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article imageSouthern Baptists' opposition to gays made clear in resolutions

By Kay Mathews     Jun 18, 2010 in World
Delegates, or "messengers," to the 2010 Southern Baptist Convention meeting approved resolutions against gays serving openly in the military and the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting was held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. June 15 and 16. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the Southern Baptist Convention has roughly 16.1 million members, and Southern Baptists are America's "largest Protestant denomination."
Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, told delegates, called messengers, that the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell "is a sign of another misguided 'social experiment,'" and promised that "the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is doing all it can to forestall the policy's repeal."
Land warned that allowing openly gay Americans to serve in the military would "destroy the finest fighting force the world has ever known."
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette quotes Steven Bailey, a delegate and pastor of Earle Baptist Church in Crittenden County, Arkansas as saying:
You don’t want a gay next to you, nor do you want, really, a lady next to you in the military. I think the military is for men. Heterosexual men. I think it makes for a safer environment because you’re already in a hostile environment anyway.
In addition to passing a resolution against the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the messengers also voted to oppose House Resolution 3017 - the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act sponsored by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), which would "prohibit job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation."
Previously, the Southern Baptist Convention passed resolutions opposing hate-crimes legislation aimed at protecting homosexuals, same-sex marriage, and they voted in opposition to the 1999 presidential proclamation designating June as "Gay and Lesbian Pride Month."
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that, since 1976, the Southern Baptist Convention has passed approximately 24 resolutions concerning homosexuality.
What the delegates voted for was to promote "family worship," address the "scandal of Southern Baptist divorce," "Encourage pastors to keep the Gospel foremost in every sermon they preach," and to pray for an end to the oil spill.
The Southern Baptist Convention notes that the organization was established in 1845 in Augusta, Georgia, and that it currently has "over 16 million members who worship in more than 42,000 churches in the United States."
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