CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cleveland-based United Church of Christ, which is considered to be apostate by biblical Christians, has sponsored the 2014 international Gay Games—the world’s largest homosexual sporting event—which is currently being held in Ohio until Saturday.
According to reports, the denomination is a silver sponsor of the event, which is stated to be hosting approximately 8,000 homosexual athletes from around the world. The “Gay Games” began on Saturday and continue through August 16th at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, featuring a variety of sporting competitions from track and field to basketball and softball. Silver sponsorship is the fourth highest level of sponsorship for the games.
Over 30 United Church of Christ congregations are said to have lended to the sponsorship, including Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ in Dallas, Texas, Trinity United Church of Christ in St. Petersburg, Florida, First Congregational United Church of Christ in Hillsboro, Oregon, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Laramie, Wyoming and Trinity Reformed United Church of Christ in Mountville, Pennsylvania.
“It’s a win-win offer of support that will enable the United Church of Christ to be listed among the Gay Games’ top corporate sponsors,” said J. Bennett Guess, the first openly-gay national officer of the UCC. “[Gay Games] organizers realize that the UCC can play an integral and important role in dispelling the pervasive myth that all people of faith are anti-gay, and we are excited to share our message of extravagant welcome and radical inclusivity.”
In addition to sponsoring the event, an article posted on the United Church of Christ website outlines that two national staff members will compete in the games “to demonstrate the UCC commitment to inclusion, diversity, justice and human rights.” Sandy Sorensen, director of the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries office in Washington, D.C, and Mike Schuenemeyer, the UCC’s executive for health and wholeness advocacy, will participate in running, swimming and golfing competitions during the week.
The United Church of Christ, which is outside of biblical orthodoxy and was the first American religious group to ordain homosexuals and affirm abortion, also made headlines earlier this year when it filed a legal challenge against North Carolina’s same-sex “marriage” ban, asserting that it violates the free exercise of religion among clergy.
“By denying same-sex couples the right to marry and prohibiting religious denominations even from performing marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples, the State of North Carolina stigmatizes same-sex couples, as well as the religious institutions and clergy that believe in equal rights,” the suit stated, as reported by the Charlotte Observer.
Other named in the lawsuit included Joe Hoffman of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Asheville; Robin Tanner of Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church; Jonathan Freirich of Temple Beth El; Nancy Kraft of Holy Trinity Lutheran, Nathan King of Trinity Reformed UCC in Concord; Mark Ward of Asheville Unitarian Universalist Congregation and Nancy Petty of Pullen Memorial Baptist in Raleigh.
“It boils down to a view on the authority of Scripture,” Clint Pressley of Hickory Grove Baptist Church told the Charlotte Observer. “The denominations listed have abandoned almost 2,000 years of Christian Orthodoxy. It’s not surprising.”
Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the North Carolina Values Coalition, likewise lamented the actions of the religious groups that filed the legal challenge.
“These individuals are simply revisionists that distort the teaching of Scripture to justify sexual revolution, not marital sanctity,” she said.