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Land, other pro-family leaders request meeting with Bush concerning homosexuals

WASHINGTON (BP)–Southern Baptist ethics agency head Richard Land and 11 other pro-family leaders have asked for a meeting with Republican Party presidential candidate George W. Bush in the wake of his meeting with homosexual leaders.

In an April 24 letter to the Texas governor, Land and the others asked for an opportunity to discuss with him issues related to the family and the homosexual agenda. Their request came after Bush met with homosexual Republicans April 13 in Austin, Texas.

The pro-family leaders warned Bush homosexual activists are seeking to use the GOP, “much like the Democratic Party, as a vehicle to achieve their strategic objective of harnessing government and corporate power to impose acceptance of homosexual behavior. They seek nothing less than the ability to mandate teaching to schoolchildren that homosexuality is normal and healthy, and to hem in dissent on this issue with a thicket of legal and social penalties.”

“You will find that homosexual activists will not be satisfied with the civil rights all Americans enjoy,” they said in the letter. “They do not want tolerance; that’s what they have. They demand acceptance of their lifestyle and protection for their practices.”

The Bush campaign did not yet have a comment on the letter, a press spokeswoman said April 26.

In addition to Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, other signers of the letter included Family Research Council Chief Executive Officer Chuck Donovan, American Family Association President Donald Wildmon and Concerned Women for America Chairman Beverly LaHaye.

The leaders expressed admiration for Bush’s positions on family issues, including his opposition to homosexual marriage, adoption by homosexuals and the inclusion of homosexuality in hate-crime laws.

Bush’s meeting with homosexuals and some of his comments afterward have raised concerns, however, for those opposed to homosexual rights. He would be willing to appoint open homosexuals to posts in his administration, Bush said, according to The New York Times. He also said domestic-partners benefits in the private sector are “perfectly fine” and should be decided at the city and state levels for government entities, The Times reported.

The meeting with homosexual leaders made him a “better person,” Bush said, according to The Times. The meeting, said former GOP congressman Steve Gunderson, established a significant precedent — “never again will a major-party candidate be able to run for president without addressing gay and lesbian issues.”

In a first-person account in the April 24 issue of Newsweek, Gunderson said he did not think the homosexual Republicans were able to change Bush’s positions. “To be honest, Bush still has a long way to go,” Gunderson said. “But I think he’s a lot farther along today than he was a week ago.”

Others signing the pro-family letter were Kerusso Ministries Executive Director Michael Johnston, Toward Tradition President Daniel Lapin, Parents and Friends of Ex-gays Executive Director Regina Griggs, Americans for Truth President Peter LaBarbera, Mission:America Executive Director Linda Harvey, Center for Reclaiming America National Director Janet Folger, Regeneration Executive Director Alan Medinger and National Legal Foundation President Steve Fitschen.

Johnston, a member of a Southern Baptist church, is a former homosexual who seeks to help people leave the homosexual lifestyle through faith in Jesus. The pro-family letter was organized by Family Research Council.