Cory Booker Criticized by LGBT Activists for Speaking at Evangelical, Anti-LGBT Willow Creek Community Church’s Global Leadership Summit in 2011

Newark Mayor Cory Booker opens the Newark Peace Education Summit early Friday, May 13, 2011, in Newark, N.J. The three-day summit on the power of nonviolence will include Nobel laureates, international leaders, local anti-violence activists and the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
After declining to speak at a Christian conservative gathering this week, Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., is facing pushback for previously speaking at an Illinois megachurch known for its biblical stance on sexuality and marriage.
The senator released last week 10 years’ worth of tax returns, which showed that he made about $1.7 million in speaking engagements over the course of five years from 2009 to 2013. During this time, Booker served as the mayor of Newark.
As Huff Post noted Friday, Booker spoke at the Global Leadership Summit hosted by the evangelical Willow Creek Community Church in the suburb of Chicago on Aug. 11, 2011.
Although Booker did many speaking engagements, it’s his participation in the event at Willow Creek that has drawn the ire of at least one LGBT activist even though he also spoke out in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage in 2011.
Willow Creek, which has eight campuses, has held the belief that Scripture “makes clear marriage is designed to be a union between only one man and one woman.”
Willow Creek had also partnered for years with the ex-gay ministry Exodus International until about 2009 when it halted its affiliation with the organization. At the time, some accused Willow Creek of caving to LGBT activists.
Spokeswoman Sabrina Sing told Huff Post that Booker “was not aware of the host’s anti-LGBTQ sentiments and never would have agreed to doing the speech had he known.”.22
An unnamed LGBT activist told the outlet that the “positions of Willow Creek were well-known.”
“There’s no excuse for Booker or anyone to be going there, even then,” the activist argued.
Matthew Vines, an activist who advocates for churches to become LGBT affirming, told the left-leaning outlet that Willow Creek is not as vocal as other ministries about its views on sexuality and marriage. However, he said that it does have restrictions on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity when it comes to marriage, hiring and leadership roles.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith
Source: Black Christian News