MANY LAW FIRMS HAVE SUCCUMB TO THE HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN INCLUSION METRICS OVER THE YEARS. BUT WHY IS THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION HIRING A LAW FIRM WHO BOAST ABOUT IT’S HRC /LGBTQ APPEASEMENT?
Rev Thomas Littleton
The Southern Baptist Convention is in a nasty internal brawl with how it will handle sex abuse and allegations of long term cover up of it. Even Baptist are confused about what is going on with all the players in the room. For example the seminary heads who historically are under the directorship of mentor Albert Mohler are making open demands of the leadership in the Executive Committee. The central issue at the moment is about calls for the Executive Committee to “waive attorney client privilege ” so as not to impede the investigation by a recently appointed “Task Force”.
According to “The Baptist Paper ” on September 21th -the SBC executive Committee and others involved in the “task force” investigation into the years long sexual abuse and coverups have approved the hiring of a major law firm to help with the investigation.
THE LAW FIRM NAMED WHO WAS HIRED WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE.
“The survivors as well as friends attending with them said they are hopeful as they prepare to watch the business proceedings take place again today. Some also noted they understood the need for the Monday afternoon executive session. The executive session was approved 54 to 23 in order to discuss the situation with attorneys from the law firm of Locke Lord, a firm recently hired with the approval of the EC officers.”
BAPTIST GLOBAL MEWS PROVIDES THE FOLLOWING ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
“…However, one of the Executive Committee attorneys, Paul Coggins of Dallas, “rejected the offer of speaking with our attorneys in the meeting and also rejected their opinion that the task force could be the contracting party for the investigation,” the statement continues.”
“Coggins, an attorney with the law firm Locke Lord in Dallas, based his opinion on the judgment of longtime SBC attorney Jim Guenther of Nashville, according to the task force.”
SOME HISTORY ON THE SBC ABUSE SCANDAL :
According the to the Houston Chronicle who first reported the sexual abuse and coverup scandal in 2018 -there are hundreds (over 700 ) of abuse victims .Many of these were children at the time. Based on other media reports and statistical realty -some are same sex sexual abuse. Sex with minors is still classified as pedophilia .But you are not likely to see words LIKE THAT OR homosexual used in any of the SBC stories.
SO WHY IS THAT?
Another good question might be “why was this law firm chosen?” when it expends a significant amount of its webpage introduction to its “LGBTQ INCLUSIVE CULTURE and Human Rights Campaign awards for Corporate Equality Index” in 2021 and for “five consecutive years?
PERHAPS SOUTHERN BAPTIST LEADERS INVOLVED IN THIS CHOICE MAY DO WELL TO RESPOND .
Lock Lord Law Firm website :
“Locke Lord is a premier full-service Am Law 100 law firm that has earned a solid reputation for complex litigation, regulatory and transactional work on behalf of clients in important and growing industry sectors around the world.”
“Throughout our more than 130-year history, we’ve cultivated partnerships with a broad range of public and private companies, from Fortune 500 leaders to startups and emerging businesses. Our team can design strategic solutions that meet your long-term goals no matter how large or small your matter, applying our established tradition of responsive, personalized service.”
“At Locke Lord, our diverse and inclusive culture of collegiality and collaboration — core values of the Firm — across all of our offices and practices is ultimately reflected in our client experience by culminating in a deep understanding of our clients’ businesses.”
“Corporate responsibility is also an important part of Locke Lord’s mission as we reach out to the communities we serve in meaningful partnerships and pro bono work.”
LOCKE LORD CELEBRATES SEVERAL CORPORATE ACHIEVMENTS WHICH FEATURE ITS LGBTQ AWARD FROM HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN
“Locke Lord Earns Fifth Consecutive Perfect Score, Recognized as Employer of Choice in Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2021 Corporate Equality Index“
January 28, 2021 – “Locke Lord has achieved a 100 percent rating in the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s 2021 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) for the fifth consecutive year. A perfect score in this annual report evaluating policies and practices related to LGBTQ employees, culture and corporate social responsibility earns the Firm the distinction of being an employer of choice for LGBTQ employees.”
“With each passing year, we continue to hone our focus on the Firm’s core value of diversity and inclusion, which is integral to our business and culture and essential to our success. We are extremely proud to achieve our fifth consecutive perfect score on the CEI — the result of our unwavering dedication to creating a welcoming environment for all of our attorneys and team members,” said Locke Lord Chair (name).
