The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is holding its annual meeting in Phoenix this week, and you can probably smell the fire and brimstone from where you are sitting already. But in the name of gay freedom, GetEQUAL and a group of faith groups is going to play Daniel to the SBC’s lions. GetEQUAL is collecting signatures on a petition calling on the SBC to apologize for its virulent antigay positions. And the groups are planning to present those signatures in person at the SBC meeting.
Among the faith-based groups that have joined the campaign are Faith In America, Truth Wins Out, Soulforce, Welcoming & Affirming Baptists and Believe Out Loud. “So far, thousands of folks across the country have joined us in calling on the Southern Baptist Convention to apologize for the immense harm they’ve done through words and actions,” says Robin McGehee, director of GetEqual. “And the SBC’s leadership is well-aware of the petition — in fact, we’re working with the Phoenix Police Department to broker a meeting to hand-deliver these signatures to the SBC’s leadership and to explain why an apology is necessary.”
Just to recap just why an apology from the SBC might be appropriate, here are some of its top hits:
- Declares that “even a desire to engage in a homosexual relationship is always sinful, impure, degrading, shameful, unnatural, indecent and perverted.” (We’re sure they could add a few more adjectives, if they tried.)
- Heavily promotes ex-gay minstries. We all know how successful those are.
- Been a leader in the battle against marriage equality.
- Opposed a federal nondiscrimination law because it would “make it more difficult for people who oppose aberrant sexual behavior to express their beliefs about it in the workplace without fear of reprisal.” (Is that a bad thing?)
- Boycotted Disney products because of Gay Days at the company’s amusement parks.
And the list goes on.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for an apology this week, or possibly this century. The SBC only got around 16 years ago to apologizing to African-Americans for slavery. Groundbreakers, they are not. But when the day does comes that the SBC apologizes for what GetEQUAL describes as “its repeated and reckless discrimination,” you’ll know who was there first.