Southern Baptist leaders in Mobile met recently with the city’s mayor to express their concerns about religious liberty after he appointed two liaisons to the LGBTQ community.
Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson appointed the uncompensated liaisons in February to “represent the city’s LGBTQ+ community in all matters related to city government” and to provide the “LGBTQ+ perspective on public policies and services,” according to the city’s website.
“The addition of these positions helps ensure that voices from across the community have an easy and comfortable way to interface with their city government about the issues affecting them,” the statement said.
But some Mobile Baptists are worried such advocacy could turn into antagonism toward those who hold to a biblical view of sexuality, which is why six representatives from the Mobile Baptist Association executive committee met with Stimpson Aug. 15, presenting him a resolution “on the LGBTQ+ agenda and religious liberty” adopted by the MBA executive committee Aug. 1.
Questions about authority
The resolution notes the appointment of the liaisons and expresses concern about the level of authority of such positions in other cities.
“Liaisons who were appointed to advise officials in other cities later were given the authority to enforce ordinances and levy fines on any groups who refused to celebrate pro-LGBTQ+ ordinances and activity,” according to the resolution.
The resolution “implores” public officials “to protect religious liberty by rejecting any attempts to compromise the longstanding Judeo-Christian and biblical convictions of the majority of our citizens.”
MBA moderator Scott Griffith, pastor of Cypress Shores Baptist Church, was among the leaders who met with Stimpson.
“Our ethnically diverse group of pastors had a cordial meeting with the mayor,” he said. “We assured him of our support for any efforts to protect Mobile residents’ liberty to hold and live out biblical convictions regarding human sexuality.”
Other MBA representatives who met with Stimpson were vice moderator Kevin Cobb, pastor of West Mobile Baptist Church; Mack Morris, retired pastor of Woodridge Baptist Church; former moderator Charlie York, pastor of Highpoint Baptist Church in Eight Mile; MBA executive director Thomas Wright; and David Roach, pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in Saraland.
The MBA comprises 114 churches in Mobile County with 74,000 members. Read the full text of the resolution here.