Bradley Fowler (RightPundits.com)A homosexual man who has a blog on Sen. Barack Obama's campaign website is suing two major Christian publishers for violating his constitutional rights and causing emotional pain, because the Bible versions they publish refer to homosexuality as a sin.
Bradley LaShawn Fowler, 39, of Canton, Mich., is seeking $60 million from Zondervan and another $10 million from Thomas Nelson Publishing in lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, the Grand Rapids Press reported.
Fowler filed his claim against Grand Rapids-based Zondervan Monday, alleging its Bibles' references 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 paper said.
He filed suit against Tennessee publisher Thomas Nelson in June.
Zondervan says that even if Fowler's claim is credible, he's suing the wrong party. A company spokesman told WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids that Zondervan doesn't translate the Bible or own the copyright for any of the translations but relies, instead, on the "scholarly judgment of credible translation committees."
U.S. District Judge Julian Abele Cook Jr. refused Monday to appoint an attorney to represent Fowler in the Thomas Nelson case, saying the court "has some very genuine concerns about the nature and efficacy of these claims."
Fowler, who is representing himself in both lawsuits, says in his complaint against Zondervan that the publisher intended 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 alleges both Zondervan and Thomas Nelson, with its King James Bible, manipulated Scripture without informing the public by using the term "homosexuals" in a New Testament passage, 1 Corinthians 6:9.
He told the Grand Rapids TV station in an interview he wants to "compensate for the past 20 years of emotional duress and mental instability."
Zondervan, he contended, is misinterpreting the Bible.
"These are opinions based on the publishers," Fowler said. "And they are being embedded in the religious structure as a way of life."