President Obama’s support of same-sex marriage has spurred a group of conservative African-American pastors to launch a campaign to urge Black voters to vote against him in November.
The protest movement by the pastors is spearheaded by the Rev. William Owens, a Memphis-based clergyman who is the founder of the Coalition of African-American Pastors.
“The time has come for a broad-based assault against the powers that be that want to change our culture to one of men marrying men and women marrying women,” said Owens, in an interview in Washington on Tuesday at a press conference at the National Press Club. “I am ashamed that the first black president chose this road, a disgraceful road.”
The topic of same-sex marriage began to ignite a movement among a group of conservative Black clergy when the NAACP announced its support of gay unions during its convention earlier this year. Shortly afterward, President Obama discussed his support of same-sex marriage in an interview.
At the press conference, Owens said his coalition had the support of more than 3,000 Black ministers around the country. He also said that the president’s support of gay unions was roughly the equivalent of endorsing child molestation.
“If you watch the men who have been caught having sex with little boys, you will note that all of them will say that they were molested as a child.” Owens said. “For the president to condone this type of thing is irresponsible.”
A Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted a few months ago indicated that that the percentage of African-Americans who support gay marriage jumped almost 20 points after President Obama's announcement that he backs same-sex unions
Owens said he doesn’t believe that the poll results are accurate. "I know the poll is wrong," Owens said. "Very few Black Christians I encounter support President's Obama's position on same-sex marriage. In fact, in a small poll conducted by our organization, 12 percent said they would not vote for President Obama again."
In his remarks to the reporters, Owens cast doubt on the president’s commitment to African-Americans. He described Obama as being “half-black, half-white” and that he has long “ignored the black press” as well as “ignoring the people that put him in the White House.”
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(Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)