Black pastors disagree over gay marriage
L. Bernard Jakes, the pastor at West Point Baptist Church in Chicago, supports gay marriage.
June 20th, 2013
01:08 PM ET

Black pastors disagree over gay marriage

By Nova Safo, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @nova_safo

Chicago, Illinois (CNN) - L. Bernard Jakes, the pastor at West Point Baptist Church, has come out in support of a gay marriage bill in the Illinois legislature. He has the support of a majority of his congregation, but not of his fellow pastors.

[2:15] “I’ve definitely been criticized. There are many that have bastardized me, said that I was going to hell on social media. There was even one radio station that encouraged their listeners to call here to the church and tell me I was going to hell.”

The Illinois senate approved a gay marriage bill in February, but it has gotten stalled in the house, where it is short of having enough votes to pass. Legislators are expected to take up the measure again in the fall, and the traditionally liberal black caucus in the state house has emerged as an important voting block.

Caucus members are facing pressure from black pastors both in favor and opposed to gay marriage, even though only two of the caucus’ legislators have so far come out in support of gay marriage.

The caucus’ importance, and the public role black pastors are playing in the gay marriage debate, has brought to light the conflict within black churches and African-American communities over gay marriage and civil rights.

The issue is taboo at many churches, said Rev. Jakes, where pastors may quietly support gay marriage but dare not go public:

[5:53] “Many of them came and whispered in my ear: I support you man. But they won’t come out publicly, because you will be ostracized.”

Listen to our story above to find out more about the debate over civil rights and gay rights within the African-American church, and learn more about the historical context that is affecting today’s debate. Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. And listen to CNN Soundwaves on our SoundCloud page.

Posted by
Filed under: Culture • Same-sex marriage • Soundwaves • Stories
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Zion

    Obama uses Christians and Americans money to support antiChrist countries and you still support him as your president.Ao does your bank. Is your home mortgage owned by antichristian investors? Do you support the antichrist with paying mortgage, taxes and gas? How about food? Cars? Do you have the right to know? Do you have the right to choose or is it forced upon you to pay and give your faith and money to satan?

    June 30, 2013 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  2. Paul Starks

    Good that Black Pastors are standing up to the gay mafia and not backing down for their conviction and feeling about homosexual marriage.

    June 26, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeffrey Marks

    Why are pastors speaking out on political matters? Let's pull their tax-exempt status

    June 21, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Olds

      AMEN! (You should pardon the expression!)

      June 22, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hostile Parasitic Elite

      lets pull the federal reserve! shall we? who gave you the right to control speech with tax tyranny? this is not left vs right, GOP vs Dems, Socialism vs liberty. This is war against White people.

      Why do hostile globalist elite defend Israel as a Jewish ethnostate with Jewish only immigration, but ravage White majority Europe/North America into a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural Gulag with dystopian non-White colonization?

      The world is 93% non-White, only 7% White. But 3rd world colonizers, Muslims, Sikhs, Hispanics, are aggressively advancing their agenda to annihilate gullible Whites, just as China annihilates Tibet.

      How long will gullible Whites cuckold for murderous anti-White elite, who confiscate our guns, infiltrate/subvert our banks/FBI/CIA, indoctrinate White kids in academia/mass media, plunder White jobs/wages, & butcher White soldiers in bankrupting wars?

      "Native" Americans invaded from East Asia. Yellow & Brown races committed 10-times more genocide, slavery, imperialism than Whites. Since Old-Testament, Whites have been victims of Jewish/Crypto-Jewish, Turkic, Muslim, N.African imperialism, slavery, genocide.

      Gullible Whites should reject subversive ideologies- libertarianism, feminism, liberalism- & reject hostile slanders of racism. Peace to all humanity, but White people must organize to advance their interests, their fertility, their homelands. Spread this message. Reading list: goo.gl/iB777 , goo.gl/htyeq , amazon.com/dp/0759672229 , amazon.com/dp/1410792617

      June 23, 2013 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. Tom Boehm

    Many of us "gays" supported Civil Rights by marching and risking our lives in Alabama and Mississippi in the 60's now we would very much appreciate the support of the Afro-American community so that we can achieve equality.

    June 21, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. George Olds

    Nevermind the color of their skin, when have pastors agreed ... on almost ANYTHING?

    That's why there are more than 30,000 "Christian" denominations in the US alone – they don't AGREE on things theological.

    June 21, 2013 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |