A planned protest by LGBT representatives at the site of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Annual Meeting hasn’t materialized yet. A small group of people carrying rainbow placards reading “Dissent is patriotic” walked in the main entrance to the Phoenix Convention Center, down the hallway through the food court, and out the exit at the far end. Almost no one noticed.
“They probably won’t get in during the meeting,” one attendant at the information desk said waving a messenger’s badge, “not without one of the these.”
An homosexual advocacy group called Faith in America (FIA) sought to meet with Southern Baptist Convention leaders during the Annual Meeting June 13-14. FIA said a half dozen of their representatives will be in Phoenix. They seek to have homosexuality and transgenderism “removed from the sin list.” An FIA news release said a doctor, clergy member, and gay country singer will try to engage messengers in conversation about LGBT issues. The group said they will “politely disrupt” the SBC meeting.
SBC leaders offered at an alternate meeting in Nashville after the Phoenix convention.
The small group that walked through the Food Court on Sunday night talked quietly among themselves. They were joined later by a few more people outside the convention center as the evening session of the SBC Pastors Conference dismissed and attenders filed out.
Earlier in the day in another section of Phoenix, LGBT supporters staged a rally holding the same “Dissent” placards. The Phoenix rally was one of 100 planned across the U.S. on the one-year anniversary of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shootings that left 49 people dead. A year ago, the SBC opened with prayer for the victims’ families and survivors.
The protest may come as the Annual Meeting opens on Tuesday.
–Eric Reed in Phoenix