Bishop Harry Jackson believes that the
late Rev. Martin Luther King would oppose gay marriage.
Jackson, a minister at the Hope
Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland, came to prominence fighting
against the District of Columbia's gay marriage law, now in its
second year. After the Supreme Court announced without comment that
it would not hear Jackson's appeal to a ruling that upheld the city's
right to prohibit a referendum on the issue from going to voters, he
and the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) said they would work
with Congress to strike down the law.
At a press conference urging the House
to approve a
defense bill that includes an amendment that would hamper repeal of
“Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the law that bars gay and bisexual
troops from serving openly, Jackson was asked if Dr. King, considered
the father of the African-American civil rights struggle, would
endorse gay marriage.
“Yes. Very specifically, yes,”
Jackson said. “Because it's against what is clearly written in
Scripture. And if you listen to any of his messages, that clarion
call to scriptural accountability even to the point when his own
house was firebombed and folks came up in Montgomery armed and ready
to go fight folks, he said 'no, no, no, we will turn the other
“So there was not just a tacit
biblical acceptance or kind of whitewashing, if I can use that
phrase, certain kinds of behaviors and say this is Christian, this is
not. I think there was an inherent commitment to those issues in our
social culture,” he added. (The video is embedded in the right
panel of this page.)
Jackson, who in April said gay
marriage is part of “a Satanic plot to destroy our seed,” is
the latest in a string of Black ministers opposed to the notion that
gay rights are civil rights.
At a March rally in Iowa, Rev. Keith
Ratliff, a prominent leader of the NAACP, called
on the gay community to stop “hijacking” the civil rights
And just last week, in response to New
York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's claim that gay marriage is a
civil right, state Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., also a minister, chided
Bloomberg for making the comparison.
“There is no just comparison between
America's struggle to overcome the evils of slavery and the promotion
of the lifestyle of homosexuality,” Diaz wrote.