Op-Ed: Will Obama’s Support of Marriage Equality Keep Black Voters Home on Election Day?
"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," Owens told CNN after he launched his anti- Obama vote campaign event at the National Press Club. "I am ashamed that the first black president chose this road, a disgraceful road.”
Why are African Americans, especially conservative Christians, still stuck on this issue?
One reason is that church doctrine throughout all the African American denominations haven't changed on the topic of homosexuality, keeping the church tethered to an outdated notion of human sexuality, and a wrong-headed notion on what constitutes civil rights.
Another reason is that many African American ministers still believe the institution of marriage, at least within the black family, is under assault, and LGBTQ people further exacerbate the problem.
For these ministers, some of whom support LGBTQ civil rights but draw the line on same-sex marriage, espousing their opposition to same-sex marriage is a prophylactic measure to combat the epidemic of fatherlessness in black families. In scapegoating the LGBTQ community, these clerics are ignoring the social ills behind black fatherlessness, such as the systematic disenfranchisement of both African American men and women, high unemployment, high incarceration, and poor education, to name a few.
African American ministers have come out in support of Obama's stance on marriage equality.
For these African American ministers, the liability of Obama losing his 2012 reelection bid seems far greater than being publicly outed for not being in lockstep with their homophobic brethren. But their efforts to get their conservative parishioners to the ballot box must far exceed those in opposition.
If the first African-American president loses his reelection bid because of certain black pastors' homophobic views on marriage equality, it would be tragic, and history would not look kindly on their actions.
Obama is the president of the United States, not the pastor of the United States. He's the president of all the people, not some of the people.
As African Americans who have battled for centuries against racial discrimination, we have always relied on our president and his administration to fight for and uphold our civil rights, because too many pastors across the country and throughout centuries wouldn't "move America forward.”