Last year, I praised an Austin American-Statesman story for its fair, evenhanded coverage of religious leaders on both sides of a fight over transgender bathrooms.
That story mentioned the U.S. Pastor Council, which favored limiting the use of bathrooms in schools and government buildings to the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate.
The same group figures in a recent story by the same newspaper. But this time, reader Thomas Szyszkiewicz, the Catholic media pro who shared the link with GetReligion, questioned the American-Statesman’s lede.
Here is that lede:
A conservative Christian organization has sued the city of Austin in federal court in hopes of overturning a nondiscrimination ordinance that offers employment protection based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Houston-based U.S. Pastor Council argued that the ordinance is unconstitutional and invalid because it does not include a religious exemption for 25 member churches in Austin that refuse to hire gay or transgender people as employees or clergy.
Am I reading too much into it or am I right in thinking that it could have been written in a more neutral way? Or that at least a second sentence or phrase could have been added to make clear that they're trying to protect their religious liberty?