Southern Baptists' New Leader on Gay Rights

The Rev. Fred Luter says that he supports Obama but that God sends a different message when it comes to gay Americans. 

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CNN

The Rev. Fred Luter Jr., the newly appointed first African-American president of the Southern Baptist Convention, talked to CNN's Soledad O'Brien on Starting Point Wednesday morning about his views on gay rights. Wild guess how he comes out on the issue ...

Not shockingly, when asked if his agenda will include inclusiveness of gay Americans, Luter says, "No, I'm a man of the Book. I believe in the word of God. I believe in the Bible. God has specifically spoken about marriage. Marriage is between a man and a woman. That's biblical. No president, whether it's a president in the White House, no governor, no mayor, no one can change that. God has already established marriage between a one man and one woman. So I would stand for that because that's what the word of God says, and that's what I believe in."

When O'Brien asks if this view puts him in opposition to President Obama, Luter answers, "On this particular subject, yes. I support my president. He is my president. I pray for him and Michelle and his daughters on a daily basis. But on this issue, the president and I have two different opinions, for sure."

Luter's election is considered particularly monumental because it puts him at the head of a denomination that was founded to defend slavery and only recently apologized for its promotion of white supremacy. In his new role, he has expressed a desire to move the convention away from that past -- but evidently the plan for inclusion and progress goes only so far.

The whole "God has spoken about marriage" thing? We're sure it can't be totally lost on Luter that his Southern Baptist forebears probably would have used similar reasoning to argue that he himself belonged in slavery rather than in his new role at the head of the SBC. Guess we'll wait another couple of decades for this history-making leader to rethink the group's most recent exclusionary stance.

Read more at CNN.

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