Southern Baptists Debate Gay Vs. Civil Rights

Resolution says gays and lesbians aren't entitled to class protections

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    AP
    The headquarters of the Southern Baptist Convention is shown on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, in Nashville, Tenn. Southern Baptists leaders, pressed to grow membership and weighted by the past, have asked churches in the U.S. to approve a name change. Leaders say, however, they still intend to continue to call themselves "Baptist." (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

    A day after electing their first African-American president, Southern Baptists are considering a resolution opposing the idea that gay rights are civil rights.

    The resolution up for a vote Wednesday affirms Southern Baptists' beliefs that marriage is "the exclusive union of one man and one woman" and that "all sexual behavior outside of marriage is sinful."

    It acknowledges that gays and lesbians sometimes experience "unique struggles" but declares that they lack the "distinguishing features of classes entitled to special protections."

    "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.