“We are once again honored to receive this recognition from the HRC. Our ongoing strong performance on the CEI underscores our deep commitment to LGBTQ equality at Locke Lord, in the legal profession as a whole and in the communities in which we live and work,” added Locke Lord Senior Partner and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer (name )”
“Locke Lord predecessor firm Edwards Wildman earned a 100 percent rating in the HRC Foundation’s CEI for seven consecutive years from 2009-2015. The Firm and its attorneys have a long history of supporting LGBTQ civil rights and health care organizations, including the LGBTQ Bar Associations, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), Fenway Health, Human Rights Campaign, AIDS Action Committee, Imperial Court of New York, Equality Illinois and Mainers United for Marriage.”
“Diversity and inclusion is one of the Firm’s five core values and an integral part of Locke Lord’s strategic plan. Locke Lord understands that fostering an inclusive environment results in better decision-making, better outcomes for clients and a firm where team members can be successful and thrive. To read more about Locke Lord’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, click here.”
About Locke Lord LLP
“Locke Lord is a full-service law firm with global reach and 20 offices designed to meet clients’ needs in the United States and around the world. The Firm has a history that spans more than 130 years and is a leader in the middle market arena. Locke Lord focuses on providing the highest levels of commitment, quality and service to clients across its five Key Sectors: Energy and Infrastructure; Finance and Financial Services; Insurance and Reinsurance; Pharmaceutical; and Private Equity. In addition, the Firm advises clients across a broad spectrum of other industries, including fund formation, venture capital, health care, public finance, real estate, technology, cybersecurity and white collar, while providing a wealth of experience through its complex litigation, intellectual property, tax, regulatory and transactional teams.”
THE SBC HAS FEATURED SEVERAL ABUSE SURVIVERS BUT SO FAR NONE HAVE BEEN FROM THE LIST OF SAME SEX OR HOMOSEXUAL ABUSE.
In spite of almost weekly reports of same sex abuse of children by pastors, including Baptist /SBC pastors and the original reports having indicated this reality- NONE of the SBC / ERLC/ Press featured survivors have been from same sex abuse. None of the abusers of survivors (who were children) at the time are being named as pedophiles.
AT ONE TIME A WEBSITE DEVOTED TO “STOP THE BAPTIST PREDATORS” LINKED TO THE ONGOING NEWS STORIES OF PEDOPHILE AND HOMOSEXUAL ABUSE CASES.
That site was folded into another abuse survivor site several years ago.
Are the SBC / the Executive Committee /The Task Force leaders blind to the reality of same sex sexual abuse in their midst or have they hired a law firm which boast its inclusion and HRC awards for some other reason?
SO WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON?
Will those victims/ survivors of same sex abuse also be included in the impending CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT ? Or will they continue to be ignored and further abused by a culture of “inclusion” that winks at inconvenient facts?
FROM THE 2018 HOUSTON CHRONICLE 3 PART SBC SEX ABUSE STORY
“Houston Chronicle: Abuse of Faith Series on the SBC”
“It’s not just a recent problem: In all, since 1998, roughly 380 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct, the newspapers found. That includes those who were convicted, credibly accused and successfully sued, and those who confessed or resigned. More of them worked in Texas than in any other state.
“They left behind more than 700 victims, many of them shunned by their churches, left to themselves to rebuild their lives. Some were urged to forgive their abusers or to get abortions.”
Where are the rest of the victims/survivors and when will their presence be acknowledged ?
HRC AND THE SBC HISTORY:
HRC has a long history of attacking Southern Baptist for their biblical stance on sexuality and gender. HRC has been working since 2014 with Project One America ” to press their cause in the deep South states where the SBC churches are mainly located.
HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN EVEN HAS A GUIDE AND SCORING METRIC FOR BAPTIST
CONVERSATIONS PUSHING THIER INCLUSION NARRATIVE .
Example of HRC direct focus on SBC
“The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, with over 16 million members, has discriminated against gay and lesbian people for more than a quarter-century”
ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION & GENDER IDENTITY
“In a 1996 “Resolution on a Christian Response to Homosexuality,” the SBC declared that “even a desire to engage in a homosexual relationship is always sinful, impure, degrading, shameful, unnatural, indecent and perverted.”
“In the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message statement, the SBC equates “homosexuality” with adultery and pornography, declaring, “In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose … all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality and pornography.”
“The SBC calls on its members to a “love the sinner but hate the sin” approach and affirms the possibility of reorientation from same-sex attraction and supports “ex-gay” ministries. As the SBC website states: “Christians can, and should, minister to homosexuals in a kind, yet firm manner. The church should never turn its back on homosexuals who are searching and seeking to heal the hurts within their lives. … While God hates the sinner in his sin, we are called to love the sinner and hate the sin. In doing so, Christ can work through our lives to touch those lost in a world of confusion and darkness.”
