A Baptist association has expelled a
West Virginia church over its pastor's support for a city ordinance
protecting LGBT people from discrimination.
Pastor Valerie Gittings of First
Baptist Church in Fairmont spoke last fall in support of the
ordinance, which included sexual orientation and gender identity.
“We believe that the references to
homosexuality in biblical passages are not toward committed,
monogamous relationships,” Gittings said in a statement released in
February. “Rather, what is being condemned is inhospitality,
heterosexual rape, pagan ritual sex and orgies and pederasty.”
“We contend that gay orientation is
not a choice; not only should gay behavior not be viewed as sinful,
but gays are entitled to the same treatment as heterosexuals. We
believe that gays should be welcome to participate fully in all areas
of life, including the church,” she added.
According to the Times
West Virginian, the Fairmont Baptist Association voted First
Baptist Church out of fellowship over Gittings' remarks.
Church members rejected Gittings' offer
to resign, which would have allowed the church to remain in
fellowship. First Baptist Church is seeking membership in another