Black Churches Split On Obama’s Gay Marriage Stance

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In churches and synagogues around the country this weekend, President Obama’s historic public support for same-sex marriage has been a hot topic — especially in African-American churches.

Black voters and especially Black churches have long opposed same sex marriage. Now, some wonder if Obama’s push for marriage equality will cost him black votes.

“When you walk through the door at New Salem, everybody is welcome,” said Pastor Jerry Mcafee.

Mcaffe says although some in his congregation identify as gay or lesbian, he has an issue with President Obama’s stance on marriage equality.

Mcafee is president of the Minnesota State Baptist convention. He says many other black Baptist ministers agree with him, and they believe Obama’s stance on gay marriage will cost him in November.

“I think he will lose some. Again, if the Democrat party make this a part of their platform, I know, one, they going to lose,” Mcafee said.

Rev. Kelly Chatman, pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church, has a different view.

“Everybody has a right to be who they are and to experience themselves as a child of God,” said Pastor Kelly Chatman.

His congregation and denomination stand behind the President’s statement. He says he was glad to see Obama wrestle with the issue and eventually side with equality for all.

“I hope that it doesn’t cost him votes. I hope that we can all find common ground on this that the kingdom of God is a big tent and the belief that everybody is in and nobody is out,” Chatman said.

Chatman says throughout history, people have seen the Bible differently and he hopes everyone can find that love is the common denominator.

Macafee plans to meet with other Baptist ministers this week and hopes to meet with DFL leaders in the near future to figure out what comes next.

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