Black Pastors Voice Support for Marriage Equality in Maryland

Remember how, back in August, the Coalition of African-American Pastors held a press conference to announce their opposition to same-sex marriage?

(After reporter Jamila Bey asked Rev. William Owens about God’s position on polygamy, he asked to have her removed from the room.)

On Friday, a different group of African-American pastors — including Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Otis Moss III (the successor to Jeremiah Wright) — held their own press conference to announce their support for marriage equality; in particular, a referendum to approve same-sex marriage in Maryland:

“Justice doesn’t mean ‘just us.’ Justice is what love looks like in public policy,” said the Rev. Freddie D. Haynes, senior pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas. “All people in this country should be afforded the same rights. No one entity owns civil rights.”

“As pastors and clergy leaders we are here today to declare our unequivocal support for Maryland’s Civil Right Marriage Protection Act and to dispel the myth that all African Americans pastors are fundamentally opposed to the idea of marriage equality,” [Rev. Delman] Coates said.

Good for all of them. You can argue about how it’s theologically wrong for them to ignore all the Bible verses against homosexuality, but at least they’re on the right side of the issue. I’ll take sloppy progressives over rigid theologians any day.

The fact that they’re using whatever sway they have in the black community to pressure others to go to the polls and vote for same-sex marriage is a mark of how quickly this issue is dividing and engulfing the Christian world. Give it a few years and the only churches holding out against marriage equality will be the ones whose memberships are dwindling rapidly.

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