Thursday, August 02, 2007

Black Pastors Attack Rep.Steve Cohen/Endorse Herman Morris

A group of predominantly African-American pastors calling themselves Memphis City Churches is waging a campaign against gay and lesbian civil rights, especially marriage equality, but now are focused on stopping the Hate Crimes bill (H.R. 1592), and are attacking Rep. Steve Cohen for supporting it. Their web site is filled with fallacious attacks on gays and attempts to use homophobia and anti-gay prejudice to scare people into opposing the hate crimes bill by erroneously claiming that the bill would prohibit preachers from preaching against homosexuality and make anti-gay religious views a crime. H.R. 1592 says NOTHING about prohibiting anti-gay speech and was amended to specifically states that the bill will have no effect on free-speech rights. So who is behind this anti-gay campaign? Their web page is linked to anti-gay religious right groups, including the Family Research Council and the American Family Assocication. I suspect these groups are orchestrating a nation-wide campaign to mislead African-American religious groups and pastors to oppose hate crimes legislation and any other legislation that recognizes the civil rights of gays and lesbians.

Rep. Steve Cohen spoke out in support of H.R. 1592 in the House of Representatives.

This group of black minister, including Dr. Bill Adkins of Greater Imani Church and Rev. LaSimba Gray of New Sardis Baptist Church, who tried to get A.C. Wharton to run against Herenton in the Memphis mayoral election have now endorsed Herman Morris for Mayor. Hmm. I wonder if they knew that Herman Morris spoke at the Mid-South Pride Rally in June in support of gay and lesbian rights? And I wonder if Herman Morris knows this group is anti-gay? I know these "black leaders" don't represent all of the black community, but will the progressive African-American leaders (Herman Morris?) stand up to them and denounce their bigotry??

UPDATE: As I suspected, the Memphis City Churches, the group behind the attacks on Rep. Steve Cohen and the Hate Crimes Bill, are getting their talking points from the anti-gay Family Research Council which attacks Steve Cohen on their webpage.

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