Civil Libertarian Fights Tape Airing; Church-Homosexuality Talk at issue.(NATION)(CULTURE, ET CETERA)

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Byline: Joanne Hudson, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State is being sued in federal court in Alexandria for not allowing distribution of a tape in which he discusses homosexuality's compatibility with Christianity.

In a suit filed April 16, the Phoenix-based Alpha and Omega Ministries says Barry Lynn, a free-speech advocate and director for Americans United, does not want a debate in which he took part televised.

Recorded in May in Huntington, N.Y., the contested video contains a debate between James White, director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, and Mr. Lynn. The two discussed the question "Is homosexuality compatible with authentic Christianity?"

Alpha and Omega says it has "substantial" records showing that Mr. Lynn consented before the debate to the production and distribution of the videotape.

"There are no relevant copyright issues to contest. The videotape was recorded with full knowledge by all parties that it would be reproduced and distributed," says Benjamin Bull, who is representing Alpha and Omega.

"The irony here is palpable. Lynn has argued that even child pornography is protected by the First Amendment. But now he wants to censor a videotape in which he discusses the question of homosexuality and Christianity. Does that strike anyone else as a little unusual?"

After the debate, Mr. …