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Coalition members at the table include, left to right: Anthony Spearman; Brent Childers, executive director of Faith in America; Wayne Besen, Truth Wins Out's Executive Director; Mitchell Gold, founder of Faith in America; and Jack McKinney, a former pastor and counselor. The meeting took place June 15 at the Phoenix Convention Center between sessions of the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting.
A coalition of homosexual leaders and their allies met for more than 30 minutes Tuesday with Southern Baptist Convention President Bryant Wright, with the leaders demanding an apology from the SBC and Wright refusing to budge, saying that Scripture is clear on the issue.
The remarkable meeting -- cordial the entire time -- took place between the morning and afternoon sessions of the SBC in Wright's annual meeting office at the Phoenix Convention Center.
The nine-person coalition included representatives of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, Faith in America and Truth Wins Out. They protested outside the convention hall and requested to deliver petitions to Wright, who decided to turn the event into a dialogue. Several members of the media also attended.
"I was proud to be a part of this historic meeting," said Truth Wins Out's Executive Director Wayne Besen. "This was a rare opportunity to give a first-hand account of the harm the Southern Baptist Convention's teachings have caused LGBT people, particularity youth. I was also able to look SBC President Bryant Wright directly in the eyes and tell him that his 'ex-gay' ministries don't work and are shattering lives."
Truth Wins Out is a non-profit organization that fights anti-LGBT religious extremism. TWO specializes in turning information into action by organizing, advocating and fighting for LGBT equality.