“Likewise, the SBC website also asserts: “We affirm God’s plan for marriage and sexual intimacy – one man, and one woman, for life. Homosexuality is not a ‘valid alternative lifestyle.’ The Bible condemns it as sin. It is not, however, unforgivable sin. The same redemption available to all sinners is available to homosexuals. They, too, may become new creations in Christ.”
“At the 2012 SBC Annual Meeting, the SBC passed a resolution affirming “that gender identity is determined by biological sex and not by one’s self-perception—a perception which is often influenced by fallen human nature in ways contrary to God’s design (Ephesians 4:17–18).”
“In 2017, top leaders of the SBC joined ined other evangelical leaders in a statement Aug. 29 denouncing LGBTQ people and their identities as “inconsistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption.”
ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY
“In 2003, the Southern Baptist Convention issued a statement reaffirming its opposition to marriage equality. It called on “Southern Baptists not only to stand against same-sex unions but to demonstrate our love for those practicing homosexuality by sharing with them the forgiving and transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).”
“At at the 2012 SBC Annual Meeting, the SBC also reiterated its opposition to frame marriage equality as a civil rights issue.”
“The SBC does not support anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people and opposes LGBTQ equality. to the current repeal of the policy “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” that prohibited LGBTQ individuals to serve openly in the military.”
“In June 2010, a resolution (On Homosexuality and the United States Military) passed that states: “we oppose changing current law to normalize the open presence of homosexuals in the armed forces, and insist on keeping the finding of Congress that sustains current law, which states that even ‘the presence in the armed forces’ of persons demonstrating ‘a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts’ creates ‘an unacceptable risk to . . . the essence of military capability.’”
“The Southern Baptist Convention does not ordain openly LGBTQ people, nor does it ordain women. However, alternative Baptist denominations such as the Alliance of Baptists do ordain both women and LGBTQ people.”
IN 2014 HRC ATTACKED THE SBC AFRESH WHILE IN REALITY WERE INVITED TO A MEETING WITH KEY LEADERS LIKE RUSSELL MOORE OF THE ERLC AND ALBERT MOHLER.
As Southern Baptists Meet To Talk Same-Sex Marriage Strategy, Don’t Be Fooled By “Softer” Rhetoric
October 27, 2014
SBC Remains One of Nation’s Most Virulently Anti-LGBT Denominations
“WASHINGTON – As members of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) gather today in Nashville for a conference aimed at devising strategy to combat the movement toward marriage equality for LGBT Americans, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation has called for an end to the denomination’s vilification of same-sex couples.”
“Though the SBC has characterized the conference, organized by its Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, as an effort to find new ways to discuss the growing acceptance of marriage equality, there should be no confusion that its well-publicized campaign to mask harsh LGBT rhetoric does not represent change in either practice or policy.”
“The head of the HRC Foundation’s Religion and Faith Program, who is attending the conference, said: “LGBT people are routinely spiritually, emotionally, and even physically harmed by the rhetoric that originates in church pulpits and seeps into playgrounds, classrooms, workplaces, and even into dinner table conversations.”
SBS LEADERS WELCOMED HRC LEADERS WHO STILL MADE A SHOW OF FIERCE OPPOSTION
“The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) may be dressing up its upcoming conference with “softer” rhetoric, but SBC policies and practices remain the most stridently anti-LGBT among religious organizations in the U.S.”
“A sampling of typical LGBT animus from ERLC/SBC this year alone:
*ERLC President Russell Moore announces a conference to ostensibly help pastors answer community questions and asserts that “homosexual behavior is still a sin,” and “same-sex marriage Biblically forbidden.”
WALL STREET JOURNAL, WHO HAD LOVED MOORE’S MORE “WINSOME TONE” TOWARD THE LGBTQ ISSUES TOUTED THE ERLC/HRC MEETINGS AS A BREAKING OF BREAD CELEBRATION
Southern Baptists, Gay Community Break Bread at Conference
Baptists Strike New Tone on Homosexuality From the Pulpit, in Private
YET MOORE AND OTHER LEADERS MET BEHIND CLOSED DOORS WITH HRC LEADERS.
According to HRC individual reports and to social media of activist in the LGBT camp – the ERLC head Russell Moore all met together behind closed doors to chat it up …about about …well no one outside the room has ever been told and NONE OF THE BPATIST LEADERS PRESENT has ever written about this private meeting .
