He stumbled over the explosive words as if his solemn, quiet tone could dampen their impact.

He paused and struggled with them right until they spilled, with a hesitant life of their own, from the lips of the first black President:

“For me, it is important, for me personally, to go ahead and affirm, that I feel… same sex couples should be able to get married.”

When President Barack Obama stopped by ABC’s Good Morning America to give the world an update on his marriage equality “evolution,” that one sentence exposed the deep chasm between black evangelicals and true liberalism, forever changing the course of political history.

In the frantic days since “The Announcement,” black civil rights leaders such Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jessie Jackson, Rev. Joseph Lowery, and Chairman Emeritus of the NAACP, Julian Bond, have bravely broken with a socially conservative Black America that has dipped itself in pious self-righteousness when speaking out on the “evil,” “unholy,” and “ungodly” nature of homosexuality. Though many black evangelicals have voiced support for the decision, their voices are, unfortunately, being drowned out by a chorus of bigotry that typically lies dormant.

It is times like these that one realizes that for some in the so-called Black Church — which overwhelmingly supported Obama in 2008 when he was rocking back and forth in church pews across America — “change we can believe in” translates into hypocritically judging those “sins they don’t partake in” when the change doesn’t align with Christian ideology.

The question on the table is not whether evangelicals believe that it is subjectively “right” for gay and lesbians to marry, but if they can stop moralizing the civil rights of other people in this country based on their personal religious beliefs. No church is being asked to perform marriages between people of the same sex, but to simply re-evaluate the arrogant stances that churches should dictate policy.

But apparently the answer is still no.

I don’t remember one Bible lesson where Jesus said that two people can’t go to City Hall, get married, and have that marriage recognized legally, even if he didn’t agree. Should the Christian church, one church that cannot possibly represent all people, dictate the laws of the United States? What if, hypothetically, there was another religion that the majority in this country adhered to — and their beliefs being implemented would deny the collective civil rights of black Americans – how many Christians would be in accord?

Love it or hate it, religious doctrine has no place in this conversation. We’re talking about the president’s political position — which is that he thinks the states have the authority to decide the issue, but he supports marriage equality – and many in the “Black Church” have decided to damn him to hell as a “false prophet.”

My grandmother shared some wisdom with me when I was growing up. She would always say, “Never be so heavenly minded, that you’re no earthly good.” In my humble opinion, it would be extremely beneficial for more people to hear that message, if only for a moment to better understand the separation of church and state. Let’s be clear: Obama’s opinion could lead to people marching all over the country with rainbow banners, joined by Liza Minnelli and her back-up dancers singing “It’s Raining Men” and it wouldn’t matter.

This is still a states’ issue.

Churches don’t have to do a thing but keep preaching whatever gospel they choose, which means that the issue lies in the fact that Obama dared to voice an opinion that didn’t align with black evangelicals. For an institution, which for the most part is rooted in black liberation theology, it is amazing that many are threatening to turn their backs on him because he believes that the LGBT community deserves equal civil rights under the law.

In an expected twist, for those who don’t want to appear sanctimonious the argument takes on a more nuanced tone. It’s not that they don’t want “gays” to have the right to marry, it’s just that “gay rights” aren’t as important as civil rights. This binary opposition is extremely problematic and does nothing but limit our collective progression as a nation.

Simply put, equality for the LGBT community is a step forward for African-Americans because many in the LBGT community are African-American. 

They are our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends and yes, even our cousins n’nem. They are our nurses, doctors, lawyers, educators, and yes, they face the same racism that many of us face on a daily basis. It is absolutely ridiculous that, for some reason, many African-Americans, specifically heterosexuals, feel that we own the patent on oppression.

Many of us will fight against immigration laws, because “Mexicans are taking all the jobs;” some will even assault the reproductive rights of women, because they’re “murdering black babies;” the majority of us will ostracize the LGBT community because it’s “against God’s plan;” but when the narrative shifts to issues that face the black community at-large, many of us become hypocritical broken records moaning over and over “your blues ain’t like mine.”

Well, you know what? Everyone has their own truth, and it doesn’t have to be the same to be just as painful.

I often do not agree with President Barack Obama, but in this, I support him 100%. Even as a senator, he stated that faith has no place in politics and that because we do not share common spiritual eyesight, we can only share common laws. Most powerfully, he says that “religiously motivated [politicians] must translate their concerns into universal — not religious — values.”

This means that any Christian who voted for him and is now withdrawing support after his announcement was either not paying attention, voted for him strictly because he’s black  — or thought that he would be swayed by the huge levels of evangelical support into translating Christian doctrine into United States policy.

And it’s time they admitted that to themselves.

I’m not sure exactly where Obama’s support in the black community will land after the dust settles; but for me, I will take equality over religious hypocrisy every day of the week and twice on Sunday – and let the chips fall where they may.

