Derek McCoy, the executive director of Maryland Marriage Alliance, has called backlash against comments that gay people and their allies are “worthy of death” a distraction.

An October 19 panel sponsored by Maryland Marriage Alliance included McCoy, Pastor Robert Anderson of the Colonial Baptist Chuch in Randallstown, as well as two other opponents of Question 6, the November 6 ballot question which asks voters to uphold – or reject – a gay marriage law approved by lawmakers.

Anderson suggested that supporters would pay with their souls if they voted for Question 6.

“It is not fair to open up a backdoor that will legalize prostitution. It is not fair to open up a backdoor that will possibly legalize bestiality. It's not fair to open up a backdoor that will possibly lead to polygamy. Once you start messing with what God has established for us, we're opening up a door to redefining incest. Where do you stop?”

“The Scriptures in Leviticus 18:22 – you know what that says: that a man is not to lay down with another man; if they do that, it's an abomination. But there is one verse I really wanted to drive home and then I'll stop, but that's in Romans Chapter 1. And it's the very last verse – as you know, Paul addresses this. Listen to the last verse: 'Knowing the righteous judgment of God that those who practice such things are deserving of death. Not only do the same' – but watch this – 'for those who also approve of those who practice these things.'”

“If we don't vote against it, then we are approving these things that are worthy of death!” Anderson said.

“They will be on the wrong side of eternity,” he later added.

In a video posted on YouTube, panelists are seen nodding in agreement with Anderson and shouting out “excellent” and “Amen.”

McCoy called the backlash against the comments a distraction.

“Any attempt to imply that Dr. Anderson's reading of scripture was a call to harm gays and lesbians is false and serves as a distraction of the real issues of the campaign,” McCoy said in a statement.

He added that his group respects the dignity of all people.