Baptist legislator defends citation of Bible verse calling for homosexuals to be put to death in opposition to gay marriage.
By Bob Allen
A Mississippi lawmaker and bivocational Southern Baptist minister is refusing to back down for backing up his opposition to gay marriage with an Old Testament Bible passage that calls for homosexuals to be put to death.
After President Obama’s recent statement supporting marriage rights for gays, state Rep. Andy Gipson posted on Facebook May 10 labeling homosexuality a sin and citing Leviticus 20:13 and Romans 1:26-28. Leviticus 20:13 reads: “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”
After a Huffington Post blog criticized Gipson, a member of First Baptist Church in Magee, Miss., who identifies himself on his web bio as “of the Christian faith” and “affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention,” followed up with a posting: “To be clear, I want the world to know that I do not, cannot, and will not apologize for the inspired truth of God’s Word.”
On May 21 Gipson added a “clarification” through MSN that he still opposes same-sex marriage but denied “a well-known radical liberal blog” claiming that his Facebook post was a call to kill gay people.
“I have never publicly nor privately called for the killing of any people,” Gipson said. “I believe all people are created in the image of God, and I stand firmly on the sanctity of all human life. All people are entitled to the protection of the laws of our nation and state protecting human life.”
On May 21 the Jackson Clarion-Ledger said Gipson received death threats on his answering machine after his comments went viral.