African-American ministers have come out for, and against, Obama's stance on marriage equality.
LGBTQ activists of African descent have pondered what would be the catalyst to rally those African-American Christian ministers to support same-sex marriage and engage the black community in a nationwide discussion.
Last week the answer arrived in President Barack Obama's support of marriage equality.
"We are both practicing Christians, and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others, but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it's also the Golden Rule, you know: treat others the way you would want to be treated…I figure the most consistent I can be in being true to those precepts…" Obama told Good Morning America's news anchor Robin Roberts in an exclusive interview.
Just as Obama could no longer shrewdly fence-sit on the issue while winking a stealth nod to LGBTQ voters, black ministers, who quietly professed to be an ally to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community, could no longer stay closeted from their congregations.
For these African-American ministers, the liability of Obama losing his 2012 re-election bid is far greater than being publicly outed for not being in lockstep with their homophobic brethren.
“The institution of marriage is not under attack because of the President’s words,” Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago told his church on Sunday. Moss is the successor of President Obama's former and infamous pastor, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright.
But for many African American ministers in opposition to Obama's stance on marriage equality the institution of marriage, at least within the black family, is under assault, and LGBTQ people further exacerbate the problem.
These ministers, some who are allies for LGBTQ civil rights, but draw the line on same-sex marriage, espousing their opposition to same-sex marriage as a prophylactic measure to combat the epidemic level of fatherlessness in black families. In scapegoating the LGBTQ community, these clerics are ignoring the social ills behind black fatherlessness such as the systematic disenfranchisement of both African-American men and women, high unemployment, high incarceration, and poor education, to name a few.
In his homily Moss also stated, “Gay people have never been the enemy, and when we use rhetoric to suggest they are the source of all our problems, we lie on God