Gay Couples With Kids A Sign of 'Changing Bible Belt,' According to CNN

On Monday's Newsroom, CNN's David Mattingly continued his network's unbalanced coverage of homosexual issues with his proclamation that a lesbian couple raising kids in Jacksonville, Florida are "part of a new face on the old Bible Belt." Mattingly devoted four sound bites to the couple and the "pro-gay church" they attend, as opposed to only one from a local pastor who supports traditional marriage.

The correspondent began his report by noting that "Latisha Bines and her partner, Misty Gray of Jacksonville, Florida, are part of a new face on the old Bible Belt: same-sex couples, raising children, turning to pro-gay churches for support and acceptance." He also played two clips from Bines and Gray, one from a soccer game where they cheered on one of Bines's children.

Mattingly continued by highlighting a recent study about homosexual couples:

MATTINGLY: A surprising UCLA study of the 2010 Census reveals same-sex couples in the South are more likely to be raising children than similar couples, even on the West Coast. San Antonio is number one- number two, Jacksonville....Demographer Gary Gates cites another big reason: southern pro-gay churches reaching out to minorities, and creating safety nets for the entire family.

Later, the CNN correspondent played his one sound bite from the Jacksonville pastor opposed to same-sex "marriage:"

MATTINGLY (on-camera): Of course, not all churches are happy to hear about this trend. This, in fact, is one of them here in the Jacksonville area. The leader of this church is calling on pastors all over the city to pray.
                   
BISHOP VAUGHN MCLAUGHLIN, POTTER'S HOUSE CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP: I believe that they should be preaching a positive message, that Jesus is right.

MATTINGLY: And that these couples, they should not have gay relationships?

MCLAUGHLIN: I believe that the couples in the church that have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ- that would bring a conviction that Jesus taught, and the scriptures teach, that marriage is between a man and a woman- simple.

However, Mattingly then played another clip from Bines and Gray, as well as one from their pastor, Valerie Williams. He noted that Williams "believes happy parents start with happy children," but omitted the detail, reported by an October 7, 2010 article in the Florida Times-Union, that the pastor herself is a lesbian.

The CNN correspondent concluded his report with a severe example which hinted at the apparent prejudice against homosexuals in the region: "It wasn't too long ago that gay and lesbian couples might have thought it was too risky to bring their children to church with them. This Jacksonville church was firebombed three times back in the 1980s. Now, it is a place for family worship and youth groups- signs of the times in a changing Bible Belt."

Mattingly's report continues CNN's trend from 2010 in promoting the agenda of homosexual activists. Just over two months ago, on December 6, anchor Kyra Phillips gushed over Kamora Harrington and her "True Colors" organization, which "organizes the largest LGBT youth conference in the country." On September 27, Phillips also gave a ringing endorsement to televangelist Bishop Carlton Pearson, who, in her words, "went out on a limb...[to] say gays are accepted in heaven." The network devoted five segments on October 20th to promoted GLAAD's "Spirit Day," which aimed to "show support for gay and lesbian youth and honor teens wh have taken their lives in recent weeks."

The full transcript of correspondent Dave Mattingly's report, which aired 23 minutes into the 1 pm Eastern hour of Monday's Newsroom:

MARTIN SAVIDGE: Well, more gay couples are bringing up children, and not just in urban areas on the East and West Coast. Our David Mattingly has the story in Jacksonville, Florida.

DAVID MATTINGLY: Which one is the loudest soccer mom? That's what I'd like to know.

MISTY GRAY: Latisha.

LATISHA BINES: Me. Good job, Mike.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): At the soccer field, they are two moms cheering for the same child. But in church, Latisha Bines and her partner, Misty Gray of Jacksonville, Florida, are part of a new face on the old Bible Belt: same-sex couples, raising children, turning to pro-gay churches for support and acceptance.
                   
BINES: Okay, we're gay- we're lesbian, but our God still loves us, no matter what.

MATTINGLY: A surprising UCLA study of the 2010 Census reveals same-sex couples in the South are more likely to be raising children than similar couples, even on the West Coast. San Antonio is number one- number two, Jacksonville. It took one phone call to find out why.

MATTINGLY (on-camera): Why is this happening in the South of all places?

GARY GATES, UCLA DEMOGRAPHER: Gay and lesbian people tend to come out later in life in those areas, which means they're actually more likely to have children early- from a prior relationship earlier in their lives.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Demographer Gary Gates cites another big reason: southern pro-gay churches reaching out to minorities, and creating safety nets for the entire family.

MATTINGLY (on-camera): Of course, not all churches are happy to hear about this trend. This, in fact, is one of them here in the Jacksonville area. The leader of this church is calling on pastors all over the city to pray.
                   
BISHOP VAUGHN MCLAUGHLIN, POTTER'S HOUSE CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP: I believe that they should be preaching a positive message, that Jesus is right.

MATTINGLY: And that these couples, they should not have gay relationships?

MCLAUGHLIN: I believe that the couples in the church that have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ- that would bring a conviction that Jesus taught, and the scriptures teach, that marriage is between a man and a woman- simple.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): But not so simple for people like Latisha Bines, raising her three biological children with her partner, Misty Gray.

GRAY: Hetero, homo- it doesn't matter.

BINES: Right.

GRAY: Either way.

BINES: Yes- definitely.

GRAY: It's a great support system.


Pastor Valerie Williams, St. Luke's Community Church, Jacksonville, Florida; & David Mattingly, CNN Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgPASTOR VALERIE WILLIAMS, ST. LUKE'S COMMUNITY CHURCH: Today, today-

MATTINGLY: And their pastor believes happy parents start with happy children.

MATTINGLY (on-camera): The focus is the children.

WILLIAMS: Yes- absolutely. The children being able to serve God with their families and not being judged.

MATTINGLY: It wasn't too long ago that gay and lesbian couples might have thought it was too risky to bring their children to church with them. This Jacksonville church was firebombed three times back in the 1980s.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Now, it is a place for family worship and youth groups- signs of the times in a changing Bible Belt. David Mattingly, CNN, Jacksonville, Florida.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center