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State Baptists voice opposition to gambling

MOBILE (AP) — Southern Baptists at the Alabama Baptist State Convention approved resolutions articulating opposition to alcohol, gambling and proposed federal hate-crimes legislation before concluding their annual meeting.

Delegates assembled at Cottage Hill Baptist Church on Wednesday reaffirmed their objection to alcohol in a resolution expressing appreciation to Gov. Bob Riley for reversing the Alcohol Beverage Control Board's decision and returning to Sunday closing of state-owned liquor stores.

Although the resolutions are nonbinding, resolutions committee Chairman Joe Godfrey said it's important for Christians to speak out.

The hate-crimes resolution, which affirms the group's right to declare that homosexual activities are condemned by God, states that the legislation's passage threatens their religious freedoms. While the resolution is clear in its opposition to the legislation, which is a section within the U.S. Senate's version of the fiscal 2008 defense authorization bill now in committee, it encourages believers to show compassion toward homosexuals and transgendered people.

The group also affirmed its opposition to gambling, particularly objecting to the Alabama Poarch Band of Creek Indians' efforts to expand its gambling operations and opposing expansion to include Class III casino type gambling. Convention leaders were also re-elected without opposition. Roger Willmore of Trussville will serve as president.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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