A prominent anti-gay pastor from Marietta delivered an anti-gay devotional to the state House on Wednesday, likening gay marriage to “erotic liberty” and promoting anti-gay legislation.
Rev. Bryant Wright, senior pastor at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church and a former leader of the Southern Baptist Convention, denounced gays and supported “religious freedom” legislation that is again creating a firestorm of controversy at the Gold Dome.
“It is just one example of what our culture is going to increasingly see as an issue of erotic liberty versus religious liberty,” Wright said. “We’re liable to see this with our military chaplains in the years ahead if they in good conscience believe they cannot perform same-sex weddings and could be kicked out of the military.”
That looming threat, he said, is a reminder of lawmakers’ role in making sure government is “protective of its citizens against evil and is working for the common good.”
Religious liberty, Wright said, is a “foundational aspect” of the U.S. Constitution and is for the “common good and welfare of man.”
He urged legislators to remember the nation’s heritage “even though a majority of your constituencies have embraced erotic liberty over religious liberty.”
In 2013, Wright compared gays to alcoholics as he announced that his church was throwing out its Boy Scout troop instead of allowing gay Scouts to roam his church.
State Rep. Simone Bell, one of three openly gay state lawmakers, didn't take kindly to Wright's anti-gay ramblings. She fired back face-to-face, detailing her response in a Facebook post.
Today's preacher of the day is preached in favor of the Religious Liberty bill and calling LGBT Rights “EROTIC LIBERTY” and therefore wrong. He says our role in government is the restraint of evil- lgbt.
My direct response to him:
Told him he is a disgrace to the clergy, the Word and the state of Georgia. That he squandered his opportunity to bring a message of love to people who have sacrificed to serve the state. That his religious freedom is not being trampled upon, but that he is trampling upon mine and 300,000 + more Georgian's religious freedom to be who God created us to be. He responded that we clearly have a difference of opinion. I told him we have a difference of HUMANITY.
Wright's anti-gay devotional came a day after a few hundred of his anti-gay friends filled the Capitol Rotunda to rally for former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran. Mayor Kasim fired Cochran on Jan. 6 over his anti-gay book. Cochran has portrayed himself as a martyr fired for his religious beliefs; Reed denounced that in a detailed rebuttal.
Also Tuesday, a group of 60 faith leaders announced their opposition to “religious freedom” legislation under consideration at the Gold Dome. The religious leaders, along with state Sen. Nan Orrock, said the measures provide cover for anti-gay discrimination.
During a legislative hearing last year, Bell delivered an emotional plea against a “religious freedom” bill during a contentious hearing. The legislation later stalled.