More and more black pastors support marriage equality

November 05, 2011

Unfortunately, The Sun missed an opportunity to highlight the contributions and impact of black LGBT-affirming congregations in your editorial "Marriage equality and race" (Nov. 1).

Since marriage equality became a hot-button issue, a growing number of African-American ministers, both straight and openly gay, have weighed in with support for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters and elevate the message that we are all children of the creator. Where there is love, there is God.

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. 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.

By advocating for protections that would enable everyone to take care of and provide for the people they love, these faith leaders are building a community in which all God's children are accepted and embraced for who they are.

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.

As the assistant pastor of a predominantly African-American congregation that affirms all people, I witness members of my congregation worship together regardless of orientation, knowing that the foundation of any strong family is not the sexual orientation or gender of the parents but the love and commitment they have for each other and their children.

I call on pastors, faith leaders, congregants and believers alike to join us in coming out as supportive people of faith on the side of love.

Jamie Washington, Baltimore

The writer is pastor of the Unity Fellowship Church of Baltimore.

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