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Texas Baptists Isolate Gay Friendly Church

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The Baptist General Convention of Texas sought to put distance between itself and a longtime affiliate, Royal Lane Baptist Church of Dallas, over changes in the church's website that affirm gay members.

According to The Dallas Morning News, "the Dallas-based BGCT has decided to place in escrow any funds sent from Royal Lane. It also has asked Royal Lane to remove from church publications any reference to BGCT affiliation."

The BGCT holds that homosexuality is a sin. It will continue to hold Royal Lane at arm's length until the church agrees with that stance.

The Rev. David Matthews, pastor of Royal Lane, told the Morning News last week that deacons "overwhelmingly approved changing the church Web site to say Royal Lane is 'a vibrant mosaic of varied racial identities, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and denominational backgrounds.'"

Royal Lane did not change its bylaws or take an official vote on homosexuality, but church deacons are expected to ask members to clarify their position now, given the dispute with the BGCT.

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