Religion Briefs from AP

The Associated Press Published:

Southern Baptists pick new president

Associated Press

BALTIMORE -- An Arkansas megachurch pastor is the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The Rev. Ronnie Floyd received 52 percent of votes Tuesday from delegates to the annual meeting of the nation's largest Protestant denomination. Floyd beat out the Rev. Dennis Kim, the Korean-American pastor of a bilingual Maryland church, who received 41 percent of the vote.

Floyd has been the pastor at Cross Church in northwest Arkansas for 27 years. About 8,500 people worship each week at one of the church's several locations.

He was nominated by the powerful head of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the Rev. Albert Mohler.

Mohler told the crowd of 5,000 meeting in Baltimore that Floyd is the one who can lead the denomination at a time of "horrifying moral rebellion" in the nation.

Southern Baptists oppose gender reassignment

BALTIMORE -- Delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting have passed a resolution declaring that gender identity is determined by biological sex and not by self-perception.

The resolution approved Tuesday states that the denomination opposes hormone therapy, gender reassignment surgery, and other efforts to "alter one's bodily identity."

According to the resolution, "God's design was the creation of two distinct and complementary sexes, male and female."

The resolution expresses opposition to government efforts to "validate transgender identity as morally praiseworthy."

The resolution also condemns the bullying and abuse of transgender people and expresses love and compassion for "those whose sexual self-understanding is shaped by a distressing conflict between their biological sex and their gender identity."

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