Kentucky Baptist group cuts ties with churches for supporting LGBTQ hires

LOUISVILLE — The Louisville Courier-Journal reported on Tuesday that the Kentucky Baptist Convention (KBC) had cut ties with about a dozen churches for supporting a LGBTQ-supportive organization.

The KBC has opposed marriage equality and LGBTQ clergy, the newspaper reported. The convention voted to cut ties with the churches after they had made financial contributions to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. The fellowship started to allow LGBTQ staff earlier this year, though not clergy and missionary work.

From the Courier-Journal:

Convention officials said they would lose the cooperation of the statewide organization and ability to join in setting policy.

At Lyndon Baptist Church, another Louisville-area church kicked out of the convention, Pastor Jim Holladay said he’s not worried about any fallout for his congregation but noted that he or his church haven’t even taken a formal position on the hiring of gay, lesbian or transgender workers. He declined to say how he felt about it.

Paul Chitwood, executive director of the convention, said in an interview that the convention could not support groups that “embrace alternative lifestyles” and adopt policies that “redefine what is right and wrong” when it comes to Baptist beliefs that homosexuality is a sin. He said some churches decided to stop giving to the group.

The convention has ejected congregations before for welcoming LGBTQ members.

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