Gays, Critics Joust over Discrimination and Bible's Word: Preacher Condemns `Irrational Fear'

By McCain, Robert Stacy | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), August 13, 1998 | Go to article overview

Gays, Critics Joust over Discrimination and Bible's Word: Preacher Condemns `Irrational Fear'


McCain, Robert Stacy, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Opposing forces in the culture war over homosexuality joined battle yesterday in dueling press conferences.

"God-fearing, decent, normal people have been the victims of a 30-year war," said Rabbi Yahuda Levin of Brooklyn, N.Y., who spoke at a "Religion and Homosexuality" news conference sponsored by the Family Research Council (FRC).

"The Bible's view is that homosexuality is a sin," said the Rev. Victor Stanley of Calvary Baptist Church in Woodbridge, who joined Rabbi Levin and four other clergymen at the conservative group's conference proclaiming that traditional teachings against homosexual behavior are "not up for debate."

That view was disputed by a homosexual-rights group, which organized a "counterconference" at the National Press Club.

"Many people disagree on Scripture and interpretations of the Bible, but religious disagreements should never justify discrimination," said David M. Smith, communication director for the Human Rights Campaign.

Mr. Smith said the FRC's anti-homosexuality campaign is "politically motivated and politically driven."

FRC policy analyst Steve Schwalm countered that his group's efforts - including a series of full-page newspaper advertisements - are necessary to defend religious families.

"We are on the defensive, trying to maintain the place of marriage as it has always been recognized in law and society, as a key institution," Mr. Schwalm said. "It is the other side, the homosexual activists, who are on the offensive, attempting to deconstruct the institution of family and de-legitimize views based on faith."

Mr. Stanley agreed that the homosexuality issue has "heated up because the gay rights activists have become more vocal." Mr. Stanley noted that adultery and lying also are called sins in the Bible. "I don't see a group of adulterers or a group of liars lobbying for civil rights," he said. …

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