The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has repudiated a Maryland pastor's comment that gay people are 'worthy of death.'

An October 19 panel sponsored by the Maryland Marriage Alliance included the group's executive director, Derek McCoy, Pastor Robert Anderson of the Colonial Baptist Church in Randallstown, and 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 statement released last week, NOM, which is heavily involved in the campaign to repeal the marriage law, said that it had “never tolerated any statement that the bible justifies any act of violence” against gay people.

“[J]ust to be clear, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) does not and has never tolerated any statement that the bible justifies any act of violence, intimidation or even incivility toward gay and lesbian individuals. NOM repudiates any statement that gays and lesbian should be subjected to any act or statement that violates their inherent human dignity as people created in the image of God,” the statement reads in part.

However, an undercover report by Equality Matters found similar language being used at NOM's annual It Takes A Family (ITAF) conference.

“At NOM's annual It Takes A Family (ITAF) conference, regular speaker Robert Gagnon distributed packets of bible verses on homosexuality to attendees, including the Leviticus verse which calls for gay people to 'certainly be put to death,'” the site reported.

Copies of Gagnon's book The Bible and Homosexual Practice, in which he makes similar claims, were also sold at the conference.

“NOM is quick to publicly express its disapproval for violent anti-gay rhetoric, but the group seems comfortable peddling the same talking points behind closed doors,” Equality Matters' Carlos Maza wrote in a blog post.