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Row Erupts Over Crystal Cathedral Sex Pact

Choir must recognize that 'God intends sex between married heteros'
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2011 2:02 AM CDT
Updated Mar 17, 2011 5:20 AM CDT
Row Erupts Over Crystal Cathedral Sex Pact
The sun reflects off the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, Calif. The church is embroiled in yet another controversy, this time over a "sex covenant" choir members are required to sign.   (AP Photo/Orange County Register, Ana Venegas)

California megachurch Crystal Cathedral Ministries is in hot water again—this time for requiring choir members to sign a "sex covenant." It seems that "God intends" sex to occur only between married heterosexuals, and members were ordered to sign a statement acknowledging that. The covenant is meant to "clarify" expectations of choir members, said a pastor of the Hour of Power Orange County church, which has been accused of financial irregularities, and declared bankruptcy last year. Pastor Sheila Schuller Coleman apologized for any "hurt" caused to "people we care about deeply," but is apparently standing by the covenant.

"They've made as many mistakes as they can make and they've sunk as low as they can— and behold, they sink lower," said a long-time choir director at the church who quit recently when a Crystal official vowed to make each singer "spiritually and emotionally fit." He believes that means purging the choir of all gays and heterosexual lovers who aren't married. "I think it's absolutely horrible," he told the Los Angeles Times. "It's the antithesis of Christianity. We should be reaching out to and embracing all people who are peaceful." (More gays stories.)

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