Memphis, TN – A coalition of well-known and highly respected Black clergy headed by the Reverend William Owens, founder and president of the Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP) and other leaders responded strongly to President Obama’s declaration of support for same-sex marriage. Reverend Owens led in the civil rights movement in Nashville, Tennessee and said he is appalled by the ongoing effort by GLBT activists to link sexual diversity to the historic fight for civil rights for Black Americans. The coalition includes such noted leaders as:
- Bishop George D. McKinney, Jurisdictional Prelate of Southern California Second Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and General Board Member of the Church of God in Christ; senior pastor of St. Stephens Cathedral in San Diego, California
- Bishop Felton Smith, Prelate of the Tennessee Eastern First urisdiction and Senior Pastor of New Covenant Fellowship Church of God in Christ in Nashville, TN. He also serves as Episcopal Coordinator on the Board of Bishops for the Church of God in Christ.
- Bishop Brandon B Porter, Prelate of the Tennessee Central, Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ and Senior Pastor of Greater Community Temple in Memphis
- Bishop Ed Stephens, Jr., Senior Pastor of Golden Gate Cathedral in Memphis
- Bishop James H. Gaylord, Prelate of the 1st Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Eastern New York and Senior Pastor of Kelly Temple in Harlem, NY.
- Dr. Dwight Montgomery, Pastor of Annesdale Cherokee Baptist Church, Memphis, and President of the SCLC (Memphis Chapter)
- Dr. Chuck Singleton, Senior Pastor of Loveland Church in Ontario, California
- Bishop Robert Jefferson, Senior Pastor of Cullen Missionary Baptist Church, Houston, Texas
- Bishop Janice Hollis, Presiding Prelate of the Covenant International Fellowship of Churches.
- Rev. William Owens, Sr., Founder and President, Coalition of African American Pastors, Memphis
“We cannot and will not remain silent while marriage, the most fundamental institution in our and any nation, is undermined by our own President while using Christian language and relating it to civil rights.