- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
(PRWEB) – A coalition of African-American clergy headed by the Rev. Dr. William Owens, founder and president of the Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP), has responded strongly to President Obama's declaration of support for same-sex marriage.
Owens, a Memphis-based minister with the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), said there's no doubt that the president's endorsement of same sex marriage is going to hurt him among African-American voters.
"Absolutely it will and especially among the black churches where the conviction against same sex marriage is so strong," Owens said. "I think many black Christians feel somewhat betrayed by the president on this – this is something that black churches have always stood firmly against."
Owens said he is appalled by the ongoing effort by GLBT activists to link sexual diversity to the historic fight for civil rights for African Americans.
"We cannot and will not remain silent while marriage, the most fundamental institution in our and any nation, is undermined by our own President while using Christian language and relating it to civil rights," said Owens, members of CAAP, and others in a written statement.
"We stood, marched and fought against racial discrimination as legally and morally evil. It is a violation of the first principles of our faith that God created all men in His image, and the first principles of our nation that recognized that all men are created equal. For activists, politicians and now the highest office in the nation to link sexual behavior God calls sin to the righteous cause Martin Luther King gave his life for is abominable in and of itself. There is no civil right to do what God calls wrong."
According to the statement, coalition members have vowed to "stand in our pulpits, stand in the streets, stand in the chambers of policymaking and stand at the ballot box for those who are for God's design of marriage and family. We, like Martin Luther in his crucible hour, can only say, 'Here we stand, we can do no other.' This fight for marriage, family and the very existence of a moral order has just begun."
The coalition includes:
Bishop George D. McKinney, senior pastor of St. Stephens Cathedral in San Diego, jurisdictional prelate of Southern California Second Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and COGIC General Board member;
Bishop Felton Smith, prelate of the Tennessee Eastern First Jurisdiction, senior pastor of New Covenant Fellowship Church of God in Christ in Nashville, and Episcopal Coordinator on the Board of Bishops for COGIC.
Bishop Brandon B. Porter, senior pastor of Greater Community Temple, Memphis, prelate of the Tennessee Central Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of COGIC.
Bishop Ed Stephens, Jr., senior pastor of Golden Gate Cathedral, Memphis.
Bishop James H. Gaylord, senior pastor of Kelly Temple Church of God in Christ, Harlem, N.Y., prelate of the 1st Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Eastern New York.
Dr. Dwight Montgomery, pastor of Annesdale Cherokee Baptist Church, Memphis, and president of the SCLC (Memphis Chapter).
Dr. Chuck Singleton, senior pastor of Loveland Church, Ontario, Calif.
Bishop Robert Jefferson, senior pastor of Cullen Missionary Baptist Church, Houston.
Bishop Janice Hollis, presiding prelate of the Covenant International Fellowship of Churches, Memphis.
Bishop David Allen Hall, D.M., jurisdictional prelate of the 1st Ecclesiastical Headquarters Jurisdiction of Tennessee and the senior pastor of Temple Church of God in Christ, Memphis.
Bishop Charles Rodgers, senior pastor, New Dimensions Ministries, Memphis.
Supt. Jerry Taylor, senior pastor, Holy City COGIC.
The Rev. H.O. Kneeland, pastor, Union Valley Baptist Church, Memphis.
The Robert Bowers, pastor True Faith Baptist Church, Memphis.
Ivory Jackson, associate pastor, Faith Temple Church of God in Christ, Memphis.
Elder Robert Morris, acting minister of New Jerusalem COGIC, Memphis.