Southern Baptists, Gay Right Activists Clash Over Gay Marriage Issue

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By Lisa Blackwell

The past week Southern Baptists elected for the first time in history an African American as their President. One day later thousands of convention delegates passed a resolution opposing the idea that same sex marriage is a civil rights issue.

Both Baptists and Gay rights advocates refer to the Bible when talking about the recent Southern Baptist resolution, but both groups have a different interpretation when it comes to the word of God.

Southern Baptists say gay rights are not civil rights and its stirring some controversy.

Jay Wolf, Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Montgomery, says, "You see, the bible describes with clarity that marriage is designed by God for one woman and one man for one lifetime. President Obama's endorsement of same sex marriage is a terrible stewardship of being a moral guardian. President Obama is not disagreeing with me, he's disagreeing with God himself."

Wolf says it's not a civil rights issue it's a moral issue. He feels gay marriage goes against the word of God.

"The basic unit of society is when a man and a woman come together to create a family and when you begin to unravel that basic unit you not only create cultural confusion you create future chaos in our society," said Wolf.

Baptist Parishioners agree with the Southern Baptist Convention's decision.

Chad Cross, a parishioner at First Baptist Church, says, "Jesus loves everyone but hates the sin and I think there's no doubt that he wants those people to step out of that lifestyle."

Mary Greene, another Parishioner at First Baptist Church, says, "I don't think it's right, it's more the people's choosing to go the opposite direction of what the Lord tells them to."

It is a back and forth battle. Those who support gay marriage say the Baptist decision singles out a group of people for lesser treatment and it is wrong-minded.

Sam Wolfe, a lawyer for the Southern Poverty Law Center representing the LGBT Rights Project, says "Just because we're different in one way we love people who are of the same gender that's not an excuse to deny us equality under the law including marriage and other areas."

Wolfe says the decisions by Baptist delegates go against God's word of loving and accepting one another.

"This harms people within the convention that are sitting in the church pews hearing this type of message hearing that there's something wrong with who they are," Wolfe said. "It also harms people who are told they are wrong this fundamental aspect of who they are and it really creates suffering and depression and suicidal ideas."

Wolf says he gets calls every day from people facing discrimination by having their kids taken from them or who are facing harassment and abuse in school.

He says religious leaders set the tone for how gays are treated and he wishes the Baptists would reconsider their decision.

Researchers say three to five percent of the U.S. population is gay or lesbian.

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Brian said on Sunday, Jun 24 at 11:38 PM

Please correct the spelling of "Wolf" to "Wolfe" in the following sentence: "Wolf says he gets calls every day from people facing discrimination by having their kids taken from them or who are facing harassment and abuse in school." This statement is attributed currently to Jay Wolf when it should have been to David Wolfe. Left as is it would lead one to believe that Jay Wolf, pastor of First Baptist wishes that Baptist would reconsider their decision which is contrary to his actual belief.

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