Black, Latino clergy speak out for marriage equalityAround the Nation Thursday, May 17th, 2012
NEW YORK – With President Barack Obama’s recent announcement of support for same-sex marriage, African American and Latino clergy across the country have spoken out on how they feel that all loving couples should be able to marry, regardless of sexual orientation. These beliefs are not tied to party affiliation, and speak to the evolution of people of faith, including clergy, on this issue.
Among those who have spoken out in support of same-sex marriages are Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP; Rev. Joseph Tolton, pastor of Rehoboth Temple Christ Conscious Church, in New York; Bishop Yvette Flunder of San Francisco; Rev. Cedric Harmon of Maryland; and Rev. Manny Santiago of Seattle, the first openly gay Hispanic minister.
In a recent speech in North Carolina Rev. Barber stated, “A vote on the same-sex marriage amendment has nothing to do with your personal opinion on same-sex marriage but everything to do with whether or not you believe discrimination should be codified and legalized constitutionally.”
A 2010 Bendixen & Amandi International poll found 74 percent of Latinos support marriage equality or other forms of legal recognition for gay and lesbian couples. Similarly, a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released in March 2012 showed support for marriage equality among African Americans at 50 percent. A Field Poll of California voters released in February 2012 found that 53 percent of Latino and 50 percent of African American respondents approved of allowing same-sex couples to marry. A Public Religion Research Institute poll found that a majority of Latino Catholics and a third of Black Protestants support marriage equality.
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