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The Latest: Protesters push for SBC to adopt reform measures

DALLAS (AP) - The Latest on the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas (all times local):

2:15 p.m.

About two dozen protesters gathered outside the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention are pushing for three changes to church operations.

They say they want more inclusion of women's voices in the SBC and a database to record and track those accused of misconduct. They also want seminarians and others trained on how to address domestic violence.

Carol Shelton of Fort Worth says domestic violence and sexual abuse have been given little attention because the victims are normally women.

Michael Maschenik, pastor of Unity Baptist Church near Macon, Georgia, counters that a database would be redundant from the ones kept by authorities. He says no one in the SBC supports or condones abusive behavior.

The two-day annual convention that began Tuesday will include consideration of a draft resolution co-signed by dozens of SBC leaders to repudiate any rhetoric or behavior that dishonors women.

12:30 p.m.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tells the Southern Baptist Convention that America faces a crisis as some people try to "silence the faithful and remove God from the public square."

Abbott spoke Tuesday in Dallas as part of the two-day annual meeting of the SBC, which is the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. with more than 47,000 churches.

A small group of protesters gathered outside the convention, with some holding signs that read "End abuse now #metoo" and "Jesus never shamed women."

The placards highlight the anxious mood of the denomination's all-male leadership as it grapples with the fallout of multiple sexual misconduct cases.

Leaders will discuss a draft resolution co-signed by dozens of SBC leaders to repudiate any rhetoric or behavior that dishonors women.

Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to speak at the meeting Wednesday.

11:45 p.m.

The Southern Baptist Convention opens its annual national meeting Tuesday in an anxious mood as the denomination's all-male leadership grapples with the fallout of multiple sexual misconduct cases.

One order of business is a draft resolution calling on the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. to repudiate any rhetoric or behavior that dishonors women. The resolution denounces those who commit or cover up such actions. It also urges congregations and ministers to abide by all laws mandating the reporting of sexual abuse and assault.

Not on the agenda in Dallas is any reconsideration of the SBC's doctrine of "complementarianism." It espouses male leadership in the home and the church and says a wife "is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband."

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