'Reverend Wilson has abandoned his truth,' said HRC's Donna Payne.
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign called on the Rev. Willie Wilson to explain disparaging comments he made during a sermon earlier this month. According to a report by The Washington Blade, Wilson said, "Lesbianism is about to take over our community. ﾃ I ain't homophobic because everybody here got something wrong with him." Wilson's sermon also included additional explicit anti-gay comments about intimate relationships between same-sex couples.
"Reverend Wilson has abandoned his truth," said HRC Senior Diversity Organizer Donna Payne. "Just five years ago, the reverend held a service to bring the black community together over gay issues. He called for the church not to be 'religious haters but people who know how to extend love.' Now he's using the pulpit to rip apart a divided community. It's shameful."
"This disturbing change comes at a time when the reverend is leading efforts around the Million More Movement march," added Harry Knox, HRC's Religion and Faith Program director. "We would welcome the opportunity to sit down with the reverend and talk about these comments and his plans for an inclusive march."
A July 2000 article in The Washington Blade focused on a prayer service organized by Wilson as part of Unifest, a "series of programs designed to unify the black community." During the service an altercation erupted after anti-gay activists who were angered by Wilson's attempt to foster a positive relationship about gay issues demanded to speak.
Wilson, pastor at Union Temple Baptist Church, was quoted saying, "We've got some serious stuff to deal with. ﾃ We've got to do a whole lot, and there's a need for serious dialogue and communication. In this new millennium, we cannot afford to let everything remain as it has been. ﾃ The black church has helped forge a gap rather than bridging a gap. The church must not be religious haters but people who know how to extend love. And this is a start."
The Union Temple Baptist Church choir has participated in two of HRC's Gospel and Soul events, which encourage dialogue between African-American straight and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of faith in the gospel community.
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.
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