Dominion of New York

Social Justice

May 8, 2012

Black Pastor Delivers Stirring Speech Against Amendment One

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Written by: Kelly Virella
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orth Carolina voters are going to the polls today to decide whether their state will adopt a draconian amendement banning the recognition of unmarried couples, gay and straight. Amendment One would prohibit government from extending any benefits to a person based on a domestic legal union other than marriage. It would also prohibit unmarried couples from seeing each other in the hospital and from making emergency medical/financial decisions regarding a significant other, says Avant Greensboro.

In a stark departure from previous “defense of marriage” campaigns, many black clergy members are leading the charge against the amendment. According to TheRoot:

In April, a group of 15 interfaith African American clergy in Greensboro, N.C., took out a full-page ad in the Carolina Peacemaker, a well-known black newspaper in Guilford County, opposing Amendment One. In the Greensboro-High Point-Winston-Salem region, 100 black clergy have come out against the amendment, so many black Christians in North Carolina are against the erosion of civil rights for certain people.

One of the most vocal black clergyman opposing the amendment is Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP chapter. Barber delivered this rousing speech at a press conference on May 6. I suspect his rhetoric will be shape the black community’s debate about gay marriage for years to come.

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About the Author

Kelly Virella
Kelly Virella lives in an East Harlem walk-up with her husband, her bicycle and her books. She's worked as a journalist for 11 years and started this website during the summer of 2011. She fell in love with New York City during her first visit here as a 16-year-old and finally made good on her promise to move here in April 2010.


Official portrait from his tenure as US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.