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Church Ads Promote Gay Acceptance

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Church Ads Promote Gay Acceptance

by The Associated Press

May 31, 2006 - 5:00 pm ET

(Indianapolis, Indiana) A gay-friendly church has begun an advertising campaign that includes yard signs, bumper stickers and newspaper ads asking whether Jesus would discriminate against gay people.

The Jesus Metropolitan Community Church is spending $55,000 on the campaign. About 300 volunteers are distributing 650 bumper stickers, 720 T-shirts, 2,000 yard signs and 25,000 door hangers.

Church members hope the ads will spark a conversation about the issue, and they are also planning a town hall meeting on homosexuality and the Bible.

"Jesus defended social and religious outcasts," said the Rev. Jeff Miner, senior pastor at the church. "Yet many in today's Church seem to specialize in beating up on those who are different. What's wrong with this picture?"

An ad planned to run in The Indianapolis Star will show a group of Klansmen around a burning cross with a headline, "Remember a time when a symbol of love was used as a symbol of hate? The Bible shouldn't be misused to justify discrimination against any group, including gay people."

Miner said some people use the Bible now in the same way it was used to support slavery, oppose women's suffrage and to defend laws against interracial marriage.

"We want to help other Christians connect the dots between past acts of discrimination and what is happening today," he said.

Some conservatives, however, say it's clear that sexual relations are condemned by the Bible unless they involve one man and one woman married to each other.

Curt Smith, of the Indiana Family Institute, said Miner is wrong about the role Christians have played in past discrimination. He said it was dedicated Christians who ended slavery and have fought for many social justice issues throughout history.

"The Bible is misused all the time, and I think the good pastor is misusing it as well," said Smith.

Jesus Metropolitan Community Church in Indianapolis was founded in 1990 by 18 gay Christians. The church is working on the ad campaign with the national groups Faith In America -- a group organized to fight discrimination against gays and lesbians -- and Metropolitan Community Churches worldwide.

©365Gay.com 2006

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