all of my students but I will never lie to them regardless of the consequences. I’m a teacher but I serve God first and I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa because it’s against my religion, it’s lying to a child, it’s abuse to a child, and it’s sinning against our God,” Cross concluded.
WATCH (relevant comments begin around the 36-minute mark):
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