Coalition of African American Pastors coalesces key civil rights leaders for marriage

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Declare that "one man, one woman" definition of marriage is where they will stand.

Rev. William Owens, President, Coalition of African American Pastors

"Marriage between one man and one woman was created and ordained by God."

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 leaders issue the following joint statement:

“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 legally and morally evil. It is 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. There is no civil right to do what God calls wrong.

“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.

“The hijacking of the civil rights movement by homosexuals, bisexuals and gender-confused people is unacceptable. There is no legitimate comparison between skin color and sexual behavior. In addition, the high cost of achieving racial parity by ours and previous generations 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 policymaking and stand at the ballot box for those who are for God’s design of marriage and family. We, like Martin Luther in his crucible hour, can only say, ‘Here we stand, we can do no other.’ This fight for marriage, family and the very existence of a moral order has just begun.”

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, CA

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, Memphis, TN

Bishop Ed Stephens, Jr., Senior Pastor of Golden Gate Cathedral, Memphis TN

Bishop James H. Gaylord, Prelate of the 1st Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Eastern New York and Senior Pastor of Kelly Temple Church of God in Christ, Harlem, NY

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, Ontario, CA

Bishop Robert Jefferson, Senior Pastor of Cullen Missionary Baptist Church, Houston, TX

Bishop Janice Hollis, Presiding Prelate of the Covenant International Fellowship of Churches, Memphis, TN

Rev. William Owens, Sr., Founder and President, Coalition of African American Pastors, Memphis, TN

Bishop David Allen Hall, D.M., Jurisdictional Prelate of the 1st Ecclesiastical Headquarters Jurisdiction of Tennessee and the Senior Pastor of Temple Church of God in Christ, Memphis, TN

Bishop Charles Rodgers, Senior Pastor, New Dimensions Ministries, Memphis, TN

Superintendent Pastor Jerry Taylor, Senior Pastor, Holy City COGIC, Memphis, TN

Pastor H.O. Kneeland, Pastor Union Valley Baptist Church, Memphis, TN

Pastor Robert Bowers, Pastor True Faith Baptist Church, Memphis, TN

Associate Pastor Ivory Jackson, Faith Temple Church of God in Christ, Memphis, TN

Elder Robert Morris, Acting Minister of New Jerusalem COGIC, Memphis, TN

The coalition statement is a project of Coalition of African American Pastors based in Memphis, Tennessee

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