African American Clergy Stand in Opposition to Amendment One in North Carolina
Yesterday I attended a "Prayer Meeting & Rally Against Amendment One," organized by and featuring Triad-area clergy standing in opposition to Amendment One. The event was hosted by the 5,400-plus member Mt. Zion Baptist Church and its pastor, Bishop George Brooks, and featured Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, president of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, the Ministers Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity, the Pulpit Forum of Greensboro and Vicinity, and the Greater Hickory Ministerial Alliance.
The message was powerful and poignant. Civil rights leader Rev. Nelson Johnson said: “We are proud to stand in solidarity with our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. We are the agents of unity” working to counter those who seek to divide. Rev. Dr. William Barber made it clear just who it is who seeks to divide our communities: The Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage.
While not all clergy standing against Amendment One are in support of same-sex marriage, and it was said more than once that “there are sound theological arguments on both sides,” they all agreed that Amendment One will harm our families and children, and that placing the amendment on the ballot in the first place was a cynical move by extremist forces that seek to divide progressive communities for political gain. The same people who placed Amendment One on the ballot are the same elected officials who have campaigned against voting rights, equal protection under the law, the Racial Justice Act, healthcare for all and jobs for African Americans and the poor. Rev. Dr. Barber has been traversing the state amplifying these connections and calling on all North Carolinians to join forces in defeating Amendment One. In many ways, Barber’s has been the single most important voice in this campaign, drawing on the values that inform our progressive movement and speaking truth to power. Today I finally got to hear him in person and was moved by his eloquent and passionate call for justice and equality for all.
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