African-American Ministers Encouraging Congregants to Stay Home Election Day
President Obama’s Support for Gay Marriage Should Not Give Black Religious Leaders Reason to Abandon the First African-American President
Being a gay man and a firm supporter of our president, Barack Obama, I have a strong opinion concerning same-sex marriage. Though will never marry, I certainly support my younger gay brothers and sisters in their pursuit of the same happiness everyone else is entitled.
Being a Christian, I also quite understand that African-American ministers are having problems accepting gay marriage. I myself was raised to believe as they were and even though I no longer believe that way, I understand where they are coming from. I also know that it does not matter what I say or anyone else says about the subject of gay marriage, those ministers are never going to accept the idea, and they should not. That does not mean they should not support the president’s reelection full heartedly. He is also right to stand up for the rights of gay people, though anyone agrees with it or not.
Those ministers should also remember a time in our history that interracial couples could not get married in many states. Much of it had nothing to do with racism for many, from both races. Some just felt it was wrong to marry outside your race. I have a notion that many of you support interracial marriage but you also probably know someone from an older generation that still frowns on it.
My grandmother was one of those people. She did not mind walking over to a black church in a black neighborhood, in the small town we lived in because she was good friends with the pastor. Yet she always spoke disapprovingly when she saw an interracial couple. So did the pastor of the black church.
I am not comparing the difference between gay marriage and interracial marriage here, but I think it points to the fact that my rights as a gay person to marry the person I love should not have anything to do with what those believe. If a minister wants to preach against gay marriage behind the pulpit, that should be their right but it is not their right to decide what my rights are or whom I should be able to marry.
What these ministers should realize is that the right of gay people to marry the one they love should not be dictated by their religion or anyone’s religion. With the same token, I do agree no minister should ever be forced to marry a same-sex couple and no law should tell them otherwise.
What black ministers need to understand is Obama is the president; he is not a religious leader. It is the job of the president to defend the rights of all Americans, including gay people.
I am certain that those ministers, who are having a difficult time with supporting Barack Obama, also realize that if African-Americans do not pour out in droves to the polls this election, former Governor Mitt Romney could win. I do not think I need to remind them of what a Mitt Romney presidency could mean for the poor, as far as cuts to Medicaid and food stamp assistance. On top of that, health care through ObamaCare will surely be repealed under a Romney presidency, which will deny millions health care coverage they so need. In addition, this is just the beginning with even more tax cuts going to millionaires and billionaires while even more Americans are snared into poverty.
These shepherds of Christ must see past this president’s stand for gay rights and focus on the mission of Christ to feed the hungry and seek equality for all. Their religious convictions need not change because the law changes to allow gay people to marry. Surely as black men and women, they know the struggle not only to be given the same rights as white people, but also to be respected as equal in a society that once enslaved their ancestors.
We need the support of black ministers to stand behind our president as the only choice for African-Americans and anyone who believes in equal opportunity for all. Otherwise, we may live through another Republican presidency that will drain the middle-class and our economy, and start more wars. I am certain; those black ministers do not want that to happen.