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    Anti-gay Baptist minister took male prostitute on holiday

    The Independent - May 6, 2011

    By Guy Adams, Los Angeles

    A Baptist minister who is one of America's leading opponents of gay rights, and who believes that homosexuality is a mental disorder that can be "cured", found himself with some serious explaining to do yesterday after he was photographed at Miami airport with a male prostitute he had hired to join him on a European holiday.

    George Alan Rekers, a middle-aged co-founder of the right-wing Family Research Council, admitted taking the 20-year-old on a 10-day trip to London and Madrid in March. Rekers met the sex worker on the website, where he appears under the alias "Lucien" and claims to be "sensual," "wild" and "up for anything".

    Rekers, who has appeared as an expert witness in court cases challenging gay adoption, denied having sex with his travelling companion. He had hired Lucien to help carry his luggage, he told reporters, and only found out that he was a prostitute halfway through the trip. [Read Full Story]


    Gay Baptist leader who fought for tolerance┬ádies

    Wire Reports - March 4, 2011

    The Rev. Peter J. Gomes, a nationally influential Baptist minister and advocate for tolerance who oversaw Harvard University's Memorial Church for more than 30 years, died Monday of complications from a stroke. He was 68. 

    Gomes described himself as a cultural conservative but stunned the Harvard community in 1991 when he said he was gay in response to harassment against gays on campus. 

    He published 11 volumes of sermons, as well as books, including 1996's "The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart," in which he analyzed the Bible's use in marginalizing Jews, blacks, women, and gays. 

    He condemned those who used the Bible to justify racism, oppression and homophobia, but he also steadfastly defended the text's message. 

    Gomes was a professor at Harvard Divinity School who most recently taught classes on the history of Harvard and its presidents, interpreting the Bible, and an introduction to preaching. [Read Full Text]


    Texas Baptists Isolate Gay-Friendly Church

    The Advocate - March 18, 2011

    By Julie Bulcer

    The Baptist General Convention of Texas sought to put distance between itself and a longtime affiliate, Royal Lane Baptist Church of Dallas, over changes in the church’s website that affirm gay members. 

    According to The Dallas Morning News, “the Dallas-based BGCT has decided to place in escrow any funds sent from Royal Lane. It also has asked Royal Lane to remove from church publications any reference to BGCT affiliation.”

    The BGCT holds that homosexuality is a sin. It will continue to hold Royal Lane at arm’s length until the church agrees with that stance. [Read Full Story]


    Anti-gay church's right to protest at military funerals is upheld

    CNN - March 2, 2011

    By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer

    A Kansas church that attracted nationwide attention for its angry, anti-gay protests at the funerals of U.S. military members has won its appeal at the Supreme Court, an issue testing the competing constitutional rights of free speech and privacy.

    The justices, by an 8-1 vote, said Wednesday that members of Westboro Baptist Church had a right to promote what they call a broad-based message on public matters such as wars. The father of a fallen Marine had sued the small church, saying those protests amounted to targeted harassment and an intentional infliction of emotional distress.

    "Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and -- as it did here -- inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority. [Read Full Story]


    SBC Committee Decides against Expelling Members of Pro-Gay Bapist Alliance

    Christian Post - February 25, 2011

    By Jennifer Riley

    The Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee decided earlier this week that a church's membership in a pro-gay Baptist group does not automatically disqualify it from being part of the conservative Baptist denomination.

    A membership condition for the SBC, the nation's largest Protestant denomination, states that a church is disqualified from being a member if it "[acts] to affirm, approve or endorse homosexual behavior."

    Based on this condition, Oklahoma messenger to the SBC annual meeting last June, Wes Kenney, asked the Executive Committee “to consider any church’s affiliation with the Alliance of Baptist to constitute an action which affirms, approves or endorses homosexual behavior." [Read Full Story]