I didn’t get a chance to post on it last week, but the surprise victory for traditional marriage in the Maryland House of Representatives was a remarkable example of the repudiation of hitching gay marriage to the civil rights movement. African-American churches stepped up, in droves, and communicated their desire for the definition of marriage to remain one man, one woman in Maryland. Even though Democrats had a overwhelming majority (98-43) in the Maryland Assembly, 34 of those members belong to the Black Caucus.
That most certainly made the difference in this case, as it did in California when Proposition 8 was passed. Baptist Press reports:
In the two weeks before floor debate, at least two members of the black caucus made public switches from co-sponsoring the bill to opposing it.
"The black churches — since I’ve been here — have never asked us for anything, that I can recall. They are asking now, ‘Don’t use the word marriage,’" Del. Cheryl Glenn, a member of the black caucus, said during floor debate. She said "my faith tells me" to vote against it…
…Del. Emmett Burns, a member of the black caucus and an outspoken opponent of the bill, said he was called the "n-word" for his stance. He also said he was offended by comparisons between the civil rights movement and the "gay marriage" movement.
"Show me your Selma, Alabama," he said during debate. "… [The bill] violates natural law. It always denies a child either a father or a mother. It promotes the homosexual lifestyle. It turns a moral wrong into a civil right. … [If the bill passes] children will be taught that the homosexual lifestyle is on par with the heterosexual lifestyle."
A prominent Southern Baptist pastor, Robert Anderson Jr., pastor of Colonial Baptist Church in Randallstown, Md., told Baptist Press in February that he, too, found comparisons between civil rights and "gay marriage" offensive.
"We didn’t choose to be born black. To be black or African American is not sin," Anderson told Baptist Press. "The fact that we fought for civil rights, we were just fighting for justice for any man, any woman — regardless of their skin color. … To try to create a system and special laws for a group of citizens that are living in immorality and wanting to force all of us to embrace that as if it is morally equivalent, that is wrong."
Anderson added, "Jesus still saves. Homosexuality, lesbianism — you can still be delivered from it. It’s sin, and there’s an answer to sin."
Here in Iowa, we also see this with Rev. Keith Ratliff of Maple St. Baptist Church in Des Moines leading the charge.
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