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Group: Gore hypocritical for touting faith while appealing to homosexuals

WASHINGTON (BP)–Vice President Al Gore is practicing hypocrisy by speaking about the significance of his relationship with God while at the same time raising money from homosexual contributors with promises of support for their cause, a new campaign watchdog group has charged.
The Anti-hypocrisy Project made the charge after Gore’s wife, Tipper, raised more than $150,000 at a July 15 Washington fund-raiser for his 2000 election campaign. The event was billed as the city’s first presidential fund-raiser aimed at homosexuals, according to an Associated Press report. More than 400 people were expected to attend at a minimum of $250 a person, a Gore campaign staff member said before the fund-raiser, the Anti-hypocrisy Project reported.
At the fund-raiser, Tipper Gore said her husband “will fight for your dreams. He will fight for our dreams,” according to AP.
He will “stand against forces of hatred,” she said, AP reported. “All people, regardless of sexual orientation, should be able to be a part of a loving relationship in a family without fear of recrimination or discrimination.”
The outreach to homosexuals is one of a series the Gores have made since he was elected to office with President Clinton in 1992. Throughout his time as vice president, the Gores have been members of a church affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, which has repeatedly adopted resolutions affirming the biblical teaching that homosexual behavior is sinful.
The fund-raiser followed by about six weeks an interview with reporters in which Gore shared how important faith is in his life.
On May 28, according to a report in Religion News Service, the vice president told a group of reporters, “Faith is the center of my life. I don’t wear it on my sleeve. I think the purpose of life is to glorify God. I turn to my faith as the bedrock of my approach to any important question in my life.”
Peter LaBarbera, director of the Anti-hypocrisy Project, said in a written release, “Homosexuality does not ‘glorify God.’ I wonder what the good people of Carthage, Tennessee — Al Gore’s hometown — would think about his intense courtship of the homosexual lobby. America’s voters have a right to ask which Gore they would be getting as president: The ‘pro-family’ man and dedicated Christian or the hip homosexual advocate.”
Michael Johnston, a Southern Baptist church member and a former homosexual, said in the same release, “As a fellow Southern Baptist, I find it perplexing that Mr. Gore would on the one hand present himself as a committed Christian and standard bearer for the family — and on the other hand, court financial support from the radical homosexual lobby. I have to wonder which Bible Mr. Gore is reading.”
The purpose of the Anti-hypocrisy Project is to expose “rank hypocrisy in the 2000 elections,” according to the group’s news release. LaBarbera is on the staff of the Washington-based Family Research Council and is president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality. Johnston, who has AIDS, is director of Kerusso Ministries, which proclaims deliverance from homosexuality through a relationship with Christ.
The Gores’ Washington fund-raiser was only the most recent of numerous outreaches to homosexual leaders and voters. Among these was a 1995 reception the Gores hosted for 150 activists at the vice presidential home. Most were members or officers of the Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest homosexual political organization. In 1997, Gore held a series of meetings with homosexual leaders in his office.
The Gores are members of Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Alexandria, Va., and have attended Sunday services recently, the church’s pastor, Bruce Miller, said.
The SBC has consistently condemned homosexuality as sin in resolutions passed at its annual meetings in the 1990s. At this year’s convention, messengers adopted a resolution calling on Clinton to rescind his proclamation declaring June 1999 as “Gay and Lesbian Pride Month.” The resolution also declared Southern Baptists’ love for homosexuals and affirmed freedom from their sin is available in Jesus.
Only four days before talking about his faith with reporters, the vice president said in a speech in Atlanta that federal law allowing churches, synagogues, mosques and other faith-based organizations to use grants to provide welfare services should be expanded to address such problems as drug abuse, homelessness and youth violence.
“For too long, faith-based organizations have wrought miracles on a shoestring,” Gore said. “With the steps I’m proposing today, they will no longer need to depend on faith alone.”
Some observers greeted Gore’s new position and his new openness about personal faith by questioning if they were politically driven strategies. Both of his chief opponents for the presidency, Democrat Bill Bradley and Republican George W. Bush, have supported government cooperation with faith-based organizations in the past. Bush, Elizabeth Dole and other Republican candidates also have talked freely about their personal faith.