New York City’s new Democratic Mayor Eric Adams forced a Christian minister to resign from an education panel shortly after he appointed her after it was revealed she had written a book describing homosexuality as a sin.
Rev. Kathlyn Barrett-Layne was one of Adams’s picks for the city’s Panel for Educational Policy. She leads Reach Out and Touch Ministries in Staten Island. The panel is authorized to approve contracts entered into by the NYC Department of Education. When she was appointed, Adams praised her work as a minister who inspires people with her lectures and teaching in Bible studies.
However, only hours after the New York Daily News ran a story about Barrett-Layne’s “anti-gay rhetoric” she was removed from her position on the panel. The story detailed some passages from “Challenging Your Disappointments,” a book the minister wrote in 2013.
In that book, she said that church leaders struggle with the same temptations as members of the congregation. She included “homosexuality” as one of the sins that affect clergy and congregants, among drugs, alcohol, fornication, stealing, lying, and “every other sin.”
The Daily News story used the passage to argue that Barrett-Layne considered “same-sex relationships” as the same type of sin as pedophilia and all of the “other crimes” listed.
Allen Roskoff was just one of many LBGTQ advocates who immediately demanded that Barrett-Layne be ousted from the panel. He said that he texted Mayor Adams directly to demand she be removed. Roskoff then told the Daily News that getting rid of the minister was only a “partial victory,” and that her replacement must be a member of the LBGTQ community.
Former Councilmember Daniel Dromm told the Daily News that Adams had “unbelievably” appointed a “virulent homophobe” to a panel that will have an impact on gay staff and students.
Barrett-Layne later told the New York Times that she felt bullied by the ouster and that the city itself is being bullied as well. She said that the story took things out of context in order for her and her church to be “defamed with lies.” In saying that she is “absolutely not homophobic,” she said the comment in her book was based on discussions with people she had counseled.
She added that she is considering legal action against the city.