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  • haffie

    Once again who cares about homos, Obama is wrong on the issue. It’s wrong and wrong. My bible says its wrong so I say its wrong. Point blank. Those who say otherwise will pay the consequences of their actions.men and women= kids not the other way around. marriage between a man and a woman iis God’s way of life…

    • Trey

      And if that is your belief then that’s fine, President Obama is trying to change what you believe. But, your bible’s Marriage guidelines have no place in granting legal rights and advantages. We should change our law to require Civil unions (instead of “marriage”) for every person who wants the legal benefits associated with marriage laws today. If you decide to “Marry” then that is something that will be between you, your spouse, your God and your CHURCH. But the tax breaks and rights associated with current “Marriage” should not be denied to people because of who they decide to have a union with.
      Also, If God is going to judge homosexuals then let him, but it is not the government’s place to force this judgement. Do you not have faith that your God will take care of these situations as he sees fit? Remember: Love AND treat your neighbor like yourself (i.e. don’t deny important rights to your neighbor)

    • Trey

      *President Obama is NOT trying to change what you believe.

  • Frankie 5

    My thing is this. Why are people who claim their so pro black support the madness of homosexuality in the black community. Homosexuality by its very definition means a cessation of life. Man on man and woman on woman relationships do nothing to reproduce life. It ceases it. Homosexuality is nothing more than a sick mental and sexual disorder akin to pedophilia. You can not sit here and say you want to support the black community by supporting something thats demonic and unholy, same as heterosexual couples having sex before marriage or having kids aout of wedlock. If you support one sin you might as well support the drug dealing, murder of black children, and other ills in the community. Sin is sin and people are delusional if they believe that supporting one is harmless. Dont support the proliferation of the black community while simaltaneously supporting its destruction.

    • BFDuster

      -Homosexuality is NOT pedophillia, it is the attraction to the same sex

      -Homosexuality is not mental sickness or disorder–studies support this

      -Heterosexuals are not perfect faultless angels

      -Homosexuals, if not having surrogates, often pick up the slack in adopting kids heterosexuals did not want

      -Black women are not your personal broodmares

      -The Black community can be supported in many ways that don’t involve Black women giving up their freedom, rights and bodily autonomy

      -Supporting two consenting ADULTS in their relationship and legal benefits they are entitled to is NOT the same as supporting drug dealing, child murder or any other social ills in society

      -Not everyone is religious; of those that are, not all believe in pushing their religion of choice onto others and making them beyond miserable for not participating

      -Not everyone believes in a god or your god; of those that do, not all of them believe god is a figure head for the douchebag power dynamics such as heterosexual superiority

      -Not everyone has the same concept of evil and unholy; of those that don’t, they are more than willing to define your beliefs as evil and unholy

      Hate and ignorance are mental illnesses.

    • Trey

      “You can not…say you want to support the black community by supporting something thats …unholy”

      Why are you equating support of the black community with support of religion? << Not a rhetorical question
      In my opinion being a part of the black community DOES NOT automatically mean that 1. you are automatically a member of the black church and 2. That you ascribe to beliefs of what is holy and what is not. (

      Side note: casting judgement is a sin as well, so is not treating your neighbor as yourself…

    • Kam

      So I guess by that logic we can’t support heterosexual people who are sterile either?

    • Mo

      My husband and I don’t have children. Does that make our marriage any less valid?

  • NB

    The US is a secular state and has a deep founded history in separation of State and Church. As a Christian, I struggle personally because I believe love is love but I accept that it’s not everything that we want to do that God sanctions. Nonetheless, I have often argued with my friends over whether or not people of the same sex should get married. I believe that they should be able to (over here in England we have civil unions, I think you lot have it too) Why the hell not? What does the church have to do with what the state recognises? You may not like it but from a secular stand point, I have no issues with it. Marriage in a church is a separate argument I’m not in the mood to get into atm. Bottom line, gay people should be able to get married by the state. Being Black IMO is irrelevant. What does being black have to do with anything?

  • dreameagle

    i’m sorry, but your PC plight rightfully falls on deaf ears;

    homosexuals do not have a right to marry like my wife and i;

    everyone gets married either in a church or in some setting under the eyes and/or auspices of God, declares their plight to each other under these conditions, and is pronounced married under these conditions;

    i’ve yet to hear of one religious scripture that declares a marraige other than between a man and woman under the eyes of God;

    and please don’t cry on about how homosexual discrimination is the same as racial discrimination–the latter is based upon inherited traits, while the former is a choice;

    homosexuals can stop being homosexuals if they so choose–Chines cannot stop being Chinese, Africans cannot stop being African and the same holds true for African-Americans;

    repugnant and sinful as i may find that kind of lifestyle personally, that doesn’t mean i would seek to deny their basic human rights, nor would i advocate or support others doing so;

    but as to their “marrying”, sorry, that is a “no-go” in the eyes of God i cannot and will not accept or support, which is exactly the position of not only the majority of the African-American community, but the population in general, as well;

    • Trey

      Hence why marriage should ONLY take place in the Church, NOT a courtroom. Thats the only way to keep peoples rights from being infringed upon.

    • Trey

      And to clarify, if your church is ok with marrying same sex couples that is between that couple, God and that church. Many churches based in the word of God(s) marry same sex couples, and this should be of no concern to anyone but the couples involved.

    • Ms. Information


    • Kiya

      Homosexuality is NOT a choice….

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