Pushing back against a cultural tide of growing acceptance of transgender people, Southern Baptists adopted a statement affirming the creation of “two distinct and complementary sexes.”
The resolution was passed overwhelmingly Tuesday (June 10) as some 5,000 people attended the annual meeting of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination and elected as president the Rev. Ronnie Floyd, pastor of a northwest Arkansas megachurch.
The delegates, known as “messengers,” affirmed “God’s good design that gender identity is determined by biological sex and not by one’s self-perception.”
They added that they had compassion for people with gender conflicts, called them “image-bearers of Almighty God” and condemned “acts of abuse or bullying committed against them.”
But they went on the record to oppose gender assignment surgery and cross-sex hormone therapies. They expressed their hope that transgender people would “experience renewal” through a faith in Jesus.
Ross Murray, who runs the religion program at the LGBT advocacy organization GLAAD, criticized the statement for being inconsistent.
“They want to both welcome people in and yet do not want to recognize them as a full person and probably even more fully as a child of God,” he said. “The Southern Baptist Convention is so much missing out on the opportunity to connect with another part of God’s creation.”
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SOURCE: Religion News Service
Adelle M. Banks