New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) reportedly fired a pastor from a key educational policy panel over the revelation she “called homosexuality a sin” and wrote book passages on the topic, according to The New York Times.
The Rev. Kathlyn Barrett-Layne of Reach Out and Touch Ministries in Port Richmond on Staten Island was reportedly forced to resign earlier this month from the Panel for Education Policy, which advises the city’s chancellor, after her writings came to light.
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Barrett-Layne’s purported forced resignation came just hours after Adams’ office praised her as a minister who “spends her time inspiring people with her speaking and teaching in Bible studies,” The Daily News reported.
Just under six hours later, she was removed. Some supposed quotes from Barrett-Layne’s books have been included in media coverage of the drama. In one such passage, she counts homosexuality among other “temptations.”
“Leaders struggle with the same temptations of drugs, alcohol, homosexuality, fornication, adultery, pedophilia, stealing, lying, envy, covetousness, and every other sin that the congregation struggles with,” Barrett-Layne reportedly wrote in her 2013 book, “Challenging Your Disappointments.”
The Adams administration said they had not previously seen these remarks.
“We were unaware of these writings, and we’ve asked her to resign,” Amaris Cockfield, deputy press secretary at the New York City mayor’s office, said of the ordeal.
In another 2004 book, “When Your Mess Becomes the Message,” Barrett-Layne reportedly discussed praying over her then-3-year-old daughter after the young child said she was a boy.
“We prayed against every spirit that was not of God, including the spirit of homosexuality. At the end of that prayer, my daughter asked me if she was a girl,” she purportedly wrote. “When I told her yes, she happily began to sing and rejoice about being mommy and daddy’s little girl. To tell you this was one of the most frightening experiences I had with my little girl is an understatement.”
Christian leaders like Dr. Michael Brown, an author and radio host, have decried how Barrett-Layne was treated.
“God forbid they should allow yet another Bible-believing Christian to darken the doors of their administration,” Brown sarcastically wrote. “This was a step too far.”
As for her part, Barrett-Layne told The Times she was “disappointed” and believes everything was “taken out of context.”
“I feel bullied,” she said. “I believe that the city is being bullied. I feel as though my character, my name, my church have been defamed with lies and that everything was taken out of context.”
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