NAACP Comes Out In Support of Today’s Civil Rights Movement

The NAACP announced Saturday that they now endorse marriage equality.

The National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People passed a resolution supporting gay marriage at a meeting of its board of directors in Miami, saying it opposed any policy or legislative initiative that “seeks to codify discrimination or hatred into the law or to remove the constitutional rights of LGBT citizens.”

This is the right move for the country’s oldest civil rights organization and it follows closely behind President Obama‘s support of same-sex marriage.

But the NAACP was quickly criticized by many church leaders in the black community. Many were already angry with Obama for his comments and now they’ve turned their focus on the NAACP as well.

Rev. Anthony Evans, with the National Black Church Initiative, opposed the president’s and the NAACP’s endorsements of same-sex marriage. He warned that Obama and the NAACP will lose support among black churches for their stand.

“We love our gay brothers and sisters, but the black church will never support gay marriage,” Evans said. “It is and always will be against the ethics and teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

But not all black churches are opposed to gay marriage. Rev. Enoch Fuzz of Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church used Sunday’s sermon to explain why he, too, supports gay marriage. Like the President, he had a change of heart after long reflection.

“I know many in the black community have trouble accepting gay marriage,” he said. “But all of us have gay friends or family, and we love them.”

Enoch Fuzz preaches to his congregation Sunday at Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church in Nashville. (Joe Imel – USA Today)

The tide is changing bit by bit in the black community regarding marriage equality.

In Columbus, Mayor Michael Coleman is confident black churches and voters will stick with the president, even if they disagree over gay marriage. The four-term African-American mayor made the same conversion himself on the issue of gay marriage — for the same reasons — this year.

“I had to evolve on the issue and think it through, too, and I came to the conclusion it was the right thing,” said Coleman, a Democrat who supports Obama. “When it is the right thing to do, politics is irrelevant.”

And it is the right thing to do. Love could never be a sin, even if their god did exist.

About Ericka M. Johnson

As a lover of science and reason, Ericka M. Johnson has an affinity for evolutionary biology and is the president of Seattle Atheists. She revels in any opportunity for a thoughtful debate on the meaning of life, the universe, and everything (especially over a pint.) Follow her on twitter @ErickaMJohnson

  • CultOfReason

    “We love our gay brothers and sisters, but the black church will never
    support gay marriage,” Evans said. “It is and always will be against the
    ethics and teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    Really?  Where did Jesus say that? 

    The closest thing I could find (and this is quite a stretch) is Matt. 19:4 – “Have you not read that He who made them at the
    beginning ‘made them male and female,’ “and said, ‘For this reason a
    man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the
    two shall become one flesh?’”

    • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

      Then again, verse 6 of that same chapter includes: “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”Basically, divorce is just as much against the ethics and teaching of Jesus. Yet the same Christians who readily quote Matthew 19:4-5, also conveniently ignore the other part of that section.

      • Nordog6561

         Not all Christians accept divorce.

        • Kevin S.

          Far more Christians actively campaign against SSM than they do divorce.

          • Nordog6561

            Yes.

  • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

    “We love our gay brothers and sisters, but the black church will never support gay marriage,” Evans said. “It is and always will be against the ethics and teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    This always gets me, that any Christians think that because they aren’t allowed to do a certain thing, that nobody should be allowed to do it either. “I don’t believe gays should have equal rights because gays in my church can’t.”

    Logic… they don’t got it.

    • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

       Exactly!  There’s a great image floating around facebook of someone’s comment along the lines of:

      If your religion prohibits you from doing something, that means that *you* can’t do it, it doesn’t mean that you get to deprive the rest of the world and make them live by your rules. 

      (Image I’m talking about *IS* attached)

      • TheAnalogKid

        But misery loves company.

  • TheAnalogKid


    “It is and always will be against the ethics and teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ.””

    Hmmm. Ask your Lord Jesus Christ what he thinks about slavery . . .

