Replay live coverage of Tuesday's council meeting.
Husker assistant coach Ron Brown reacted almost as if he were leading a postgame prayer after losing a close game.
"The Lord is on the throne," he declared after the Omaha City Council voted 4-3 Tuesday to approve an ordinance that he opposed — protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals from discrimination. "This doesn't stop those who want to honor Him and follow him from doing the best we could to honor His name."
Brown added: "As you learn in sports, things don't always go your way, and you have to be a great sport about it. We all have a responsibility to protect everyone from harm and destruction, and from any ill will and bad comments."
UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman reprimanded Brown last week for not making it clear he was speaking at the council's public hearing merely as an individual. The Board of Regents, Perlman said, "has made it clear that the university does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation."
Brown then questioned whether he would have been criticized if he had testified in support of the anti-discrimination proposal.
Perlman said Tuesday it would have made no difference on which side Brown testified: "The only reprimand I made was that he did not identify his views as his personal ones and as not representing the university. That would have applied regardless."
When I called him this week, Brown reiterated that he apologizes for not making it clear he was speaking only for himself. But as for the ordinance: "I'm not apologizing for my stance."
He said the Bible clearly calls homosexuality a sin. And although most gay people say they were born that way, Brown maintains it is a lifestyle that they choose.
He told council members last week that if they are Christians, they will be held accountable for their votes. Did he mean, as some critics said, eternal damnation?
"Not at all," he said. "Accountability means you have a responsibility as a Christian to live a life that honors God. When you don't, you will be disciplined by your Father in heaven."
That discipline, he said, could mean "deep remorse and regret. It's however God wants to do it."
Some have questioned, Brown said, why he involved himself in an Omaha issue. "I'm not just a football coach," he said. "I head up a statewide Christian ministry, the FreedMen. A number of guys from Omaha are involved."
He said it's an insult to black people like himself that proponents framed the proposed ordinance as a civil rights issue. "There is a huge difference. (Gays) have not gone through anything near the type of things that African-Americans went through in this nation."
After football games, Brown often leads Huskers and foes in prayers. Last fall, he gained national attention for doing so before the NU-Penn State game after accusations that a former Penn State assistant coach had sexually assaulted boys.
The reaction then, he said, was "98 percent positive." But in the past week, "There has been a strange silence from Christians, particularly those I know pretty well. I think they are confused by the issue."
Contact the writer: