Lynchburg, VA (PRWEB) January 6, 2006
In response to today's news that the Rev. Lonnie Latham, a prominent figure in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and senior pastor of South Tulsa Baptist Church, was arrested Tuesday for allegedly propositioning a male undercover police officer, Soulforce founder Rev. Dr. Mel White says, "No one should have to come out via an undercover sting operation. That is its own evil. Until the Southern Baptist Convention ends their spiritual violence against gay and lesbian people, tragedies like this will continue."
Soulforce exists as an organization to end spiritual violence against LGBT people. “The false antigay teachings of the Southern Baptist Convention have claimed yet another victim,” said Robyn Murphy, Director of Public Relations and Media, for Soulforce. “Many people are attacking Rev. Latham for his hypocrisy, but instead we should be asking ‘what informs that hypocrisy’? The answer, tragically, is the SBC’s vicious and non-stop campaign of defamation against Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people and same-gender families.”
Jamie McDaniel, a spokesperson for Soulforce who works to change the antigay polices of the SBC, said “It’s tragic that so many, like Rev. Latham, have never been told the truth that they can live with dignity and express their God-given sexuality in ways that are open, honest, loving and life-affirming. Trapped by Southern Baptist misinformation, many people of faith think their only option is to live a dark and secretive double-life. The SBC needs to be held accountable for causing this kind of needless suffering.”
The Southern Baptist Convention, with over 15 million members, is the 2nd largest denomination in the United States. Southern Baptist teachings are a source of misinformation about homosexuality and homosexual people. Southern Baptist leaders also attempt to rally their congregations to defeat legislation that could help LGBT Americans gain equality. In the past, the Southern Baptist Convention simply condemned homosexuals with anti-gay rhetoric, but in recent years Southern Baptists have stated their intention to "minister" to gays and lesbians by promoting ex-gay programs and so-called “reparative” therapy.
The purpose of Soulforce is freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance.