By John Wright
Deacons want to eliminate couples’ photos; ‘Friends’ group wants gay-friendly pastor, Younger, fired

FORT WORTH In his 19 years as a member of Broadway Baptist Church, Scott Green said the fact that he’s gay has never been an issue.

So Green was caught off guard last fall when a controversy erupted about whether to include photos of same-sex couples in a directory commemorating the church’s 125th anniversary.

"I thought we were well past that, so I was very surprised when this came up," said Green. "A lot of us thought that Broadway was past the whole gay debate, because for years Broadway has welcomed gay people."

On Sunday, Feb. 24, Green and others in the moderate Baptist church’s 1,500-member congregation will vote on a recommendation from deacons intended to defuse the controversy. If the recommendation is approved, the directory will include photos of church groups but no family photos.

Green said although he’d prefer to see same-sex couples pictured alongside straight couples in the directory, he supports the recommendation because it would treat members equally.

"In a perfect world, yes, I’d like to see it not be an issue at all, but for now I think this is probably what needs to happen," Green said. "This doesn’t mean that that format will never happen."

Green also expressed support for the Rev. Brett Younger, senior minister at Broadway, who’s come under fire for his handling of the directory flap.

A group called Friends for the Future of Broadway is seeking a vote on whether Younger, who’s signed on to the deacons’ recommendation, should vacate the pulpit. Friends for the Future of Broadway reportedly has gathered 162 signatures, enough to force the vote under the church’s bylaws.

Meanwhile, more than 200 members, including Green, have signed a statement opposing the effort to oust Younger, who also reportedly has been offered $50,000 to step down. Green called the effort by Friends for the Future of Broadway "hurtful."

"I think that the church has handled the whole issue very well," Green said. "They’re handling a very difficult situation with grace."

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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 22, 2008

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