Bishop Harry Jackson, senior pastor at Hope Christian Church, is leading a coalition of 176 religious leaders against President Barack Obama’s declared support for gay marriage and the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act.
“We want to know whether he is going to use the bully pulpit of the presidential office to absolutely erase the image of biblical marriage from the face of the earth,” said Jackson at the Capitol on May 24.
“Voters need to know whether they have a friend or an assent, an enemy to an institution that God has ordained,” he added. “Some of us have taken his statements as a declaration of political war against the venerable institution of marriage.”
“In the African-American community, many people are saying they made him do that, we don’t understand why he did that,” said Jackson. “We don’t believe that really was the president’s intent. Others have given high fives in the backroom saying, ‘he got paid.’ We don’t really know what the intent of the president is except that we know that is not just an isolated incident. Some further action will follow.”
DOMA, which was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996, codified the federal government’s definition of marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman. In 2011 the Obama administration stopped defending the constitutionality of one section of the law in court.
Bishop Joseph Mattera of the Christ Covenant Coalition said he stands “firmly” behind Jackson.
“Why is it that 32 states that gave people an opportunity to vote on whether marriage should be between one man and one woman — why is it that every single time the people have spoken and said that marriage is between one woman and one man?” he said.
Mattera said a demographic minority is using politics to change the definition of marriage for the majority. Jackson claimed that many African-Americans feel that President Obama’s gay marriage support is “an insult.”
“What was most concerning about the president’s comments was it seemed to be a slap in the face of black clergy,” said Jackson.
“It seemed to say, I know that you hold these views and that in the marriage amendment battle in the great state of California, 70 percent of blacks voted for marriage while nearly 95 percent voted for President Obama and the same kind of statistics in Florida. Given those kinds of statistics, it seemed and felt like to some of us who happen to be African-American, it felt like an insult.”
A copy of the letter written to Obama by the coalition is posted on the Family Research Council’s website.