YES A SECRET PRIVATE MEETING WITH SBC LEADERS AND HRC IN TOOK PLACE IN 2014
Albert Mohler who admitted to “being wrong about homosexual orientation” at the 2014 PUBLIC meetings departed from his long held position that orientation was a “construct of homosexual activist hermeneutic to undermine the authority of scripture and it’s clear condemnation of homosexual behavior”. Mohler sited his concern of how his denial might make some people feel in his flip flop of convictions about the Bible vs “orientation”.
MOHLER HAD MET PERSONALLY WITH ANOTHER LGBTQ ACTIVIST THE SAME WEEK
“Mr. Mohler, head of the theological seminary, said he hoped the conference would make Christians “motivated to be unafraid to engage with LGBT persons.”
“Mr. Mohler this week met with Matthew Vines, an openly gay Christian author who argues the Bible doesn’t prohibit lifelong same-sex marriage. Mr. Mohler wrote a response to Mr. Vines’ book, “God and the Gay Christian.”
“It was a gracious, honest conversation. I think all evangelical Christians are having to learn anew how to discuss these issues,” Mr. Mohler said.”
“The pair agreed to keep in touch over email, and alert each other if one ever felt wrongly portrayed by the other.”
“This was an amazing event,” said Mr. Vines. “Not for the public sessions but for the private meetings. It’s not like anyone is suddenly pro-gay,” said Mr. Vines. But, he added, “it feels like a new era.”
( From the 2014 Wall Street Journal Article)
HRC AND OTHER SOUTHERN BAPTIST HISTORY
In 2009 the Obama Administration brought faith leaders together in his Faith Based Neighborhood Partnerships overhaul and grant program. The SBC Executive Committee CEO at the time Frank Page joined the Obama team for the Faith Based Partners grant programs. SBC moved into position to find “common ground for the common good ” and the common motivation of grant money from tax dollars for community development and other related projects. Among the partners the SBC CEO Frank Page sat down along side was the leader of the Human Rights Campaign Religion & Faith Program,
Inaugural Advisory Council
The inaugural Advisory Council published its report of recommendations to the President in 2010. Chapters of the report are devoted to each of the following six subject areas.
Director, Religion and Faith Program, Human Rights Campaign Foundation
Dr. Frank Page
Pastor, Taylors First Baptist Church; President Emeritus, Southern Baptist Convention
(Page was also the CEO of the Executive Committee until forced to step down years later due to an unspecified moral failure)
THE TASK FORCE SELECTED ITS OWN PRO LGBTQ LAW FIRM
(Information from Baptist Global News coverage of SBC meetings)
“The task force explains this matter in its Sept. 29 letter: “The task force retained our own legal counsel, Linklaters attorneys Adam Lurie and Richard Smith. Both men are former senior Department of Justice officials with extensive background also in corporate law. “
“LINKLATERS BOAST “DIVERSITY & INCLUSION IS THE PULSE OF OUR FIRM”
We want to be known as the ‘best in class’ firm for Diversity & Inclusion – a diverse and inclusive workplace where everyone feels they belong, and diversity is celebrated.
“We know that our differences make us a better law firm. Our diversity enables us to attract the best talent, drive innovation, and deliver the best experience to everyone who comes into contact with us. That’s why being a leader in Diversity & Inclusion is an integral part of our firm’s vision and strategy. As a responsible business, it is important to us that we represent the diversity of our people, our clients and our communities, and that we create an inclusive culture in which everyone – regardless of background, identity and circumstance – can reach their full potential.”
“GLOBAL PRIORITIES OF THE FIRM INCLUDE LGBT “
Strange days have indeed found the Southern Baptist Convention during it’s sexual abuse scandal and the efforts to see it investigated.
So the Southern Baptist Convention and many of it’s key players in the sex abuse scandal investigation have a long and curious history with the LGBTQ lobby and Human Rights Campaign in particular. NOW they are adding to both that history and the curiosity surrounding it by overlooking or omitting or blind to the same sex sexual abuse in their midst -while in the middle of the present investigation into the abuse. And by choosing a law firm which boast of its own inclusion and diversity and multi year AWARD WINNING STATUS with HRC, the Southern Baptist investigation is beyond the bounds of curiosity and falls far short of the integrity the Task Force and the Southern Baptist leadership are saying they seek to ensure in the investigation. The combined realities actually INVITE and provide massive license for suspicion and outright doubt over the entire process and intentions. And the surviving victims look to be set up to be abused all over again.
A Tree Known by Its Fruit
33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. 34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.””