The Southern Baptist Convention Wednesday is expected to formally disassociate from the Boy Scouts of America and take stands against federal policies on contraception and gays in the military.

The two-day meeting in downtown Houston comes amid growing support for gay marriage while at the same time, the nation's largest conservative denomination holds less political influence than it did during President George W. Bush's tenure.

Tuesday at the George R. Brown Center, the convention re-elected its first black president Fred Luter Jr.

The convention then heard from Dr. Richard Land, who is retiring from the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, the SBC's public policy arm.

“We're called to change attitudes, to change beliefs, to change hearts that will then take care of the evils in our society,” Land said.

SBC leaders also were questioned by attendees about immigration reform.  Russell Moore, new ERLC president, says they support principals not legislation.

“What we support is a just and compassionate approach to dealing with the millions of people in American society right now who are invisible and are seeking a better future for their families,” said Moore.  “We also want to maintain the rule of law and security of our borders.”