Rose French writes about religious and spiritual matters for the Star Tribune. Before arriving in the Twin Cities this fall, she covered religion for the Associated Press in Tennessee, where she wrote about the Southern Baptists, United Methodists, Gideons and other religious groups and issues.
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A group calling itself the world’s largest ministry for homosexual Christians is holding its annual conference in St. Paul this week.
Exodus International’s meeting at Northwestern College starts Wednesday and runs through Sunday, coming at a time when faith groups in Minnesota remain deeply divided over the proposed marriage amendment.
If approved by voters in November, the amendment would change the state Constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and woman.
Exodus International’s meetings in the past have attracted pro-gay advocates protesting the group’s promotion of the biblical-based belief that homosexuality is sinful and should be resisted.
Under leadership of the group’s current president Alan Chambers, Exodus has made efforts to back off on talk that homosexuality can be “cured,” though the group is still heavily criticized by gay rights activists.
Exodus organizers say the group doesn’t typically address political issues dealing with homosexuality, and they don’t plan to talk about the marriage amendment. This is the first time Exodus has been back in Minnesota since 1987.
Gay rights organization Truth Wins Out will hold a press conference Thursday at St. Paul Reformation Lutheran Church in St. Paul to protest the Exodus message, according to a released statement from the group.