  • CallMeRiverton

    I… I just don’t get it! How can a group of people who were kept as PROPERTY due to the tenets of this religion so joyously embrace it and use it to try to hurt others?

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

       Stockholm Syndrome?

      • CallMeRiverton

        I guess so… I can’t really think of another reason. Except maybe that the slave owners indoctrinated them. Of course it could be just to help the transition towards treating each other properly, ya know, another thing in common?

  • Pedro Lemos

    “I know many in the black community have trouble accepting gay marriage,”
    “But the NAACP was quickly criticized by many church leaders in the black community.”
    “The tide is changing bit by bit in the black community regarding marriage equality.”

    I always found it weird how you americans find this separation of the so called “black community” from the rest of the population so normal… Aren´t you all in the same community? Do black churches only accept black people? Do “black community” leaders defend only black people rights? This all sounds so weird and apartheidish to me…

    Then again, it must be easy for me to say that, since here in Brazil most of us aren´t really black, nor really white…

    • http://churchofthecasualchristian.blogspot.com Pryopizm

      My mother’s side of the family (and the side I knew best) is Brazilian.  And though I haven’t been to Brazil since 1987, we’ve had several people visit.  The one thing that shocked me the most was how open many of them were about their racism toward blacks.  And to them, anyone who wasn’t white (Euro-white, not American white–the Brazilians I’ve known in the US generally hate being considered anything than white) was black.  Much as how dark-skinned Indians are considered black in the UK.  So it makes defining a “black community” in Brazil a little trickier.

      Now to your point.  The reason I believe that we have a “black community” as opposed to Brazil is because, as you point out, in Brazil the non-white community is a beautiful mix of many colors.  In the US, the descendants of slaves have a 400-year history of being segregated from everyone.  How could a community not form? 

      That said, Brazil is also culturally different from the US in regards to politics.  I would venture to guess a larger percentage of Americans are more politically involved to some degree than Brazilians.  The poorer, mixed-race communities (particularly in favelas) are far less likely to have any influence in politics than a black community in the U.S. where the churches are essentially their meeting grounds and the center of their community.

      Of course, I’d be interested in hearing your perspective on this, as I’m completely going by 2nd hand experience, and so much has changed economically and politically in the last 20 years. 

      • Pedro Lemos

        Of course there are racist people here too. I think things are getting better with the time, but idiots will exist anywhere, anytime…
        I just find it weird because if someone here in Brazil founded something like a “Black Church”, people would find it ridiculous for 2 reasons: 1) It would sound (and probably be) a separation from the rest of the society maybe even inclined to racism against who isn´t black and 2) It would be rather difficult to determine who is and isn´t black here. I am myself a son of a black man with a white woman, would I be black enough to fit that community?
        What I find most strange about US is that you seen to embrace this separation, even encouraging it. I´ve only been there twice, in Boston and New York, so I don´t think I have enough knowledge of the dinamics of american society, but from what is shown in the media and what your culture products like movies and TV series show is that the society is actually divided. Black people only marry black people, attend black churches, study in black schools and they even have their own neighborhood. 
        I know black descendents were enslaved there, as they were here, for even more time. The Emancipation was signed in 1863 in the US, if I´m not mistaken, in Brazil it only came in 1888. But when they were set free some of them were marginalized, forming the forementioned favelas, but they didn´t allow themselves to be excluded from the rest of society, as it seems to be there. Mixing with the rest of the community always seemed to be natural to me, and this mixing seemed to be much more effective here than it´s there.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LBIGEAFRWIX52G5RDE2HA46ZM4 Jinx

          and that’s because being black in America is totally different than being black in Brazil.  I’m surprised by your statement that the only thing you see is blacks with blacks. What channel were you watching..BET? At any rate, Whites have there own church, the same as Asians, chinese, mexicans and Jews. Dont let the term black community or black churches throw you off… its just a term and many colors are always welcomed in the black “community” church…more so than the others.

  • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

    Credit where due to the folks that are starting to come out of the fog and see the issue more clearly.  It can be hard to change your mind about something, so I have to applaud those who have thought about the issue and are standing up and saying, “Yeah, I’ve changed my mind.  Denying these people rights is some bullshit and I don’t like it.”

    • Sindigo

      Absolutely. Saying “I was wrong” is one of the hardest things a person can do. I would have thought that’s doubly true when you are supposed to be so certain of everything you say from the pulpit.

  • keddaw

    Love could never be a sin, even if their god did exist.”
    A bold, and silly, claim:
    1. God might be a homophobic ass.
    2. Paedophiles love children, acting on that love is surely a sin (depends on which religion god is, I guess…)

    • http://www.facebook.com/maik.both Maik Both

      I understood paedophiles to be concerned only, or mainly, with sexual desires for children. Myself, I don’t put it into the ‘loving’ category.

      • Deven Kale

         If you believe sex is just as good for children as it is for adults, and you consider love wanting that which is good for others, then you can very easily both love and have sex with them.

        Whether or not children are really old enough and wise enough to be considered able to consent to it, that’s where the pedophile gets in trouble. And rightly so, if you ask me.

    • ErickaMJohnson

       But if their god did exist and was a homophobic ass, we wouldn’t worship it. So love still wouldn’t be a sin.

      I get what you’re saying, though. This is a line I use often when I’m talking to religious people who keep going back to what the bible says. Marriage is about love, I remind them.

      • Sindigo

        “But if their god did exist and was a homophobic ass, we wouldn’t worship it.”

        I would. If their God existed I’d be first in line to worship it, homophobic or not. You’d be stupid not to.

        • ErickaMJohnson

           I wouldn’t want to grovel to such a god who makes people gay and then hates them for it.

          And if hell would be the result for my refusal to worship, then I hope I’d get Old Testament hell where I’m just distanced from god rather than the New Testament invention of fire & brimstone.

          • Sindigo

            I wouldn’t want to grovel to anyone, let alone such a jealous, capricious and hateful figure as the X’tian god but I’d find a way rather then be turned into a pillar of salt, face the fate of the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah or be condemned to everlasting torment on the end of a jet of sulphurous flame. 

            Thankfully, we won’t have to make that choice and can continue in our dirty, sinful ways without such a threat. ;)

            And, yes I agree OT hell over NT hell any day, if we were to get a vote. 

    • Sindigo

      But God created both homosexuals and paedophiles. 

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Several commenters are responding to the irony and hypocrisy of this quotation:

    “We love our gay brothers and sisters, but the black church will never support gay marriage,” Evans said.

    So you “love” them, but you don’t want them to love each other. 

    That isn’t much different from the kind of extremely conditional “love” I heard as a little kid from a white bigot who prided herself on what she thought was tolerance and progressive open-mindedness. (Please forgive the terminology; I’m quoting exactly as I remember.)  She said, “I have no problem with niggras, as long as they keep to their own kind. They jus’ shouldn’t be wantin’ t’ marry white folk.”  Even though I was so little (or perhaps because I was so little), I knew that didn’t sound fair or right at all. I immediately disliked that lady, and with a wary eye I stepped back behind my mom.

    Reverend Evans, you do not speak for  the “black church.” You speak for yourself and the backward hypocrites who agree with you. I’m very glad that other black clerics are leading their congregations forward rather than backward. I also don’t mind at all that this issue helps to further divide and weaken religions that are obsessed with sexual conformity.

  • Renshia

    I love it when religion dies a little more.

  • The Other Weirdo

    All I got from that was, “It’s Corinthian leather!”

  • Guest

    I know this isn’t relevant to the subject per se, but one small correction: the NAACP, founded in 1909, is not the country’s oldest civil rights organization.  The NRA, founded in 1871, is quite a bit older.

    • ErickaMJohnson

       While it’s true the NRA was founded before the NAACP, it’s initial role was entirely focused on training people to shoot accurately. The NRA did not get involved with upholding the right to bare arms until after the NAACP was formed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allpeople-Gifts/100000126680424 Allpeople Gifts

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