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IPFS News Link • Religion: Believers

Blacks, Gays And The Church: A Complex Relationship

•, by Corey Dade

Fairly or not, African-Americans have become the public face of resistance to same-sex marriage, owing to their religious beliefs and the outspoken opposition of many black pastors.

Yet the presence of gays and lesbians in black churches is common. And the fact that they often hold leadership positions in their congregations is the worst kept secret in black America.

While many black pastors condemn homosexuality from the pulpit, the choir lofts behind them often are filled with gay singers and musicians. Some pastors themselves have been entangled in scandals involving alleged homosexual affairs.

"Persons who are in the closet serve on the deacon boards, serve in the ministry, serve in every capacity in the church," the Rev. Dennis W. Wiley, pastor of Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ in Maryland, says of black churches. Wiley is a prominent advocate of gay marriage. "I do believe a certain hypocrisy is there."

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by TommiT
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The founder of Black Gospel Music is Thomas A. Dorsey, a blues musician who gave his life to Christ and dedicated his talent to the Black worship experience.  He wrote one of the most profound songs in the literature, "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" when his young wife and first baby died in childbirth.  The most legendary gospel singer, one who helped form the musical style and one who worked with Mr. Dorsey, was Mahalia Jackson, a heterosexual woman. 

While it's true that there are homosexuals in the choir, there are also many talented heterosexuals in the choir.  The bottom line is that most Black Protestant churches rely on the Bible for guidance.  The Bible condemns homosexuality.  Are the churches to go against God's word? 

I think that gays and lesbians can be married civilly in the government court, but not the Church.  The Church is God's house.  And He says that homosexuality is a sin.  Those churches that allow it, that's on them.  They will have to answer to God.  Those churches that don't allow it, they will have to answer to God.