Just one day after electing their first African-American president in its history, Southern Baptists took a step backward and passed a resolution opposing the idea that same-sex marriage is a civil rights issue.
For an organization with a well-documented history of racism, the election of the Rev. Fred Luter Jr. of New Orleans as the first African American president of the Southern Baptist Convention is historic.
However, thousands of delegates at the group’s annual meeting in New Orleans were nearly unanimous in their support for the resolution that affirms their belief that marriage is “the exclusive union of one man and one woman” and that “all sexual behavior outside of marriage is sinful.”
The resolution acknowledges that gays and lesbians sometimes experience “unique struggles” but declares that they lack the “distinguishing features of classes entitled to special protections.”
The resolution is a stark contrast to the stand that many prominent African-American religious and civil rights leaders have taken in support of same-sex marriage as a civil rights issue. The Rev. Al Sharpton, the Rev. Otis Moss III, Julian Bond, John Lewis and the NAACP have all come out in support of same-sex marriage, as has President Obama.
“It is regrettable that homosexual rights activists and those who are promoting the recognition of ‘same-sex marriage’ have misappropriated the rhetoric of the Civil Rights Movement,” the resolution states.