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Black Pastors, Marriage Equality and NOM’s Money

A 2005 article on now-disgraced Atlanta pastor Eddie Long highlights a disturbing perspective to this issue of the National Organization for Marriage utilizing the black church and leaders against marriage equality that very few people are openly talking about.

The article quotes the Rev. Timothy McDonald, who theorizes that there was a tie between Long's 2005 anti-marriage equality march held in Atlanta and a $1 million grant he received from the faith-based initiatives of the Bush administration. McDonald also asserts that other black pastors who received faith-based initiatives money organized public campaigns against marriage equality.

When I read the recent, disgusting comments of Pastor Patrick Wooden and several other black ministers and leaders assembled by NOM to combat marriage equality, I can't help wondering if we are seeing a retread of this theory.

While I'm certainly not making pointed accusations, I have been amazed at how quickly and conveniently these coalitions between NOM and several black pastors and leaders have come together; I have also been alarmed by the rhetoric. There seems to be a degree of unrestrained glee and vindictive pleasure in not only attacking marriage equality and dehumanizing the gay community, but also — particularly in Wooden's case — going on a tangent about alleged gay sex acts.

And they do this even though they personally know members of the gay community, either by family relationships or as members of their congregations.

These folks come across like well-paid hired guns. Their tone betray a certain eagerness, like that of customers attempting to take advantage of an exclusive sale at the mall, or of prospectors who just discovered a mountain of gold for the taking.


The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.