Film wrestles with gay marriage in black community


Rev. Dr. Nathaniel B. Thomas, Senior Pastor of the Forestville New Redeemer Baptist Church, is against gay marriage. (Sarah L. Voisin — The Washington Post)

The piece wrestles with the conundrum that, as Marc puts it, “they who stood tall against discrimination, who marched and sat in, who knew better than most the pain of being told they were less than others,” are now against a major civil rights effort in their community.

“This is a cultural war, a cultural shift, and those who are in rebellion have decided to portray us as bigots and prejudiced,” says Nathaniel Thomas, pastor of Forestville New Redeemer Baptist Church.

This is a topic — black pastors against gay marriage — that touches off fierce debate inside and outside churches. Marc’s story already has nearly 500 comments. One writer said, “Marriage is a man made social construct. God has nothing to do with it.” Another wrote: “Bravo Nathaniel Thomas and other pastors standing up for Biblical principles on marriage. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.”

After reading Marc’s piece — and the comments — I went looking for more black voices on the topic. I found The Rev. Al Sharpton’s video supporting gay marriage. I found coverage of the topic in Black Church News.And I stumbled on an excerpt from a documentary commissioned by the National Black Justice Coalition, a civil rights organization supporting black gay, lesbian and transgendered people.

The film follows four black gay and lesbian couples and includes footage of some of the first married couples in D.C. Whatever your position on this issue, I think it’s worth watching. And let me know in the comments what you think of it:

Michael Rosenwald is a reporter on the Post's local enterprise team. He writes about the intersection of technology, business and culture.

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