Rev. William Owens, leader of the Coalition of African-American Pastors, said he was launching a nationwide campaign urging African Americans not to vote for President Obama unless he withdraws his support for same sex marriage.
Owens announced his Mandate for Marriage campaign Tuesday at a press conference in Washington, D.C. Owens, who has been consistently blasting the president since he declared his support for same sex marriage back in May, represents 3,700 black pastors across the country who feel the same way he does.
By embracing same sex marriage, these pastors believe the president is threatening the stability of the family—particularly the black family.
“Mr. President, I’m not going to stand with you, and we have thousands of others across this country that are not going to stand with you with this foolishness,” Owens said at the press conference. “For the president to bow to the money, as Judas did for Jesus Christ, is a disgrace, and we’re ashamed.”
Later in an interview with the Christian Broadcast Network Owens said his organization has been hearing from African Americans across the country who don’t support same sex marriage and feel betrayed by the president. He pointed out that in the many states that have passed laws in opposition to gay marriage, African Americans were always overwhelmingly supportive of traditional marriage between a man and a woman.
“We feel Mr. Obama because of the money has bowed to the money people, the homosexual community,” Owens said. “We’re the ones who put him where he is. Where was the gay community when he was running for president? The Civil Rights Movement opened the door for him to become president. At this point he’s pandering to the homosexual community. He’s forgotten where he came from, forgotten who put him there.”
Owens said for those black voters who are not upset enough to withdraw their support for Obama, “we are going to get them upset enough if they are not upset already.”
With Chik-Fil-A president Dan Cathy publicly declaring his opposition to gay marriage and financially supporting organizations that oppose it, his restaurants have become a flashpoint for the social skirmishes over the issue.
Owens said the mayors of Chicago and Boston (in addition to San Francisco and Washington, D.C.) saying they don’t want Chik-Fil-A franchises in their cities was similar to his experiences growing up in the segregated South, where he was not allowed to patronize white establishments because of his skin color. He said these mayors and others opposed to Chik-Fil-A were discriminating against the franchise because of the president’s beliefs, just as he was discriminated against because he’s black.
“There’s no difference,” he said.
Supporters of the restaurant chain flocked to Chik-Fil-A’s around the country yesterday in what they were calling “Chik-Fil-A Day,” which was called by former former Arkansas Governor and Baptist minister Mike Huckabee. Long lines were reported at Chik-Fil-A’s from Texas to Virginia and some church pastors purchased bulk orders for their congregations.
Gay rights groups have scheduled a protest for tomorrow that they are calling “Kiss Mor Chiks,” when they are encouraging people of the same sex to show up at Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country and kiss each other.