May 11, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Monica Laszacs
Memphis, TN – A coalition of well-known and highly respected Black clergy headed by the Reverend William Owens, founder and president of the Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP) and other leaders responded strongly to President Obama’s declaration of support for same-sex marriage. Reverend Owens led in the civil rights movement in Nashville, Tennessee and said he is appalled by the ongoing effort by GLBT activists to link sexual diversity to the historic fight for civil rights for Black Americans. The coalition includes such noted leaders as:
Bishop George D. McKinney, Jurisdictional Prelate of Southern
California Second Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and General Board Member
of the Church of God in Christ; senior pastor of St.
Stephens Cathedral in San Diego, California
Bishop Felton Smith, Prelate of the Tennessee Eastern First
Jurisdiction and Senior Pastor of New Covenant Fellowship Church of
God in Christ in Nashville, TN. He also serves as Episcopal
Coordinator on the Board of Bishops for the Church of God in Christ.
Bishop Brandon B Porter, Prelate of the Tennessee Central
Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ and Senior
Pastor of Greater Community Temple in Memphis
Bishop Ed Stephens, Jr., Senior Pastor of Golden Gate Cathedral in Memphis
Bishop James H. Gaylord, Prelate of the 1st Ecclesiastical
Jurisdiction of Eastern New York and Senior Pastor of Kelly Temple in
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 in Ontario, California
Bishop Robert Jefferson, Senior Pastor of Cullen Missionary Baptist Church, Houston, Texas
Bishop Janice Hollis, Presiding Prelate of the Covenant International Fellowship of Churches.
Rev. William Owens, Sr., Founder and President, Coalition of African American Pastors, Memphis
“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. We stood, marched and fought against racial discrimination as a moral wrong. It was 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,” declared these leaders with legitimate civil rights era experiences.
“Marriage between one man and one woman was created and ordained by God, is the only stable union in which women are protected and cared for, in which children are born, reared and nurtured in safety, and upon which the very stability of our society rests. The propaganda spun by moral anarchists who have taught our youth that sex is for entertainment and marital commitment is optional has brought death, chaos, poverty and great harm to our community for decades,” continued the leaders in their joint statement.
“The hijacking of the civil rights movement by homosexuals, bisexuals and gender-confused people must and will stop. We fought for what is right, they are fighting for what is wrong. There is no connection and the high cost of what we stood and stand for demands that we speak out against President Obama’s support for this destructive agenda. Our God requires it, our nation needs it and our people deserve it.
We will stand in our pulpits, stand in the streets, stand in the chambers of policy making and stand at the ballot box for those who are for God’s design of marriage and family. We will stand against all who are not,” they said in conclusion. “We, like Martin Luther in his crucible hour, can only say; Here we stand, we can do no other. This fight for marriage and family has just begun.”
The coalition statement is a joint project of Coalition of African American Pastors based in Memphis and the U.S. Pastor Council, based in Houston.