Southern Baptist messengers meeting in
Orlando, Florida have approved resolutions urging Congress not to
repeal “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” and to reject the Employment
Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).
DADT is the 1993 law that forbids gay
troops from revealing their sexuality. Over 13,000 gay and lesbian
service members have been fired under the policy.
Pending legislation before Congress
would repeal the law. Republicans, however, have united to fight
repeal of the gay ban. Only five House GOP lawmakers voted in favor
of adding repeal language to next year's defense budget. Senate
Republicans – led by Arizona Senator John McCain – have
threatened to filibuster the bill when it comes up for a vote later
ENDA would ban employment
discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity
(transgender protections). The
legislation has suffered a series of delays.
The resolutions were approved Wednesday
by over 11,000 messengers.
The DADT resolution states that being
gay is “intrinsically disordered and sinful” and calls for the
forgiveness of the sinner.
Repeal of the policy would place
Southern Baptist chaplains at odds with their vows to the church,
forcing some chaplains to reconsider their military service, said
Keith Travis, who heads the chaplaincy evangelism team at the
Southern Baptist North American Mission Board.
“I believe some chaplains will
leave,” Travis told The Tennessean after the vote.
Travis is among the more than 40
retired chaplains who wrote to President Barack Obama earlier this
year asking him to keep the gay ban.
There are 448 active duty Southern
Baptist chaplains in the military.