The Upstairs Lounge Fire


Baptist Minister Challenges Solomon

‘Chaplain’ Call for Panel to Talk with Homosexuals.

Condition is Disease of Sin—Harrington.

The creation of a city panel composed of people “representing God’s views on homosexuals” was urged here Thursday by the Rev. Bob Harrington.

Self-styled “the Chaplain of Bourbon Street,” the Baptist made this suggestion in a press conference at his headquarters in the French Quarter where he has worked for about 10 years.

This panel, he said, would be empowered to negotiate with the homosexual community which has recently marched on City Hall and demanded “liberation” and an end to alleged police harassment.

God’s view, the preacher explained, is the homosexuality is “an abomination, and He has put a great curse upon it, greater than that on ‘natural’ sins.”


The Rev. Harrington also challenged the Rev. David Solomon, a Holiness Pentecostal minister, who has said there are plans to organize a church in New Orleans for the homosexual community, to a debate on what Bible authority he could use for such a move.

“If these people think they are right,” he commented, “why do they have to ostracize themselves, why not participate in already existing churches and ‘upgrade’ us?”

The Metropolitan Crime Commission, the chaplain said, “has been overinterested in the underworld, when the deterioration of the community is effected much more by homosexuality.”

The Rev. Harrington commended the police department for carrying out laws against unnatural acts and protecting “the natural man against the unnatural.”


The tourist trade, the minister said, “will degenerate more when they (homosexuals) are there, then when hippies are around. Homosexuality is an internal thing.”

But homosexuality is not confined to the French Quarter,” the chaplain commented” and affects everyone from bank presidents to bums, mostly people who have too much time on their hands.”

Homosexuality is not hereditary or a genetic problem, but “a sinful problem,” the Rev. Harrington said, “though they try to blame it on their mothers or society. They chose this way of life so they can change to get rid of it.”

People of the city can help the increasing development of this problem, the preacher said, “by warning people of the dangers of homosexuality, like the American Cancer Society warns of the disease’s signals.”

Homosexuality has grown more than any other problem (or sin) he has seen, Rev. Harrington said, although he added that it’s usually accompanied by a drug or alcohol problem.
Newspaper prints a longer article quoting anti-gay Baptist preacher Bob Harrington.
Source: The Times-Picayune, January 29, 1971
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