Summary of eRumor:
A gay man named Bradley LaShawn Fowler has sued Bible publishers Zondervan Publishing and Thomas Nelson Publishing for printing versions of the King James Bible that specifically said homosexuality was a sin.
It’s true that Bradley LaShawn Fowler sued Zondervan Publishing and Thomas Nelson Publishing for referring to homosexuality as a sin in 2008, but the case was dismissed in 2009.
The story of Fowler’s lawsuit was recycled as a “new” report in July 2015 after the U.S. Supreme Court found that bans on gay marriage were unconstitutional.
The website Daily Headlines published a story in July 2015 that made it appear Fowler had just sued Zondervan Publishing and Thomas Nelson Publishing, and the report was widely repeated.
But, in reality, a federal judge dismissed Fowler’s lawsuit in 2009, according to court records.
Fowler had claimed in the lawsuit that Zondervan Publishing and Thomas Nelson Publishing had deliberately manipulated biblical text to include the word “homosexual” in six different versions of the King James Bible, according to the lawsuit:
It is Fowler’s contention that both of these publishers, despite having knowledge that the inclusion of this allegedly offensive word in the King James Bible would cause him to suffer an injury, deliberately manipulated the biblical text to his detriment. As a direct result of these challenged publications, Fowler asserts that he has “endured acts of hate [and] discrimination,” continues to suffer from an inability to sleep, and no longer has any appetite for food.
Fowler sought $60 million in damages from Zondervan Publishing and $10 million in damages from Thomas Nelson Publishing for what he called “discriminatory treatment” that he had received as a gay man because of the inclusion of the word “homosexual” in the King James Bible.
The Christian Post reported on Fowler’s lawsuit when it was filed in 2008. Daily Headlines cited that seven-year-old story when it re-reported Fowler’s lawsuit as breaking news in July 2015. The “new” version of the story was quickly shared more than 111,000 times on social media sites.