A day after electing their first African-American president, Southern Baptists were considering a resolution Wednesday opposing the idea that gay rights are the same as civil rights.
The resolution up for a vote at the denomination's annual meeting in New Orleans affirms Southern Baptists' beliefs that marriage is "the exclusive union of one man and one woman" and that "all sexual behavior outside of marriage is sinful."
It acknowledges that gays and lesbians sometimes experience "unique struggles" but declares that they lack the "distinguishing features of classes entitled to special protections."
"It is regrettable that homosexual rights activists and those who are promoting the recognition of 'same-sex marriage' have misappropriated the rhetoric of the Civil Rights Movement," the resolution states.
Another resolution to be considered Wednesday is intended to protect religious liberty. It includes a call for the U.S. Justice Department to cease efforts to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act and for the Obama administration to ensure that military personnel and chaplains can freely express their religious convictions about homosexuality.