KEITHVILLE, La. — A local Alcoholics Anonymous group is looking for a new place to meet after being booted from a Louisiana church over the pastor’s fears he might also be forced to accommodate same-sex weddings.
KSLA-TV reports that Pastor David Venable of the Westwood Baptist Church in Keithville, La., said in a letter to the AA chapter that the “constant and aggressive attack from the homosexual and lesbian community” could force the church to host same-sex wedding ceremonies if it continued to allow other public groups to gather at its facilities:
“As I am sure you are aware, God’s church, his written word, and its values and principles have come under a constant and aggressive attack from the homosexual and lesbian community,” the letter states.
“Churches and Christian businesses alike, across our nation, are being forced, by our legal system, to accommodate these groups in the use of their buildings/facilities to perform marriage ceremonies, receptions, etc. The court’s decision was based on the fact that the churches/business were accepting and accommodating other public entities, and therefore must also accommodate the homosexual and lesbian community.”
The pastor says he was only acting on the advisement of an article that was published in the Louisiana Baptist Church Message that gave suggestions for safeguarding against gay weddings.
eople Acting for Change and Equality political director, Adrienne Critcher, Political Director for the group People Acting for Change and Equality, says the church is misguided.
“Even if we have legalized gay marriage throughout the country no church will be forced to marry gay people if they don’t want to,” Critcher says.
Venable says that the letter could have been worded differently, but he stands by his decision.