Religious leaders to protest in Largo

They hope city commissioners will change their minds about Steve Stanton.

Published March 4, 2007

It wasn't chiseled into a stone tablet.

But there is an 11th commandment, say some local religious leaders, and the controversy over Largo City Manager Steve Stanton is a good time to remember it.

"Thou shalt not discriminate," said the Rev. Abhi Janamanchi, pastor of Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater.

He and other ministers say the Largo City Commission violated that unwritten directive when it moved to fire Stanton, 48, last week after he disclosed that he plans to have a sex-change operation.

Because of the commission's decision, an interfaith coalition of religious leaders from throughout the Tampa Bay area will gather at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the steps of Largo City Hall, 201 Highland Ave., in a peaceful protest against what they feel is a grave injustice. They hope other like-minded citizens will participate as well.

Through the demonstration, they hope to urge commissioners to change their minds and not fire Stanton.

A dozen members of the clergy have indicated they will attend, as well as at least 100 members of various churches and at least one temple who hope to change commissioners' minds. Attendees are expected to come from congregations countywide.


To go

When: 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Where: Steps of Largo City Hall, 201 Highland Ave.