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Grand Rapids Press
Cascade Township, Mich. (RNS) – A gay man is suing two heavyweight Christian publishers, claiming their versions of the Bible that refer to homosexuality as a sin violate his constitutional rights and have caused him emotional pain and mental instability.
Bradley LaShawn Fowler of Canton, Mich., is seeking $60 million from Zondervan, based in Cascade Township, and $10 million from Nashville, Tenn.-based Thomas Nelson Publishing.
Fowler filed the suit in federal court against Zondervan on Monday (July 7), the same day U.S. District Judge Julian Abele Cook Jr. refused to appoint an attorney to represent him in his case against Thomas Nelson.
Fowler filed a suit against Thomas Nelson in June. He is representing himself in both claims.
“The Court has some very genuine concerns about the nature and efficacy of these claims,” the judge wrote.
Fowler, 39, alleges Zondervan’s Bibles referring to homosexuality as a sin have made him an outcast from his family and contributed to physical discomfort and periods of “demoralization, chaos and bewilderment.”
The intent of the publisher was to design a religious, sacred document to reflect an individual opinion or a group’s conclusion to cause “me or anyone who is a homosexual to endure verbal abuse, discrimination, episodes of hate, and physical violence … including murder,” Fowler wrote.
Fowler’s suit claims Zondervan’s text revisions from a 1980s version of the Bible included, and then deleted, a reference to homosexuality in 1 Corinthians without informing the public of the changes.
The other suit, against Thomas Nelson and its New King James Bible, mirrors the allegations made against Zondervan.
Copyright 2008 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

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