Project 21 member Council Nedd II, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Missionary Church, is speaking out against those in the black community who to compare the fight for on-demand and legal same-sex marriage with the efforts of the civil rights movement to ensure equal rights for black Americans.
For example, black gay political commentator Jonathan Capehart wrote in the Washington Post about the gay marriage issues: “[W]e’re talking about a civil rights issue and what African-Americans continue to struggle with is exactly what lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are struggling with today.”
In particular, however, Council is concerned about those who are using the trappings of the pulpit to demand the overturn of popular democratic votes for gay marriage (Proposition 8 in California) and federal recognition of gay marriage (opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act) by claiming it is a religious issue. The Reverend Al Sharpton recently wrote in a commentary published by The Grio that, under Prop 8 and DOMA, “gay and lesbian couples are treated as second-class citizens” and that blacks should by “standing together in the face of oppression” with homosexual activists.
Sharpton was also instrumental in trying to organize black ministers in favor of a gay marriage referendum in Maryland in 2012.
Council does not agree with the notion that fighting discrimination based on skin color is the same as crusading for interests based on sexual preference. He says:
Gay is not the new black.
The pastors and ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ who have decided to support gay marriage are no different than the rabbis in the Bible who did Rome’s bidding.
They must reconcile it with themselves. The same God they preached about for generations — the one who got my forefathers out of the bondage of slavery and through the Jim Crow and the civil rights eras — is now suddenly wrong?
Are they really now going to preach that we can ignore God’s inspired word when it suits our political purposes?
Judas tried that, and look where it got him. I don’t need 30 pieces of silver that badly. I will just preach the Gospel.