Debate will not end with black church

As if the Catholic Church, the federal government and gay rights activists have not pushed the issue down everyone’s throats enough already, each of these groups is working on dragging a new advocate into their respective corners in the battle over same-sex marriages -the black church.

The motivation to involve black churches in this matter is one of strength in numbers.

The conservative side of the argument wants black churches to oppose same-sex relationship benefits under moral principle, mostly because of the family unit’s intent for reproduction and the inappropriateness of same-sex parenting.

Conversely, the liberal side is suggesting “equal protection under the law” for gays, as advocated by the Rev. Jesse Jackson himself. Proponents of same-sex marriages want the black church to agree on the premise of the civil rights struggles that got blacks where they are today.

However, the black church has made special efforts in the past to avoid the political controversies surrounding hot topics like AIDS and illegitimate conception. I don’t know what kind of resolution anyone would expect from them on the subject of same-sex marriage.

For one, the range of ideals existing among these churches about gay marriage is already divided. The black church may appear as a united front, but there are several denominations to be influenced. The Baptist, African Methodist Episcopal and Pentecostal churches, while similar in appearance, are quite different in terms of their ideologies.

But, above all, no matter what their beloved pastors say in the pulpit on Sunday, black people’s environments and experiences will pull them in totally different directions on the subject of gay marriages, as they have on many other subjects in the past.

The attempt to suck black voters into the debate by positioning them between their moral and personal principles could potentially yield ugly or fruitless responses.

Looking to black Christians and the collective black community to settle the score on same-sex marriages will not be easy.

Karen E. Marsh is a senior business administration student from Denver. She is the deputy opinions editor for The Famuan. Contact her at