WASHINGTON – More than 100 pastors and faith leaders voiced their support for same-sex marriage in D.C., standing in stark contrast to protests a month earlier by other pastors.
The pastors, mostly from African American churches, wanted a referendum reversing the D.C. council vote recognizing same-sex unions from other states. The latest protest, pastors from a range of denomination, support same sex marriage and say civil rights should not be put to a vote.
“God is love and love is for everyone,” said Rev. Dennis and Christine Wiley, Covenant Baptist Church.
At Ward 8 inside Covenant Baptist Church, dozens of clergy members united. “We come to you this day asking for your blessing on our endeavors,” said Mari Castellanos.
From baptists to unitarians all across the District, they are showing their support for same-sex marriage. “And we are glad to be the miracle on South Capitol Street and we want the world to know about it,” said Wiley.
Their support is in response to similar events held by those who oppose same-sex marriage. “Not on our watch. Marriage must be between a man and a woman,” said Bishop Harry Jackson.
Jackson, of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Md., is most outspoken. “I’d rather be biblically courageous than politically correct.”
Now, faith leaders are criticizing Jackson and D.C. council member Marion Barry for describing the debate over marriage as a ‘civil war.’ “And I believe it is wrong to use the language of war to talk about a matter of love,” said Rev. Robert Hardies, All Souls Church Unitarian.
They are also challenging the notion that the African American community is united again same-sex marriage. “Because those of us who have been oppressed ought to be the last ones to oppress,” said Wiley.
I disagree with Wiley, his comment smacks of black pathology — being oppressed doesn’t mean blacks should be wiser than their oppressors. But I still think this is pretty dope.
I do wonder, though, especially now that I’m in the midst of David Plotz’s ‘Good Book,’ how these religious leaders square their support for gay marriage with Leviticus. I suppose it has to do with this qualifier: “At least 137 faith leaders have signed a declaration of support for full marriage equality, but they also say the state should not require any religious group to officiate or bless same-sex marriages.”
But…are these clergymen and women really going to turn away a same-sex couple who seeks to be married in their church, after supporting gay marriage?