A resolution submitted to the Southern Baptist Convention for its annual meeting in Dallas, Texas, has called on the nation's largest Protestant denomination to reject "homosexual identity politics" and state bans on conversion therapy.
Titled "On Ministry and Counseling to Lead People from Homosexuality to Heterosexuality," the resolution, among other things, asks the SBC to "offer loving assistance to people suffering from same-sex attraction, so that they may turn from homosexuality to heterosexuality" and to reject "as heresy any claims that God makes people homosexual."
"... the movement against so-called 'conversion therapy' poses an immediate threat to Christian obedience to the Gospel of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because it is possible that due to lack of support from Christian ministries, some people with same-sex attractions may err in defining themselves as 'homosexual' by nature, and may thereby invite a fatal sin into their hearts," states the resolution submitted by Robert O. Lopez, a professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas.
"... in both Christian and unbelieving political contexts, homosexual identity politics has prompted a dangerous movement to ban so-called 'conversion therapy' or 'reparative therapy,' banned in terms so broadly as to endanger the work of Christian ministries in aiding people with same-sex attraction to turn away from homosexuality toward heterosexuality."
In comments sent to The Christian Post on Thursday via the group MassResistance Texas, Lopez said that the resolution came partly in response to recent political efforts to ban gay conversion therapy or sexual orientation change efforts.
"We saw that Southern Baptists who want to make a change from homosexuality to heterosexuality are not getting enough help from churches. New laws banning change therapy are likely to worsen the situation," said Lopez.
The resolution comes at a time when more states are moving to ban conversion therapy for minors, with Maryland and Hawaii passing state-level bans earlier this year.
Furthermore, on Thursday the Delaware General Assembly sent a bill banning conversion therapy for youth to the desk of Gov. John Carney, who is expected to sign it into law.
"For young people across Delaware, this legislation provides vital and potentially life-saving protections from the damaging, dangerous and discredited practice known as 'conversion therapy,'" said Sarah McBride of the LGBT advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign.
"While Delaware has made historic progress on LGBT equality, we can and must do more to protect LGBT youth from rejection, stigma and harm."