The church has long been one of the biggest obstacles to same-sex marriage acceptance in the Black community. Data shows that Blacks are more homophobic than the general population, and Blacks are also the most religious ethnic group in the United States. With both Christianity and Islam often purveying fears and total lies about homosexuals, it’s rather simple to see where a lot of the African-American community’s homophobia stems from.
If only Black religious leaders would support the LGBT community, perhaps some of that homophobia could be mitigated. Well, the good news is that, in Baltimore, a recent op-ed says that many of them are.
Following on the heels of the Human Rights Campaign’s recent push to incorporate Black leaders into their gay rights efforts, an opinion blog post in the Baltimore Sun suggested that Black religious leaders in the Baltimore area are coming out more and more in support of gays and lesbians in their folds. “Leaders such as Rev. Dennis Wiley, a Maryland resident and pastor of Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C., have spoken out publicly and unapologetically about their support for all loving and committed couples,” wrote Jamie Washington, himself a pastor at the Unity Fellowship Church of Baltimore. “Advocates like Rev. Dorothy Harris, pastor of Unity Fellowship Church of Columbia, and Pastor Larry Brumfield, with Westminster's Church of the Brethren, are standing firmly in solidarity.”
He added, “Our LGBT brothers and sisters want the same things as everyone else. They want what is at the core of marriage equality — to make a lifelong promise in front of family, friends and God to commit to each other and take care of one another.”
Less than a century after Blacks fought for the right to marry whites, the same-sex marriage debate should resonate with African-Americans in particular. If God didn’t want bigots keeping people from getting married back then, he certainly doesn’t want that now, either. It’s nice to see more people of faith acknowledging that fact.
The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.
(Photo: Anthony-Masterson/Getty Images)
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