News (USA)

Southern Baptists oppose transgender identity, won’t relax stance on gay marriage


BALTIMORE — The new president of the Southern Baptist Convention says the denomination won’t relax its position on same-sex marriage and transgender identity, even as courts across the country are striking down gay marriage bans in record numbers and the convention tries to bolster its membership.

SBC President-elect Ronnie Floyd, a megachurch pastor from Arkansas, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the convention doesn’t plan to alter its opposition to same-sex marriage, even though American culture is changing.

Floyd, who succeeds the Rev. Fred Luter Jr., to lead the 15.7-million-member denomination, is the author of the book “The Gay Agenda.” In a 2003 sermon called homosexuality Satan’s “con job.”

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At their annual meeting in Baltimore, delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention also passed a resolution declaring that gender identity is determined by biological sex and not by self-perception.

The resolution approved Tuesday states that the denomination opposes hormone therapy, gender reassignment surgery and other efforts to “alter one’s bodily identity.”

According to the resolution, “God’s design was the creation of two distinct and complementary sexes, male and female.”

The resolution expresses opposition to government efforts to “validate transgender identity as morally praiseworthy.”

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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