HRC Blog

Family, Faith, Fairness and the Call for Compassion

This post comes from the Rev. MacArthur H. Flournoy, Deputy Director of HRC’s Religion & Faith Program:

Family, faith, fairness and love. These were the key themes considered by biblical scholars, professors and 64 students for a conversation at the historic Morgan State University this past Sunday in a community forum hosted by Rainbow Soul, the African American Lesbian and Gay student organization, and Marylanders for Marriage Equality.

The Rev. Bernard Keels, MSU Chaplain, graciously served as the moderator for the two-hour discussion, reflecting on his personal life experience growing up in Alabama, prior to the launch of the civil rights movement. “I know what it feels like to be treated unfairly – people should be able to choose who they love, and marry whom they chose – that’s why I’m voting in support of question 6.”

The Rev. Dr. Brad Braxton and Rev. Dr. Delmon Coates offered compelling presentations on faith and supporting Question 6, calling for compassion, grace, humility and justice; core values of the Christian tradition. Both underscored the value of people being at different places in their degree of understanding and support for protecting marriage equality. However, they underscored that all people could stand firmly in support of marriage equality without their religious freedom being jeopardized in any way.

Yet, it was the Rev. Candy Holmes who spoke of her personal journey and that of her family that offered a personal touch in sharing her process of coming to understand marriage equality as an issue of fairness and love. “First I had to come to myself – then, I had to walk with my family members as they had to experience their own process of growing to support me and my family.”

Standing to make his comments, the director of the Morgan State University gospel choir, a Morgan State student, shared his joy at witnessing the forum on faith, family and marriage equality at Morgan State University, a renowned historically Black college and university (HBCU) “I never thought I would see this kind of forum at Morgan State; Biblical scholars, African American people, and straight allies coming together to affirm my family” Pausing to wipe away his tears, he finished his thoughts with two simple words – “thank you.”

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