A coalition of prominent
African-American pastors on Friday will announce their support for
gay marriage, in particular Maryland's upcoming referendum.
The coalition, led by the Rev. Delman
Coates, senior pastor of the Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton,
Maryland, will make their announcement during a press conference at
the National Press Club. The Rev. Al Sharpton, president and CEO of
the National Action Network, is expected to speak at the event.
“The group of pastors that will
assemble have a range of personal religious views and church
practices as it relates to same sex marriage,” Coates said in a
statement. “Some perform same sex marriages and others do not.
And yet, we stand united in the conviction that the role of the state
is to protect the equal rights of all its citizens and should not
codify discrimination as a matter of law and public policy.”
Maryland voters in November will decide
whether to uphold a gay marriage law approved by lawmakers or repeal
“I can fully support the Civil
Marriage Protection Act because it in no way forces any church to
acknowledge or perform same sex marriages if it is incompatible with
its beliefs,” said Rev. Todd Yeary, senior pastor of the Douglas
Memorial Community Church in Baltimore. “This is about protecting
all families and ensuring that we have a society where everyone is
treated equally as a matter of law without the imposition of
Earlier, the Coalition of
African-American Pastors, led by Bill Owens, condemned President
Barack Obama for his endorsement of gay marriage.
“The impression that all
African-American pastors are fundamentally opposed to the idea of
marriage equality is wrong,” Coates said.
gay marriage support is like waving your thing at God, Bill Owens