'We can't condemn certain lifestyles,' Gov. Perry says

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by WFAA

WFAA

Posted on April 8, 2013 at 8:25 AM

DALLAS — Gov. Rick Perry spoke Sunday from the pulpit of First Baptist Dallas as part of the official dedication of the church's new downtown campus.

The governor spoke about the need to show love to sinners, despite their lifestyles.

"We cannot condemn certain lifestyles while turning a blind eye to sins that, in God's eye, are just as grievous," Perry said. "We must love all... welcome all... and be a model for Christ."

"Scripture tells us it is no credit to love people who love us. You know, on that side of the ledger sheet, you don't get a check mark," the governor continued. "It is loving the estranged, those who we might not even like, that we truly show the love of God."

Perry did not specifically address any particular lifestyle, but his remarks did appear to reflect a shift from previously-stated beliefs.

In February, he told the Irving-based Boy Scouts of America that he hoped they did not change their membership policy that prohibits homosexuals.

In 2011, Perry signed a pledge to back a federal constitutional amendment against gay marriage.

The governor did praise the new $130 million First Baptist Dallas facility, calling it "a beacon where the light of faith can be seen."

"This is the way we do it in Texas," he added.

The building includes a 3,000-seat worship center with a 150-foot wide TV screen.

The Rev. Robert Jeffress, church pastor, said he thought about using the occasion to endorse Perry as a 2016 presidential candidate. Jeffress then quipped: "But you know how that turned out the last time."

Perry ended a 2012 bid for the GOP nomination after a series of debate gaffes.

Perry is expected to announce by year's end whether he'll make another presidential run in 2016.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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