A church in Keithville, Louisiana has severed its five year relationship with Alcoholics Anonymous over concerns that the church may be forced to publicly accommodate a same-sex wedding in the future. In a letter sent to AA, Westwood Baptist Church pastor David Venable said that the group would need to find another place to meet, KSLA reports:
"As I am sure you are aware, God's church, his written word, and its values and principles have come under a constant and aggressive attack from the homosexual and lesbian community," the letter begins, before going on to say that "Churches and Christian businesses alike, across our nation, are being forced, by our legal system, to accommodate these groups in the use of their buildings/facilities to perform marriage ceremonies, receptions, etc." due to a court decision they say was based on the fact the churches and business were accepting and accommodating other public entities, and therefore must also accommodate the homosexual and lesbian community."
Church officials say they aren't turning anyone away from the church and all people are free to worship at the church, but Pastor David Venable says in order to stay in line with God's word, the church had to make a tough and carefully considered decision.
People Acting for Change and Equality political director Adrienne Critcher [right] slammed the church's decision, saying "They say they are not out to get anyone but they singled out homosexuals as having some agenda that they are trying to force on the Baptist Church."
Venable added that while the letter could have been worded differently, he was only acting on the advice of an anti-gay article published in the Louisiana Baptist Church Message.
Since Louisiana remains one of the 29 states where it is entirely legal to discriminate against gays and lesbians in public accommodations, I suppose Venable is just being precautious.
Watch a KSLA news report on the story, AFTER THE JUMP...