Gays who grew up Southern Baptist to distribute pro-gay Bible studies at 2005 SBC

Pro-gay study guides will be given out at the 2005 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville by members of Soulfource, Inc., which includes GLBT people who grew up Southern Baptist. The June 21 event will take place outside the Gaylord Entertinament Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"A lot of gays and lesbians who grew up in Southern Baptist fundamentalism leave the denomination and never look back," said Jamie McDaniel, a gay Baptist who serves as co-chair of the Soulforce Southern Baptist Denominational Team. "But on Tuesday, June 21, we will be present at the annual meeting because we want the next generation of gays growing up Southern Baptist to know that they are ok and that God loves them exactly as they are - despite what their leaders might tell them."

The group will give out two books - the 48 page study guide geared towards youth and youth ministers entitled Christian Youth: An Important Voice in the Present Struggle for Gay Rights in America. The study is available for download at and Rev. Dr. Mel White's What The Bible Says - And Doesn't Say - About Homosexuality. Mel White is a co-founder of Soulforce who, prior to accepting himself as a gay man, underwent decades of reparative therapy. In 1994 he authored the book Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America. The booklet What The Bible Says - And Doesn't Say - About Homosexuality is available for download at

"Southern Baptists leaders fervently promote the belief that homosexuals can and should change into heterosexuals, while gay people of faith testify that we became healthy and whole once we accepted our sexual orientation," said Adam Riley, a 24-year-old gay male who grew up Baptist, attended ex-gay ministries while in college, and now lives in Nashville. "Southern Baptist leaders also attempt to rally their congregations to defeat nearly every piece of legislation that would help gay and lesbian Americans gain equality," added Riley.

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